You have interrupted my very ambitious Bible reading (10 chapters a day!) because I'm reading your story and I have to stop and ponder... Why does God take so many chapters to tell your story?And why have sunday school teachers all over the world made you a popular story for the children??? I just can't believe that you deserve the space you were given in the Bible! Arrogant, bossy, disobedient, self-centered... usually in famous Bible stories, there is at least one redeeming quality of the hero in the story...
Let's see if we can find one for you.
I'm sure you had lovely hair... but physical beauty only goes so far.
You were actually a very bad riddle maker... Your riddle makes me think of the mad hatter's riddle: How is a raven like a writing desk? (My son found out that there really IS an answer to that riddle- "They both produce a few notes.")
But seriously, Samson,
"Out of the eater, something to eat,
Out of the strong something sweet."?
No one is ever going to guess the answer to that one unless they do "plow with your heifer". (And by the way, Samson, calling your wife a heifer doesn't give you too many points either.)
But that was the point right? You didn't want them to guess. You wanted 30 pairs of new clothes. And when you lost the bet, you weren't even man enough to pay it honorably. You go kill 30 philistines, steal their clothes, and pay off your debt.
And that is just the beginning of your story.
You burn up a bunch of wheat by tying a torch to 150 pair of foxes tails. The people get mad. they kill your wife and father in law.
You kill 1000 of them with a donkey jawbone.
You complain to God about being thirsty. He gives you water.
And then there was Delilah. (You don't pick your women too well, do you?)
We all know that story.
You finally tell her the secret of your strength. the philistines capture you, poke out your eyes, and send you to jail.
This is where I used to think you redeemed yourself. I thought that you repented of your attitude in jail, and you wanted to have a last chance to kill God's enemies, and make up for all of the stuff you did in your life.
But no, I read today that you just wanted to get revenge for your eyes.
Now that I'm old, Samson, and no longer in love with your muscles or your incredible strength (or your gorgeous hair), I can think of only one reason that your story is so prominent in the Bible.
God wants me to know that no matter how messed up people are, He can use anybody.
And I for one, am grateful for that lesson.