They said to him, "We have come down to bind you so that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines." Samson answered them, "Swear to me that you yourselves will not attack me." They said to him, "No, we will only bind you and give you into their hands; we will not kill you." So they bound him with new ropes, and brought him up from the rock. When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him; and the spirit of the Lord rushed on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that has caught fire and his bonds melted off his hands. Judges 15: 12-15 NRSV
As we begin this morning, I have two apologies: the first is for being so late again today - Wednesdays are usually my day to compose and set these up so that they post overnight but this didn't happen yesterday. The second is for any misspelled words: I changed my compose settings and can't seem to find the spell check - although it is underlining my mis-spelled words it isn't giving me any options and I am the worst speller!
Today what really speaks to me in this passage is the spirit of the Lord that rushes onto Samson. The Hebrew would be ruah which is also translated wind or breath. Somehow I can almost see this breath/wind blowing over Samson, melting his bonds. What supernatural happening! I have an almost graphic novel kind of imagery here with Samson's long hair flowing, and his bulging muscles all tied up with ropes. Then the next frame shows the wind of God rushing on him. This is followed by the ropes falling off as he begins to stand up to defend himself against the mass of Philistines that are upon him.
I can't tell you how many times in my own life that I have been tied up and thrown in the midst of my enemies, fervently wishing for God's wind to blow through and melt my bonds. "If only God would get me out of the this situation so I didn't have to face the consequences of my own actions!"
Wouldn't it be great if we could call on God's supernatural power every time we got into a difficult (if not life-threatening) situation?
But God is not a super-power genie in the sky. God is our source of Spirit and power but for God's kingdom, not as our own tool to get out of situations that we have gotten ourselves into. In fact, God's Spirit is the guiding power to keep us out of making stupid choices and actions. God's Spirit sustains us rather than saves us when we are in dangerous situations.
Thank you, God, for your life-giving, guiding and sustaining Spirit! Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims