Summary: While Samson obeyed his calling through disobedience, anger and revenge, Jesus obeyed His calling out of obedience faith and love.
Obeying the Calling
I want to go back to a time over a thousand years BC, to the tribe of Dan. A time, after the great leaders of Moses and Joshua, and before the succession of kings. It is the Dark ages of Israel’s history. There is no succession of godly leaders:
In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
The Nation was in disunity, with each of the twelve tribes moving further apart. Their fervour for God was ebbing away and each time it did God would allow an enemy to come and conquer Israel. In their despair they would cry out to God and he would rise up a leader to conquer the enemy. This time the situation was getting serious. The Philistines had come and had ruled over them for the past 40 years. The Philistines were uncircumcised and followed foreign Gods. This is the situation the Israelites found themselves in, but this time they had moved so far away from God that they hadn’t even called on his name for help. But God had decided to act. In his Mercy He could no longer stand to see His people imprisoned, even if it was their fault. God had decided to raise up a man who was going to set them free. This man was Samson.
Samson was very representative of the state of Israel at the time. When things were going well he would forget the destiny that God had for him and turn away to his natural desires. Israel turned to their foreign Gods, while Samson turned to the foreign women. God would then allow the enemy to take Samson captive until he came to the state where he would cry out to Him again. God would hear his cries and give him the victory. If we are honest this not only represents Israel, but also the church and even our own hearts. We only seem to cry to God when we have a need. Help us Lord to be faithful in the good times also. Yet Samson, despite his human tendencies, is described in Hebrews 11:32 as one of the great hero’s of Faith, and so I want to look at who he was, and what exactly he did. He is also one of the forerunners to Christ, and so I want to compare their to lives.
Called for a purpose:
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD
delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2: A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had
a wife who was sterile and remained childless.
3: The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, "You are sterile and
childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son.
4:Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you
do not eat anything unclean,
5:because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used
on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth,
and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines."
Samson was chosen to fulfil his destiny before he was even born. Like many of the other great men of God even his birth was miraculous. Samson would have known that his purpose was to defeat the Philistines and free Israel from their oppression. He was to be a Nazirite, totally dedicated and separated to God. A Nazirite vow was normally voluntary and for a limited period, and yet here we see Samson being chosen by God as a Nazirite for all of his life.
How closely did Samson obey his calling? In Numbers 6 it shows that a person who has taken the vow should not have their hair cut, should not come into a contact with a corpse, and should not drink any wine. The only one that Samson took seriously was not having his haircut, he even took honey out from the corpse of a dead lion. How often do we pick and chose those of Gods commands that we wish to follow. When it comes to fighting the Philistines, Samson’s record was even worse, instead of going after their armies with the sword, he went after their women with a lustful eye. We have to be careful that we are not fraternising with sin and the enemies to our spiritual walk with God.
Jesus was also called to a destiny. He was called to destroy the powers of sin and death. His purpose was prophesied in Isaiah 53. Like Samson we read of a miraculous birth. But where as Samson’s parents had been trying for children but were baron, this birth was an even greater miracle, as Mary was still a virgin.