Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.



Samson destroys the temple

Image via Wikipedia

Ever see the movie ANGEL AND THE BAD MAN with John Wayne? In it, Quirt Evans (John Wayne) is a good guy who’s gone bad. He helps out a group of Friends (Quakers) and they give him a Bible with his name on it from .

His friend Randy McCall, played by Lee Dixon, starts reading it. Randy McCall: What about the Bible? You can’t throw it away, that would be bad luck.
Quirt Evans: Then keep it!
Randy McCall: All right. This is one book I’m sure gonna read.

Through the rest of the movie, the friend says, “Listen to this! It’s really exciting!”

That’s how I feel. Why I haven’t read through the Bible before? I’ve tried and dropped out in the past. I don’t know why. But I’m glad I’m keeping up this time. 

I don’t just enjoy the verses I read, but also the memories that come to life while I read them. Today, May 1st, we read Judges 13-15, and Samson was born. Remember him? Samson and Delilah? Lost his strength when his hair was cut? I had so much fun learning about him when I was in Brother Bill Baker’s Old Testament History class at Ozark.

That was a long time ago, but Sampson was the epitome of a Bad Boy (popular character in many romance novels) so I’ve never forgotten him. He had the Nazarite Vow sort of put on him before he was born.

His mother was told by an angel of the Lord not to drink fermented liquids or touch anything unclean while he was in utero. (Also a good idea for pregnant women today!)

Samson’s father asked the angel of the Lord his name. The angel answers, “It is beyond your understanding.” That phrase is also translated, “Wonderful.”

Wonder-ful. So absolutely fantastic, humans are unable to comprehend it until we’re in eternity with Him. 

Maybe it’s because of the wonderful special effects we see in movies these days, but I can just see the angel of the Lord ascending in the smoke from Sam’s parent’s burnt offering. Wouldn’t you love to see that done?

Once Samson was born, he had to continue to live with the Nazarite Vow, so he couldn’t cut his hair. (Everyone remembers that part.)

The Philistines ruled Judah at that time because Judah had been unfaithful to the Lord. (They followed the Lord, then after a few years they were lured away. On again, off again. Not unlike some of us today!) Once again, the people of Israel prayed for deliverance, and this time, God sent Samson.

God makes Samson fall for and marry a Philistine woman. One day when Samson is gone paying off a bet the Philistines had cheated on, his FIL gives Samson’s wife to Samson’s friend. (With friends like that . . . )

In retribution, Samson catches 300 foxes, ties them together in pairs, sets their tails on fire, and turns them loose in the fields of the Philistines.

Can’t you just see it? It’s a black-dark night, way out in the country. There’s only one spot of light, it’s bright and golden because it comes from Samson’s torch. 

The big guy looks like Hercules in the movies, a swarthy complexion, piles of muscles and long, curly hair. He takes a pair of these wild animals, ties their tails together, lights them and sets them off into the ready-to-harvest fields of ripe grain.

This is really exciting stuff. (See? Just like Randy.) It amazes me that in only three short chapters, so much story can be told. As a long-winded novel writer, I absolutely see God’s hand in that! LOL.  

If you haven’t read about Samson lately, check it out–Judges 13 and following.

You might be surprised and you’ll certainly be blessed by what’s there. I know I was!

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