13.1 Samson. Few Characters in or out of the Holy Scriptures are as polarizing as Samson. From the amazing events surrounding his birth, to his Nazarite vow, to his ill fated marriage, to his incredible superhuman feats, and finally to his death, he captures our imagination. We are as fascinated with him as the Philistines were. His deeds of incredible strength and his bouts of weakness mesmerize us. There is no one like him anywhere in the Bible. The secular world has heard of him and is one of the very few universal known personalities outside the Bible. His larger than life persona also carries those associated with him along with him. Who would have ever heard of Delilah? She would be just another unknown loose floosie except she met Samson. At the end Samson does not die quietly in old age as many famous people of the Bible. His death is like his life, explosive to the very last moment. Yet, he is enshrined in the hall of faith of Hebrews chapter 11. Samson is a quirk of great spiritual moments and the lowest lows a man can go. No life in the Bible better portrays the nation of Israel more aptly. Samson reflects his times. Incredible victories then paralyzing failures. He is the last judge presented. Possibly this is because he is the summation of this era more than any other individual. He was a product of this time when every man did that which was right in his own eyes. His life is laid bare for us to see the result of this 450 year period where God showed man that man cannot rule himself. The greatest revelation of life is we all have a little of Samson in us.

13.2- (the western region). This section deals with the last region mentioned. The north, central, and east areas have all been documented and now we learn of the western region. The judge raised up for this is Samson. As with the other regions, the judge himself is detailed in their life qualities. This information is about the region as well as the person. The gentle faith and overall spiritual tone of the north is embodied in Deborah. The timid, fearful faith of the central is reflected in Gideon. The reckless brash faith of the east is seen clearly in Jephthah and his vow. And now the insipid faith of the west will be made clear by this unique judge.

13.3-5 the parents of Samson. This woman is barren. Just like the western region is barren. She needs a divine miracle as does this region. A special vow is needed to jump start this area of banal faith. So God provides. Samson is an announced son. The answer to her barrenness is to live a dedicated separated life and to guide her child in the same direction. This is also what this region needed. This region had succumbed to the deities of the Philistines. This region needed inner consecration and it needed to pass that on to the next generation.

13.6-11 Manoah. This is an example that there were people all around that had held on to their faith. Another example was Boaz. Manoah seems to be a Godly man who is ready to follow a spiritual leader, even his own son. These two people present the value of godly parents and how their children can affect nations for God.

13.12-20 the angel. This sequence of events is captivating. Manoah having conversation with an angel, and not knowing it was an angel. The angel patiently waiting for them. The refused food, then the ascension in the flame. This would nail down any future doubts about Samson when his life became erratic. God was giving this couple the absolute assurance Samson was a called deliverer for all the coming moments when his actions might cause them to wonder.

13.21-25 Samson grows. The economy of words in the Bible frustrates us at times. We would love to be privy to some of the things Samson was doing in those early years when the spirit of the Lord moved upon him. We are left to wonder at the marvel of the moment when his parents first saw this phenomenon. The exchanged glances between them, the arched eyebrows. They at times must have stood slack jawed at what they saw. It is very possible this is why they did not object more strenuously when he asked for a Philistine bride. We are reminded, the angel of the Lord did no more appear to them. Every life reaction on their part had to be based on that initial angelic visit. We are left to wonder how many times did they wish for one more visit. 

Thanks for reading today…