The Bible’s Blundering Oaf

The Bible’s blundering oaf
What sort of people do you find in the Bible? Monastic types with haloes and sore knees? Actually there are very few of these. However, there are plenty of stories of blundering human beings.
Samson is a good example. He is most famous for two things: his girlfriend Delilah (a poor choice of partner, as she betrayed him); and the spectacular (if unsophisticated) way he died, pushing apart some supporting columns and bringing down the roof on both himself and his enemies. Look further into Samson’s life as recorded in the book of Judges, and you discover a catalogue of brutality, lust, compulsive decision-making, and unabashed disobedience. How did someone like this ever come to be regarded as an Old Testament hero?
The answer is that there is a thread of faithfulness that runs through Samson’s unruly behaviour. Samson is a powerhouse, and while some of that power is misdirected, his loyalty is exemplary. He uses his strength to help his people, and this even extends to dying for them. He turns out to be the sort of person who would surrender his own life to deliver others from their oppressors. The Bible has a lot of time for people like this.
If there is hope for an oaf like Samson, then there is hope for lustful, compulsive people like us. Perhaps, with God’s help, we too can maintain some loyalty in the middle of all our blundering.

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