I have shared previously our family’s Bible studies from some of the tougher books of the Bible for us to read, like Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, on my other blog. Here is my “take” on the book of Judges, and specifically, on the life of Samson. This article will be published more broadly on Joy Comes in the Morning.
We live amidst a plethora of information sources, inclusive of the ever-increasing hosts of social media networks that plead seductively for our time and energy. As followers of Christ, we are drawn to places that encourage, places that enlighten, places that allow us to experience our Father in revelatory ways. Joy Comes in the Morning is such a place, and it has been my privilege to write here in our collective effort to be a light in the darkness.
Yet, something is missing amongst all of our technological advances and our ability to minister worldwide at a button’s touch. I thought about it when a younger online friend wrote to me, describing me as a “Titus 2 woman.” The thought was humbling, as I consider myself nothing more than a back-slidden Pharisee who finally gave up religion and found the love of Christ. When I thought about it, I suppose her characterization was primarily based upon the fact that I am exactly twice her age. I could then see someone in her season of life looking to me as a potential mentor.
Where is the Titus 2 woman—the real one? Here’s a hint: she does not blog or vlog; she handcrafts letters. She does not have a website; she needs no such advertisement because everything you need to know about her comes from careful, day-to-day observance. The problem is that she is hidden, like the treasure she is, behind all the technology that would afford the rest of us her wisdom. If we are blessed, we have at least one such woman in our lives with whom we can sit down and enjoy—and learn. In the absence of that older wisdom in this newer arena, some of us have elevated self into a level of advice-giving that we simply have not lived. Others of us are hiding, as if waiting on a burning bush to give us a license to move forward.
Knowing our place and time in the Body of Christ is critical. Yet, there is a certain irony that exists here: regardless of where we line up on that particular continuum, we have a job to do.
Recently, I have been reading the story of Samson in the book of Judges. Samson, like some of us, was without a wealth of “old school” wisdom around him. By the time we meet him, the Israelites are in captivity in Philistia. I imagine the people living amidst much confusion and uncertainty. We are told repeatedly throughout the book of Judges that there was no king during their captivity, and people lived as they chose. Perhaps there was not a strong Christ-centered nucleus, either, in their home away from home. We know that Samson’s father was not as keen to the voice of God as he could have been. It is under these circumstances that Samson is born, and we are told that the Lord began to work in him early in his life.
Samson, like us, was capable of incredible works for the glory of God. Samson, also like us, was also capable of major screw-ups. And yet, Samson was given a job to do. We see what happened when Samson tried to get ahead of God and elevate self; he got his hand slapped, spiritually speaking. He was sat down, locked up, mocked, and even blinded. It was in his weakness that he finally stepped into a deeper understanding of his anointing, and more importantly, the true source of his power.
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me…” (Judges 16:28, NIV)
Samson goes on to pray a very specific prayer regarding his abilities and his desire to exact Godly revenge on the Philistines. His exact prayer is not our prayer, but the nature of his plea is key to us as Believers. His heart’s cry was even in my sin, oh, Lord, remember me. Remember that I want to be used. Remember that I want to be trusted. Remember that I want most to be like You.
We are blessed with a glimpse into the end of Samson’s life. We learn that he was far more effective in his weakness than he was when his faith was in his own strength.
Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (Judges 16:30, NIV)
We might be forced to release our Smart phones and tablets in order to get in touch with the Titus 2 woman. And as I learned quickly, we dare not try to step into her role before the Lord says it is time. While we glean from her what we can, however, we can step into our anointing, into what God has called us to do. With that charge to keep, I write, you sing, we fast and pray. As we grow in wisdom, we accomplish our task—to lift Jesus higher—together.