Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Samson Before Delilah: Chapter 13

Back to our discussion of Samson. In this post I had suggested that you read Deuteronomy 28 to determine the significance of the barrenness of Samson's mother. In Deuteronomy 28 God, speaking through Moses, is preparing the people to live in the promised land. If they are obedient to the law they will be blessed but if they are disobedient to the law, they will be cursed:

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock...15 "But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.
And as I demonstrated, in this post, Israel had been disobedient to the law and therefore they were living under the curses that are listed in this passage. The significance of the barrenness of Samson's mother is to highlight the fact that Israel is living under the curse of God. The women will become barren because the people are living apart from God and are doing what is right in their own eyes and not doing what is pleasing to the Lord. As we read the story of Samson, we will see over and over again that Samson does what is pleasing in his own eyes -- Samson is Israel in microcosm.

Not only do we see the curse of Israel played out in the lives of her people but we see God reversing the curse and blessing the woman instead. Why? Because it was His plan to do so. He reversed the curse because He planned to bless Israel with another deliverer, her son. And he was to be pure from birth. Set apart for God.

To understand the story of Samson and Delilah, you have to understand that God called Samson to be a Nazirite to God from the womb:
Judges 13:3 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines."
Nazirites took a vow to God and separated themselves to the Lord:
Numbers 6:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, 3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. 5 "All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long. 6 "All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. 7 Not even for his father or for his mother, for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean, because his separation to God is on his head. 8 All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD. 9 "And if any man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it.
God's deliverer was called to be pure and set apart from defilement from the womb. In this we see a picture of Christ. He was called to fulfill the law for His people, to live a consecrated life for them so that He could be a pure sacrifice for their sins. A lamb without a spot or defect. And He was to live a sinless life because His people were unable to do so.

As we can see, Samson had a high calling to fulfill. Normally this would be a voluntary action but Samson was called to purity by God from the womb. Samson's mom had to raise him in this environment. Did he live up to this calling? That is the next question we need to answer as we look at the rest of the story.

For our next discussion question: What is the significance of the lion and the honey?

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  1. sherry said...
    I'm just answering the question "did Samson live up to his?"
    I would say no, he didn't. He did things he shouldn't have-by marrying a foreigner and by touching dead things (the lion carcass). I have to read more to think about the answer to the other part.
    michele said...
    Good! You are right. Follow your line of thinking on answering the part about the lion and the honey.
    sherry said...
    My first thinking about the lion is that he was not acting like he was set apart to God because he was not following the Nazirite law (for lack of a better word). He touched the carcass. However, I'm still not sure what is significant about the honey. I guess I need to go back in scripture and read the stuff about the Nazirites.
    michele said...
    Think about the honey in light of the carcass. Is he eating unclean food? And what about giving it to his parents and not telling them, why did he do that?
    digg said...
    sherry, he was aloud to touch dead animals it never said that he couldnt it only said that he was not to touch a dead body

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