Monday, September 17, 2007

I Don't Get God

Judges 13:24-25 (New International Version)
24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him, 25 and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him...

Sometimes I just don't get God.

I'm reading my way through the book of Judges right now and this morning was reading about a guy named Samson.

Reading the Bible, historical accounts of real people's lives, is sometimes like watching one of those movies where you want to yell out, "No! Don't do it! Are you crazy?"

It makes Paul crazy because I actually do yell things out when I watch movies. I've never been able to watch quietly or with detachment!

Samson's conception was announced by an angel, which seems to have thrown his parents-to-be into a bit of a flap, as no doubt it would.

He was by all accounts destined for something pretty special, "set apart for God," "for the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines," is what the angel said.

Something must have got lost in the translation for Samson though, because being "set apart for God," got forgotten along the way and his physical appetites outstripped his spiritual appetite and got him into a LOT of trouble. This is where I wanted to yell, "Are you crazy?" But of course I was a few thousand years too late.

Funny thing though. God didn't seem to give up on Samson as quickly as I did, which is when thought, "I don't get God."

I don't get God, but I love him and I love his ways. I look at Samson and see a life gone sadly wrong, and it surely was, but I see something about God in the account of his life. Just because Samson misused what God gave him, God did not take it back. What he gives, he gives.

I need to be careful of that ever present tendency towards judging others because there's a lot more of Samson in me than I'd like to admit. Maybe I should be yelling at myself, "Are you crazy?" but then they really might come and take me away. Instead I think I'll pray:

Dear Lord, in this day, what is your calling for me? What will I do with it--with all that you have built into me? How will I steward the gifts which you have entrusted to me? Keep me true to your calling and true to you.

Judges 15:18-19 (New International Version)
18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the LORD, "You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi.

Romans 11:29 (New International Version)
29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.

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