Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died within days of each other. Mother Teresa is a hero we could learn from, but the outpouring of grief towards Diana far eclipsed that for Teresa. Some attributed this to people’s shallowness, but others found Diana to be more relatable and vulnerable. Some worship heroes and others distrust them. Let’s learn from Samson, a hero, in Judges 15:9-20.
Israel was at a dangerous time. Philistines were assimilating them (v11), and many Israelites liked to be ruled by them.
God used Samson to create a conflict with the Philistines.
Samson killed a number of Philistines, doing to them what they did to him. Three thousand Jews went to confront him because they didn’t want Samson to disrupt their peace. Samson made them agree not to kill him, but to hand him to the Philistines. Then, using the jawbone of an ass, he killed a thousand Philistines and made a joke out of it (v16).
Through one man, God saved Israel from losing their faith and culture. Samson led Israel for 20 years as a judge—not judicially, but as a hero-warrior.
As a Nazarene, Samson couldn’t cut his hair. When pressed by Delilah, he let her do it. Samson thought his strength guaranteed his success, but he didn’t know the Lord had left him (Judges 16:20). Then the Philistines seized Samson, gouged out his eyes, and humiliated him.
Later, Samson trusted in God’s sovereignty again. With his death, Samson killed more Philistines than in his lifetime because he wanted to “get revenge on the Philistines for [his] two eyes” (Judges 16:28). One main purpose of Samson’s life was to get even.
In a similar way, the Jews also rejected Christ and handed Him to the Romans. But unlike Samson, Christ follows God the Father. Christ didn’t leave heaps of dead bodies. Instead, Christ forgave them, and many later became His followers. Through His death, Christ destroyed the power of sin and brought salvation.
Learn from Christ. Don’t trust your abilities but depend on what Christ has done for us.
Summarized from a Tim Keller’s sermon:
戴安娜王妃和特蕾莎修女在几天内相继死亡。特蕾莎修女是人们学习的英雄，但哀悼戴安娜的人却远远超过哀悼特蕾莎的。有些人将此归于人性的浅薄，其他人则认为更容易与戴安娜认同，她的脆弱使人觉得更接近。 有些人崇拜英雄，而有些人则不信任他们。让我们一起来研读士师记 15：9-20中英雄参孙的故事。