July 31, 2011 – Judges 14

Click here to read Judges 14 on BibleGateway.com

Prepare yourself: this is a paradigm shifting day.  As much as it may pain some Sunday School teachers, we have to face the awful truth today: Samson was not a hero. In fact, he was pretty much a big, ole doofus. This may be a tough thing to hear for those of you that consider the strongman to be one of the great men of the Bible, but if one has to call a spade a spade, we have to call a doofus a doofus, and Samson was a doofus to out doofus all doofuses that ever doofused.

DOOFUS EXHIBIT A

Consider: Samson had 3 rules to live by: no wine, no touching dead bodies, no cutting his hair. In this chapter alone, he broke the first two in a matter of days. In fact, other than sporting a rockin’ mullet, Samson didn’t seem too interested in keeping any of God’s commands for most of his life. Take today’s reading, for example. Notice in verse 2 that Samson was out walking in Timnah (where he shouldn’t have been in the first place; it was sorta like spending the weekend cruisin’ around Vegas) and saw a pretty young woman and said to his parents “I have seen a woman…go get her to be my wife.” But then it’s not until verse 7 that Samson actually talks to the woman and decides he likes her.

See the sequence of events? See pretty girl, try to marry pretty girl, talk to pretty girl. Call me old-fashioned, but that seems out of order. Samson was more preoccupied with the outer advantages of marrying this girl than of who the girl actually was as a person. That’s a bad deal for both of ’em, and as it turns out, it was a bad deal for her people when Samson went on a rampage and killed a bunch of them.

WHO YOU LOOKING AT?

Unfortunately, we seem to often gloss over the faults of our heroes (Biblical or otherwise), and Samson is no exception. We often talk of emulating people in the Bible or elsewhere in the past as if that was our main goal, but I don’t think any parent would a) want Samson for a son or b) want a husband like Samson for their daughter. Despite the many cartoons and flannelgraphs that talk about the great strong leader Samson who routed God’s enemies in the power of the Spirit, it is probably more accurate to see Samson’s life as a warning to us or as an example of wasted potential. He was given every advantage in life, but threw it all away for lack of self-control.

Instead of trying to be like Samson (or Paul, or Peter, or David), our goal should be to follow Jesus the best we can. He should be our model, not those who followed him. No matter who our hero might be, the chances are fairly good (like 100% fairly good) that person is closer to being a doofus than we would like to admit. Unless our gaze remains firmly on Jesus, we risk becoming more like our heroes that we would like.

Today, ask God to help you change your focus; instead of a hero, focus on a Savior.

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