Highlight of Career

Judges 16:22-31

22But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

23Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.” 24When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”

25While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, 26Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.

28Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

31Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.

Introduction

If you were to evaluate your life, what could be the highlight of your career? The highlight of your career is the most prominent or most important part of your career that may have placed you into spotlight or prominence.

Normally, people would talk about you because of that episode of your life. People would like to remember what you have done for them.

And for Samson, although he is more popular to children as a strong man who killed a lion with his bare hand, being a Nazirite dedicated to God to save Israel from the Philistines and as leader of Israel, his death was the highlight of his career. The Scripture narrated that he was leader of Israel for 20 years but he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

In those 20 years of leadership in Israel, Samson may have been an awesome leader to the Israelites and fearsome person to the Philistines. The Philistine rulers may have been busy planning how they may defeat Samson until they have subdued him with the help of Delilah.

It was not mentioned how long Samson was imprisoned but his hair grew again after his enemies shaved his head. And when proper time came, the Lord may have determined that it for Samson to take revenge against the Philistines. The Philistines were having celebration and revelry at that time. 

1. Revelry

25While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, 26Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about 3,000 men and women watching Samson perform. 

The time after Samson was thrown into prison until the time when the Philistine rulers assembled a celebration, how long was that? They celebrated their victory against Samson. How long would it take to prepare for grand celebration? Well, they may have waited for a festival for their god Dagon. They may have planned, prepared and coordinated a very grand revelry.

The revelry before Samson died may not have occurred few days after Samson was put in prison. The Philistine rulers may have made it sure that no Israelite will attack or take avenge of Samson’s defeat. They may have even attacked Israel. Those events were not included because the narrative was more focused on the highlight of Samson life and his revenge against the Philistines.

Many times, when a person dies, we remember things that affected us emotionally. We don’t talk about the regular day to day, non-dramatic activities that he did. It’s boring if someone would narrate about daily routines, work-to-home or home-to-work activities. We want to talk about things that may have challenged us emotionally, intellectually or spiritually.

George W. H. Bush vs. George W. Bush

After George Bush Sr. died, and people talk about his legacy and compare it with his son’s achievements. Both George Sr. and George Jr. became presidents of the United States of America. George Sr. served one term as US president while George Jr. served two terms as US president. Yet, there are those who claim that George Sr. has performed better than George Jr.

No matter how we perform, people may credit or discredit what we do. It is easy to be affected positively or negatively when we are expectant of how others may react to our performance. We can learn how we may live Christian lifestyle from the Lord Jesus. It narrated in John 7:3-10, 3Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him. 6Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. 10However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

Christ was focused on His mission, not on what others say. We’ve a mission. Christ mandated us to be witnesses for Him. To witness for Christ is to testify of what Christ has done in our life. When it’s our time to leave this earth, what legacy would others talk about us? What is it that we sacrificed for Christ?

Samson died performing his role as leader of Israel when he sacrificed his life. He prayed for revenge against the Philistines.

2. Revenge

28Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

Samson’s hair began to grow again after it was shaved but it was not mentioned if it took many days, weeks, months or years. Did Samson’s hair grow long like ordinary human hair grows? God gave him strength, why not his hair?

Before they celebrated their victory against Samson, it may have taken the Philistines much time to prepare. They may have agreed to celebrate during the annual festival for their god Dagon. Anyway, they credited Dagon for their victory.

Nonetheless, the length of time of Samson’s imprisonment, the time of the Philistine’s celebration, and the length of Samson’s hair were not very significant information to the author. It is open to interpretation. After his head was shaved, his hair grew, and Samson prayed for revenge, those things were recorded.

During his 20 years of leadership, Samson killed more when he died than while he lived. Therefore, it was not about his war against the Philistines that made Samson’s life spectacular or significant. It was about God giving extraordinary ability to a person He chooses as instrument for His purposes. The sacrificial effort of Samson can be interpreted as personal revenge against his tormentors but it also teaches God’s saving grace for Israel.

As we consider our legacy and performance, we must yearn to be God’s instrument for His purposes. May God be glorified in and through us!

To advance your career, what is the secular approach? Make every effort to promote yourselves! Impress the boss to get promotion or salary increase.

Beware! Such worldly mindset may contaminate our testimony as believers.

May the letter of Apostle Paul to Timothy be an inspiration for each of us when he said in 2 Timothy 4:1-8, 1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 

3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

May God keep inspiring us to testify of His work in our life! There will always be opportunities to testify. Let’s pray that we will respond accordingly when God presents us the privilege to witness for Christ’s work in our life.

><(((‘> … ><(((‘> tmec\2018 <‘)))>< … <‘)))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.