Monday, March 23, 2009

Samson: Then and Now

I encountered a portion of the story of Samson in The Book of Judges this morning. The circumstances of his life were most peculiar; his epic encounters read much more like myth and fantasy than reality. You may recall how he killed a lion with his bare hands and, months later, came upon the carcass of that lion in which bees had built a hive. Samson, fearless and undeterred, reached into the carcass, pulled out the honey and made a meal of it. He also ensured that his foes would go hungry by tying torches to the tails of foxes and setting them loose in their fields of corn and wheat. And of course, the legend of Samson’s strength – mysteriously related to the length of his hair - is the part of this story that seems to have found its way permanently into our culture; again, an odd twist in a most bizarre story. However, there is one aspect of Samson’s biography that I find to be most relatable. It is told that he killed 1,000 enemies with the jawbone of an ass. That may seem a very rudimentary form of weaponry and warfare but I beg to differ. There are 535 such weapons in daily combat with our freedom and liberty: Congress.


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