Samson – 007

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Posted by w0ep on May 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

[Today’s run: rest day]

An interesting juxtaposition of ideas this weekend.

Last night we watched the DVD Quantum of Solace, a James Bond (007) picture.  As usual, Bond kills lots of bad guys, sometimes with guns, but sometimes with other things.  And sometimes with his bare hands.  He is a one man army.

This morning in church we were in Judges chapter 14.  It is part of the story of Samson.  The chapter was very well exposited, as usual.   The preacher pointed out how Samson is introduced to his gift of strength through the attack of the lion.  And the preacher also turned us over to Hebrews 11 to show us that Samson appears in the role of the faithful, even though it looks to us like he wasn’t doing so well.

Another thing was in my mind.  This morning’s newspaper had an article by two pilots who gave a presentation about a flight training accident that happened to them some time ago.  They were explaining how they reacted on instinct, as a result of rigorous training, to avoid being killed in the accident.  One  didn’t even remember later exactly how he escaped, but he credited his training.

So I had this picture in my mind of Samson and of James Bond  (Daniel Craig) and these pilots who somehow found the “eject” button but don’t remember how.

Samson was attacked by a lion and he was overcome by the Spirit  (his “spiritual gift”?) and killed the lion with no weapon.    007 maybe could have done it with a nail file, but Samson didn’t have a nail file.  And Samson had no training.  Later he killed 30 men, then 1000 men with no training and with either primitive weapons or nothing at all.  The guy was a Holy Spirit Ninja, Israel’s better-than-007. Somehow when the time arrived, when superior strength, speed, skill were necessary they appeared.

It’s kind of hard to imagine a super-soldier being a gift from God.   That had me wondering about other gifts.  It is so easy to imagine them being “spiritual”, not in the sense of coming from the Spirit but of being ethereal, cerebral, or mental.  (But aren’t cerebral and mental also in the physical world?  If a man is a savant and can multiply large numbers in his head, don’t we count that as somehow being a real process  inside the man’s head?)

Our preacher pointed out that Samson’s position was one of being set-apart due to his vow.  He was not to touch dead bodies, not  to drink, and not get his hair cut.  It was not too far into the story when Samson has already touched a dead body and already been drinking.  So he leaned on God’s grace quite a bit.  But he knew that if he did that one last thing he would no longer be set-apart, no longer be special.

Back to faith.  So Samson’s faith was that he could put himself in the way of 1000 angry Philistine men, without fear or trepidation, without training, without superior firepower.  He had complete confidence that the sudden inrush of physical ability would come and he would prevail.

No matter what you say about Samson, the guy had a lot of faith.


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  • On May 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm thronedoggie said

    Our disciplines teach us that there is no “material”, really, in terms of causation; that all causes are spiritual, and that all effects follow from one’s spiritual fitness.

    Things in this world – health, intelligence, wealth, talents – are DOWNSTREAM; the spiritual is UPSTREAM. We don’t see the causes – we just see the effects.

  • On May 8, 2012 at 8:36 am w0ep said

    I’ll have to contemplate that some.

    Samson doesn’t strike me as “spritual” at all, in the sense of philosophical or emotional or “in tune” or “karma” or any of that.

    But maybe your point is that my definition of spiritual has been too tainted with mysticism. That could well be the case.

    Samson is almost like a superhero comic-book figure. The Holy Spirit comes over him and he doesn’t become mystical or miraculous, he turns into the the Hulk and mows ’em down.

    • On May 10, 2012 at 11:16 am thronedoggie said

      You might want to look up the definition of “mystic” : )

      Samson has to be a spiritual being because he’s a BEING.

      I went through all of the definitions of “spiritual” some time back, and collapsed them into this: “a system of belief in which the unseen has jurisdiction over the seen”.

      That seemed to cover it, from Ouiji boards to St. Peter’s square : )

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