The 2 Faces of Samson That Reveal Your Heart

In a previous post, the oft criticized Samson was defended as a better judge than his reputation usually suggests.  Samson's life is full of contradictions--much like ours.  On we hand we aspire to unite to God but so often we push against God's hand to follow our own path.  Samson speaks to this.

1.  Samson -- the possibility of purpose

Samson personifies God's plan for His people Israel.  At the blessing of Abraham, God gives a vision of His people blessing the earth and all nations, but within a handful of generations this promise looks shattered as His people become enslaved and will stay so for 400 years.  Moses then arrives as a vessel to rescue the people from slavery, consolidating them into one nation, establishing clarity of purpose and vision through the law he receives on Sinai.  Israel was to be a light to the nations.

One purpose of the law separates Israel from the rest of mankind, so that they might display the greatness and lovingkindness of their God.  This display would magnetize the world drawing all men into the commonwealth of Israel, uniting with the One True God.

Samson, like Israel, was made separate from conception.  His appearance and behavior were designed to proclaim consecration to the God of Abraham, and the possibility of union with the God above all gods.  His  early pursuit of a Philistine woman and her test of loyalty typifies God's pursuit of the nations through Israel.

Like this image of Samson, we have been created to unite with God among His people, living St. Seraphim's maxim: Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved.

2.  Samson -- the descent into sin 

Samson flirts with sin time and time again, once again going to Philistia, not with the intention of bringing Israel to Philistia, but conceding Israel to the seduction of Philistine life.  His final break with the life of Israel is the removal of the physical sign of His mission and consecration--his hair.

Samson's life typifies the pattern of Israel laid down in Judges: sin, slavery, supplication and salvation.  In the midst of his slavery and humiliation, he does finally cry out to God, and saves His people through death.

Sadly this descent of Samson, is more typical of Israel, but to berate Israel for this failure is to point out the speck in her eye, while living with a plank in our own.

This is our pattern, but God does not forsake, holding out salvation, so that we might unite with Him becoming once again the crown of His creation.

Samson's life presents two paths, one toward life, the narrow less chosen one, and the other toward death, the broad path of the masses.  We face this choice each day as we struggle with our own Philistia, and this fight will lead to life, but cost us our lives.  

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