Samson vis a vis Christ
Today we learn a new expression. Today's phrase is "vis a vis." It is a word that originates from the French language. It means face to face. But other uses include: as opposed to, compared with or concerning. Let us apply it to this week's lesson. Let us put Samson face to face with Christ, to see how they compare and how they contrast or oppose each other.
Let us look first at the similarities, or how they compare.
1. In both cases, the parents were visited by angels before the baby's birth to prepare them for the parenting of their respective children. Also, in both cases, the angel spoke first to the mother and afterward to the father. And, in both cases, the angel gave information as to what the babies' mission would be. (Judges 13: 3-14; Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18 – 25).
2. Both Samson and Christ performed supernatural things because they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Judges 14:6, 19; Luke 4:1, 14).
3. Both were persecuted by their enemies (Judges 16:2; Matthew 26:4; John 7:1).
4. Both were betrayed for money (Judges 16:5; Matthew 26:15).
5. Both were asked to perform for mockery (Judges 26:15; Luke 23:8).
6. Both died for the sake of others (Judges 13:5, 16: 28 -31; Romans 5:6, 8; 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3).
Now let us look at the contrasts or how they oppose each other.
1. Where Samson was indulgent, Christ was the epitome of temperance. Not that Christ was as strict as John the Baptist was in eating. However, Christ knew no woman. Samson fornicated or slept around.
2. Samson was presumptuous; Christ never dared to presume (Judges 16:20; Mat 4: 6, 7).
3. Samson gave himself the glory for his strength; Christ always gave the glory to the Father (Judges 16:16, 17; John 8: 28, 10: 25).
4. Samson's good deeds including his death could not save humanity from Sin; Christ's death did save humanity, including Samson.
Yes, Samson left a lot to be desired. He was indulgent, presumptuous, and a seeker of pleasure. However, God never gave up on him. And, neither does God give up on us. After all, we are no better than Samson. It would be easy for us to look back at Samson and say "Samson should have known better." Samson knew, and it was not enough. We, too, can know also and it will be not enough. I remember the old expression, "There go I, but for the grace of God." And, yes maybe you will not sleep around, but the Devil has plenty of other temptations in his arsenal for us. The bottom line is that only Christ can deliver us. We have this promise "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). And another one, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
God answered Samson's prayer to destroy the temple and kill everyone in it. Not once is God heard saying, "Why do you come to me now? Did I not warn you enough? You are on your own, buddy." No. God stayed true to His love for Samson. And, so He does with us, as Paul says in Hebrews 7: 25,
Hebrews 7: 25 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Samson repented and turned to God, and God was waiting. Will we repent and turn to Him? He is also waiting for us.