antiheroic ../ part two point o/ ass u me ::.
we assume too much. reading the bible is difficult for many because often we approach the text assuming we know the stories already.
this week i agonized over some rather distressing faults in my life, my husbandry, my leadership…the list can go on. i wondered how, why God would ever use someone like me. i want to stop my fruitless neurotic praying, “oh God, here i am again…forgive me” and pray for more important things.
i was reminded of samson, israel’s ancient judge. almost instantly we remember his great strength and even greater faults. but we find him at the honor roll recorded in hebrews 11 where he is commended…for his faith. we need to think deeper about the significance of that. the truth is, yeah he did do some rather stupid things but there’s something about the man’s faith. his finest moments attest to the glory of God. if we are not so quick to assume easy categorizations of the more ‘frowned down upon’ characters in the bible, we may find that we have much more in common with them than we would like to think.
the story of samson is really the story of israel recapitulated and focused through the life of one man. he was a holy man, a nazirite, set apart at birth, but he wanted to be like other men, just as israel wanted to be like the other nations. we must see in samson not just israel’s story but our own. 1 peter 2:9 beckons us, “but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” i continue to remain in tearful awe at the grace of God. in hebrews 11:32, gideon, barak, samson, jephtha are named out of the judges. how much of an example of God’s grace that despite obvious failures they were instruments in delivering God’s people. God dealt graciously with people who fell far short of his ideals. in spite of personal failure, they stepped out in faith to do something against those who oppressed God’s people. God chooses to use failed and flawed people to accomplish his purposes. for his glory. there is still hope even after our eyes are gouged out but let us be a people set apart. assume nothing. live the life.