Monday, January 17, 2011

reward of relationship

And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Judges 13:24-25

Samson's story is one of great promise. When we read of his birth, there are only two biblical narratives that are similar. And they are stories of high spiritual achievement. Samson's story reads a lot like the one to come with Samuel. It also reads a lot like the nativity narrative of Jesus Himself. Samson's parents were promised a son. They were asked to treat him as a Nazirite from the womb. They were told he would be a deliverer of Israel. This was a rare child. He is the only one of the judges announced by God before he is even born.

And there is such promise at the beginning of his story. His parents are obedient to God and worshipful. They follow the Lord's instructions completely. They are in awe that God came to visit them. God accepts their sacrifice to Him. And the young man Samson is blessed by God. The Spirit of the Lord works and begins to stir in him. This all looks good.

Samson's is a biography focused on the need for obedience to God. And it starts with a clear reward for that obedience. The Spirit of God is working in the young man who will be a deliverer for Israel. God is blessing him. Respect for God's call and command are clearly there for his parents, and at least as a young man, for him as well.

It is worth noting that God blesses obedience to Him. That principle still holds for us today. It is not so much physical blessing as it is the blessing of relationship and the presence of His Holy Spirit. With that great truth, what more could we really want?

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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