Friday, November 17, 2017

Power of One

A funeral is one of those times when you think about life and legacy. Today as Christ Church celebrates the life of one of its own, we take time to personally reflect: What story is my life telling? What story will my death tell? In seeking answers to these questions, my thoughts turn to Samson, a man whose death told the story of his life.

We meet young Samson in a variety of compromising positions. He is a man who follows his lusts. Like the Philippians his God is his belly (Phil 3:19), his appetites lead him. (cf. Jdgs 13-15 ) These appetites ultimately lead him to deny his Nazarite vow (Jdg. 16). Granted, he has played fast and loose with this vow over the course of his life, dead bodies, alcohol … but in the cutting of his hair, he completely turns his back on his identity and the Spirit of God leaves him for a time. He is captured, blinded and bound. Truly Samson is a picture of Israel, blinded to grace and bound to sin. Truly Samson is a warning tale for each of us.

But one thing about Samson, he is a fighter! And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. Judges 16:30

Throughout the story of the judges God has been working with less and less people. Finally the nation is down to one man who will fight even to the point of his death. While much of the story of Samson tells the story of Israel, here, in Samson’s death, the story is told of one true Israelite. Jesus Christ, is the one true Israelite, and like Samson, would not stop fighting even to his death. And like Samson, Jesus killed more in his death than by his life, and as the second Adam, accomplished the redemption of the human race.

I have been thinking about Samson because it illustrates the truth that our comfort is ultimately not in our own obedience, but rather the perseverance of God to hang on to us until the bitter end. Because of Christ’s victory, God will even use our weakness and lives filled with bad choices to bring glory to him. In the end Samson was left with these truths and it was enough; enough for him and enough to strike a blow for the Kingdom. My prayer is that these “reflecting moments” in life help us to see clearly the great hope of our salvation!

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