Today’s reading begins with Samson’s destruction of the wheat fields of the Philistines and concludes with the man Micah welcoming a Levite man into his home.
The story of Samson which began in the previous day’s reading is likely one of the more well known in the Bible. People are familiar with Samson’s deeds and the tales of his great power. Throughout his life Samson committed acts of great strength against a hated enemy of Israel but he lived his life oftentimes contrary to God’s statutes.
In keeping with the requirements of the Nazirite vow, Samson never cut his hair, but from eating honey out of the carcass of a dead animal, to marrying a Philistine woman, and ultimately revealing the secret of his strength, Samson lived a rebellious and often disobedient life. Although rightly regarded as a hero of Israel, there are many reasons to consider Samson as less than a role model or worth of admiration. In fact, even in his last great act of judgment against the Philistines, Samson asked for strength from God one final time for a selfish reason. His request for a final burst of strength wasn’t because of the prevalent wickedness of the entire population of the Philistines, but rather he was so greatly angered by the fact that the Philistines had gouged out his eyes in the process of capturing him.
The story of Samson again follows in the vein of confusing stories of God’s judging in a great number of instances through the acts of weak, impulsive, and disobedient men.