Before I commence much, I should preface with a bit of perspective about Samson; I think its a fair place to do it because the whole story of Samson is very much about perspective.
Side story to reveal a point about perspective: I recall after the movie Dracula came out in the 90s (the version with Gary Oldman), an acquaintance of mine said that if you watch the movie on acid, you see the same story through the vampire’s perspective. Expressly, that is sorcery – and demonic – but I tell that story to make a point; our perspective, and state of mind determine how we interpret, and understand anything we are exposed to.
So it is with scripture; we have a standard way of looking at things, generally from the level of our temporal understanding. However, the author of the bible is the anointing. That is, we believe that ‘…holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ (2 Peter 1:21); it was the Holy Ghost, or the anointing on the writers of scripture who put the Word of God down on paper in the form of writing.
Often, I find that when Christians – even ministers – discuss characters in the bible, they heavily emphasize the shortcomings of the men they are speaking of. Noah is pinned as a drunkard, for example, and we emphasize David’s adultery with Bathsheba. Generally the reason for this is that we want the characters to be ‘relatable.’ In fact, that is generally the sole reason I am given when I ask people why they emphasize the shortcomings of the anointed men and women of God in the bible: “Well, we have to be able to relate to them.” I frankly find this unfortunate for one express reason:
It means that we relate to the carnal more than we relate to the spiritual. It is a sign of spiritual immaturity. Why can’t we relate to the anointing? Why can’t we relate to God in the story more than we relate to drunkenness, or adultery? Because we relate more closely with the carnal than the spiritual.
Just like the druggie wanted to relate to the vampire through sorcery (demonic: anti-type); there is another side to the biblical stories if we can see them through the perspective of the anointing, rather than the perspective of the flesh.
Let me give you one quick example before we jump into Samson. The story of Joseph in Genesis – why is it that in most retellings of this biblical story, we relate more closely with the brothers than with Joseph? Most contemporary retellings that I hear (from the pulpit, and otherwise) make Joseph a spoiled, arrogant, boaster, and his brothers rightly defensive over his ‘tattle-tailing’ to dad. The fact of the matter is, however, that entire perspective is read into the text. Nowhere does the bible accuse Joseph of wrongdoing, or arrogance. Yet nothing Joseph did outwardly was wrong. To assume he was arrogant is to assume on the condition of his heart (remember ‘judge not lest ye be judged’? Applying biblical principals of judgment, we shouldn’t assume evil of God’s prophets or entertain accusation but by the mouth of two or three witnesses, and no scripture condemns Joseph).
Do you know who would see Joseph from that perspective? Who is likely to assume he is boastful and arrogant, rather than humbly executing his role as a prophet? His unrighteous brothers would surely see him that way – as their lives were in contrast to his – whether or not it were true of him. So why do we tend to side with the carnal brothers, rather than the anointed righteous?
We also like to accuse Jacob of carnally playing favorites with Joseph (heard that from the pulpit, too). But consider Jacob’s relationship with his sons from the perspective of Righteousness: if you read the whole story of the family it is clear that Joseph was Jacob’s ONLY righteous son! Two of his sons had recently murdered all the men of an entire city for vengeance (Gen 34); the oldest had committed incest with one of his father’s wives (Gen 35:22); and all of the rest of the sons proved their wickedness when they conspired to murder their brother!
Joseph, alone was righteous, and began to have prophetic dreams. Contemporary commentators tell me he was arrogant for declaring the dreams… but declaring the Word of God is what prophets do! How dare US declare that he was unrighteous for acting in the office of prophet! Do you see that taking such a perspective aligns us not with the anointing [Christ], but with the anti-anointing [Joseph’s unrighteous brothers]?
If we see the story of Joseph from the perspective of the anointing, we can fully see the Gospel in it. Just as Joseph came and was perfectly righteous, and operating in the office he was ordained in, and his brothers cast him into a pit (murder was in their heart – which according to Jesus means they were guilty of it), so also Jesus came perfectly righteous as the Messiah (anointed one) and was murdered by His brothers (the twelve tribes of Israel) and laid in a tomb.
If we see the life of Joseph from the perspective of the flesh we sympathize with the antichrist (those who sought to murder the anointed) and the Gospel is obscured. If we see the story from the perspective of the anointing that was on Joseph, we can fully see Christ revealed in Joseph’s life.
So with Samson — according to the bible, Samson was called, and anointed of God for a purpose, and I believe that our entire perspective of his life has generally come from our flesh, rather than seeing the story of Samson from the perspective of the anointing.
If we can look past the carnally prevalent, and see Samson as the one man willing to fight God’s enemies (whom the Lord had commanded Israel to utterly destroy) in a season when the whole of Israel was so backslidden that they were willing to be sub-servient to the antichrist nation, rather than to stand and fight for the anointing of God, we may see the story of Samson through a new lens. Shall we blame him for falling into depression and fornicating with a Philistine whore (Delilah) after twenty years of fighting single-handedly, and being rejected by his own people though he was their God-ordained judge? Not to excuse it, I’d say it was at least an understandable rut for him to fall into considering his treatment at the hands of his own people who had rather hand him over to his enemies than fight on his side!
And now, as my preliminaries are running a bit long, I suppose I will end here, and break this into two posts; though and adjustment of our perspective will be essential in looking at the deeper prophetic meaning behind Samson’s riddle…