I promised one more instalment on Samson. That was about two weeks ago. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.
Ø My Parents returned from their four month excursion overseas,
Ø I have completed four assignments for my university studies and got them in by due date.
Ø I went on a Church camp – a completely unexpected thing.
Ø We had a party to celebrate my parents’ Golden Wedding.
Now for a short while, I can sit down and write another blog, and it is my intention to write about Samson again.
First, let me summarise what I have said so far.
In the first blog, I wrote how I was surprised that Samson could have got himself into the predicament that he was in. It wasn’t like the signs weren’t there. He couldn’t exactly claim that he was drunk. It makes me think of the movie “Eyes wide shut.” – only because the name suggests what was happening with Samson. Samson was so smitten with Delilah, that he lost perspective on his life’s calling.
What was Samson’s calling? Well that was the topic of my second blog – The story of Samson’s mother’s pregnancy and God’s calling on his life, from the very get-go. An angel appeared to Samson’s mother – she was a barren woman at that time and promised that she would indeed conceive and give birth to a boy. The angel told her that he was not to have any alcoholic drink, and not to have contact with any unclean thing (like, for example corpses) and not to cut his hair, and that he was to be a Nazirite from birth, which means he was to be set apart to God, and that he would begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.
What a wonderful start. I can only imagine that as little Samson grew, his mother would tell him that he had a very special work that God wanted him to do. Being their only son, (At least for a while, as Judges 16:31 says: “Then his (Samson’s) brothers and his father’s whole family went own to get him) he would have been their “pride and joy.” Maybe when he had his Bar mitzvah, they would have told him what the angel had said to them about bringing deliverance to Israel. No doubt, he would have become aware as he grew, that he was not like the other children. For one thing, he was a lot stronger than they were. Clearly by the time he was an adult, he knew full well what his calling was. But a lesson we get from Samson, is, I think, just because a person knows what he or she is called to does not necessarily mean that they will do it. In Samson’s case, he did end up doing what he was called to do, but in the process he brought destruction on his own head too. How might it have been different if Samson had not consorted with the enemy?
Another lesson is that the enemy is not necessarily horrible to look at. Being a teacher, I occasionally set tests. I also have to write tests. One way that we are tested is by the multiple choice type questions, where you have to select the correct answer from a set of “possible answers.” When doing such a test you always have to be careful of the “distracter” – that is the answer that looks like it could be right, but isn’t. Samson, I’m afraid selected the wrong answer when he selected Delilah. It didn’t seem to matter to him at all that she was a Philistine.
I say that, but reading Judges 14 about Samson’s marriage to the Philistine woman (not Delilah) and the whole story about the riddle, it says in verse 4, that “this was from the Lord” referring to his marriage to the Philistine woman. His parents were very unhappy about their son’s choice of a bride (vs. 3), and especially that he was marrying a woman from the very tribe that was dominating and persecuting the Israelites. This was worse than merely marrying a non-Israelite, but actually to marry a Philistine was would have been regarded as treason. I have had this discussion with many a brother and sister in the Lord, about marrying a person of a different ethnicity, and whether the Old Testament injunctions against it should mean that Christians, at least, should not do so. My feeling is that the only injunction in this regard that applies to Christians is the one given in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that says: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” This applies to marriage, but I think it also has a wider application, in that I think that Christians should avoid becoming overly involved with non believers, whether in the social context, or in the business context. Also my pastor was preaching on Sunday about the concept of yoking in the context of Matthew 11:29, where Jesus said “take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” In those days, a Rabbi would call certain young men to be their “disciples” – in essence, their apprentices – and they would stay with the rabbi, as Jesus disciples stayed with Him, and it was said that the young men were yoked to the rabbi. This came from the practice of yoking experienced oxen with less experienced oxen in order for the experienced ox to teach the inexperienced one. Perhaps the verse in 2 Corinthians refers to becoming yoked to a non-believing teacher (in addition to the marriage thing.) In other words, we need to be careful who we learn from, and we ought not to accept just any counsel from anyone, but we need to be aware of their fundamental beliefs, realising that by “becoming yoked to them” we are subject to their influence and that might be to our own detriment. In today’s context, we should be careful about the psychologist/psychiatrist that we or our children consult. However I digress. As far as marriage is concerned – I do not believe that God forbids inter-racial marriage, provided the couple have a common outlook in matters regarding faith.
All marriages have stresses and strains, but inter-cultural marriages have the added stress of divergent backgrounds, and sometimes disapproving families. However I know of a number of culturally-mixed (and inter-racial) couples, who are very happily married and have risen above these things to have exemplary relationships. The important thing is that couples are united in terms of their love for one another and their outlook on matters of faith. Although quite often people of differing religious perspectives do get married, more often than not this difference puts a major strain on the relationship.
Let me know what you think.