Samson. Scoundrel or Superhero? Day 17 Bible in 90

Samson. You break my heart and leave me wondering what your life could have been… what it was that God set you apart to do that was cut short by your really. stupid. decisions.

I grew up being told by well-meaning Sunday school teachers that Samson was a great man of God, whose might displayed God’s glory and his life, even in his death, glorified God… I read it very differently today, while I agree, God is still glorified through even the worst of situations.

Ok, so the angel of God comes (a couple times) and gives his parents very strict instructions about how Samson is to be set apart, a Nazarite from birth, consecrated to God for his whole life.

But Samson had a small problem. He was a romantic. One I imagine something like this….


Indeed a Scoundrel’s Captive.

Now it was never expressed this way to me in all my years of hearing about this man, but when I read it today this is what I saw. So take this or leave it, it’s just my impression.

Samson wasn’t a womanizer. Granted, he had woman trouble, but I think the real problem here was that he was a die hard romantic – a man whose heart was torn from him when he fell in love, and he couldn’t survive without the One he set his affections on. His first bride, a Philistine woman, caught his eye and his heart was hers — until she bitterly betrayed him, first by spoiling his riddle, costing him a great deal of money, but then by marrying his best man when Samson left in a rage. (Not to mention all the men he slaughtered over the foiled riddle).

Then, his heart in shambles, he took up with a prostitute who was also out for whatever she could get out of him.

And then Delilah. Wretched, deceitful, out for her own gain, Delilah. But he loved her. Granted, Samson was stupid. He played with fire and got his eyes gouged out and all his power sapped. When the Philistines took him, and took his eyes… I wept. It was surprising and kind of strange.

In the midst of all these judges who came and went,  none able to keep Israel on the straight and narrow, here comes this man who God himself sets apart for greatness – to save Israel once again. But he ends up shaven, shamed, blind, powerless and imprisoned… mocked and taunted till the day he had grown enough of his hair back for God to have any dealings with him. And then he killed them all. Revenge for them taking his eyes. Passionate to the end.

I just think it’s one of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard. He was lonely, I believe desperately so, and so he took up with women and gave himself over to them heart and soul. And had foolish notions that they loved him like he loved them… He looked for comfort from them – I wonder if he had any friends. Something makes me think he didn’t. I think everyone was afraid of him. He was freakishly strong and evidently had a temper, so to get on his bad side was unwise.

Samson. Jilted. Lovelorn. Lonely. Desperate. In Love. A Fool. A tragic superhero.

All i could think was how God must have grieved for the life He had created Samson for, and how squandered it was. He put a heart of passion in Samson and instead of being filled with a passion and love for God, he sought it in women – in places that could never fill him. And he died alone (surrounded by 3,000 people) but alone, really – and in the end, i suppose it was just him and God. Maybe the way it was meant to be all along.


Like Samson, I see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in my head – wandering the earth cursed with living forever, alone. Soft and romantic heart inside a beast of a man. I think Wolverine’s story is another sad one. I think that’s a bit how Samson was (well maybe not the immortality part). And maybe i’ve stretched the line a tad between made up superhero and one that actually breathed air and walked the earth, but anyone that has the strength of like 20 elephants, is surely a super hero, even if he does die in captivity.

Super heros always have their downfall – their nemesis. And when their lives are cut short, it’s always a tragedy. But like I said, who knows if any of this is based anywhere in reality. Me seeing it play out like a harlequin romance novel gone bad vs. Wolverine may just be me being a total product of my culture. So be it. I still say…

Poor Samson.

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