The confinement in our homes is forcing millions to stop abruptly, cancel all our plans, and take time to look in the mirror.
Was Samson as really as well-built as we have been led to believe?
What comes to your mind when I say the name ‘Samson’? Do you think about the lion he ripped to shreds? Or about the thousands of Philistines he single-handedly slew? Or maybe your mind conjures up an image of the sleeked queen of slime who so ably seduced him, little miss Delilah?
No matter what it is that you hone in upon once you hear mention of old Brother Samson, I’m pretty sure that sooner or later the word ‘strength’ will also come to mind. Samson is synonymous with big biceps and healthy muscles. He’s almost like the Jewish version of Incredible Hulk, isn’t he? Maybe he didn’t turn green when he got mad, but there’s no doubting he certainly had a short fuse.
The interesting thing, however, is that the Bible nowhere comments anything at all about Samson’s stunning physique. As I re-read the four chapters of Scripture that recount Samson’s story (Judges 13-16) this afternoon, there is nothing at all to lead us to believe that Samson had extra-large bulging arms. In fact, the contrary seems to be true. Maybe Samson had muscles like mine!
The Philistines were baffled regarding the secret of Samson’s strength. That’s why they contracted Delilah to find out. “How is this devil so strong?” they inquired (Judges 16:5). It would seem a fairly stupid question to ask if the guy had arms the size of tree trunks or elephant legs. I suspect he must have looked like a normal, run of the mill kind of dude.
Since the Bible is silent on this issue, I don’t wish to venture where Scripture doesn’t lead us; but if Samson really was just an ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry, then that really gives a great dose of hope to the rest of us. It teaches us to learn the most important lesson of all from Samson’s short biography, namely, that the strength of the believer depends wholly upon the power of the Spirit of God.
Everything foolish Samson did in his life can be attributed wholly to himself. Whereas everything mighty and magnificent he wrought can be ascribed to the working of God Almighty in and through him. This is great news because it means that you don’t have to look like Hercules to be used by the Lord.
So, did Samson have muscles? I’m not one hundred per cent sure; I’d almost dare to say no. But even he did, let’s remember that those impressive biceps only would have been effective if the Spirit of God decided to step down and use them for His glory.
By all means, then, go to the gym, keep fit and keep your body in good health because you’re a precious temple of the Spirit. But more importantly than all that, don’t forget to cry out to the Lord: “May your Spirit come upon me powerfully, oh Lord! The Spirit that destroys the Philistines and tears the devil’s lions in pieces! Replace my human strength with your divine muscle, oh Lord!”