For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.( Judges 13:5)
We are told that Samson would begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines. By the end of the story, Samson lay dead in a heap of rubble, crushed, along with the five Lords of the Philistines, and three thousand worshippers at the feast of Dagon.
The fivefold head of the Serpent was seemingly crushed, as the Primal prophecy of Genesis predicted,
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.( Genesis 3:15)
But the Philistines would remain in charge of Israel and even extract more death ,humiliation and even terror from them for years to come. What Samson did was only the beginning of the deliverance. Philistines would defeat Israel in battle, they would present Giants to taunt and profane Israel’s worship, and they would raid and plunder for years to come.
But God in His mighty and merciful providence, had already prepared for the complete deliverance of Israel.
It turns out that Samson was a contemporary of the High Priest Eli, (Which shows you the state of the ministry in Samson’s day). Eli, through a set of miraculous circumstances would be presented with a small child to serve in the Sanctuary with Him, at Shiloh, named Samuel. When Samuel was just eight, the Most High woke Him up and had a conversation with Him about the house of Eli, and the spiritual state of the nation.
(Imagine that the only one whom God would talk on that level with, was an eight year old boy)!
Samuel would commence the deliverance from the Philistines, but in a different manner than Samson. He would become a factor in the spiritual revival of the nation, through his faithful preaching, prayer and ministry.
In his tumultuous times, he would witness the turning over, of the Ark of the Covenant of God to the Philistines, and a political movement which would reject Him and his Priest Sons as leaders, in favor of a King. But He prayed for the people and preached the Truth to them, faithfully eventuating in something like a revival of True faith in God in Israel.
Overlapping the ministry of Samuel, is the story of a wealthy farmer named Boaz, who allowed two poverty stricken widow gleaners, to work in his fields at harvest. He fell in love with the younger, Ruth, a foreigner,(Moabitess), who had converted to God. They married and bore a Son named Obed, who had a Son named Jesse and He had a Son named David who became King.
Who knew that something good could come out of the corrupted Priesthood of Eli and his sons?
Who would have guessed that when the Philistines actually captured the Ark of God( the earthly throne of God) in battle, that it would not lead to their triumph, but to the utter destruction of Dagon and his civilizational stranglehold over Israel?
When all looked to be lost, and the Holy enterprise which was the theocracy of Israel seemed to have failed, God tirelessly worked, laying the foundation of the complete destruction of Philistia and the deliverance of His people. Evil doesn’t absolutely triumph, it only appears to.
Who would have guessed that out of the tragedy and hardship of Naomi, (Who actually changed her name to “Bitterness”) something beautiful would come out of it, King David, and eventually, the Messiah. David and Solomon would wipe out the Philistine menace, and eradicate their stranglehold over Israel completely, by the grace and power of God.
Samson only began to deliver Israel. God knew all along his own plan and who he would use to carry it out, and the ups and downs of those chosen, but Oh so human vessels.
God works, often in secret , to accomplish his purposes. We worship the same God today, in these trying times. His power is not limited, and his mercy endures forever. Let us take heart in these dark times, and regain our faith, hope and love as the church has oft done in olden times, by the Spirit. Jesus is LORD! Shalom…