By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail and put a firebrand in the midst between the two tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and the olives."Judges 15:4-5-----Passion - An extreme disposition of mind or soul which leads to an exertion in activity.-An intense emotion which precedes risk-taking activity.-The escaping of heightened emotion.If there's a character which speaks, more than Samson, to the defining of "passion" in healthy and unhealthy terms I haven't found him.Three notable virtues of Samson:Strength, Passion, Decisive.-----Today's Read: Judges 13-16; Psalm 35The Judges fascinate me;They are a unique blend of original individuals with eccentric distinctions that set them apart in the most curious of ways.Samson is another "notable."Samson's conception, in my mind, bares a similarity to John the Baptist in God's extraordinary singular "call" on his life;Yet no two men could have lived such extraordinary different lives."For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."Judges 13:5-----Hmmm ...One should think that this weighty unusual entitlement would procure a holy stature of soundness upon Samson throughout his life ... but it doesn't.Samson is employed and stationed with God's hand upon him, and yet a passion at work within him, that often catapults a display of physical outburst comparable to a final blast of fireworks displayed on a Fourth of July evening.The slaying of the Philistines throughout his term as Judge (some 20 plus years) was weighty and signficant but, interestingly, was often motivated and steered by compulsive and manic episodes brought on by personal vendettas.Samson is no ordinary character:His passionate extremism, when bridled by the Lord is breathtaking, beautiful, and off the charts, vibrant and outstanding.But, when left unchecked and loosed, Samson's unbridled passions lead him into arenas of lust, hate, and revenge that suggest a character void of holiness.And so it seems that there are forever two men warring within Samson:There's the passionate man executing God's strength over the Philistines and garnering safety and protection for Israel;And there's the man of the flesh executing wants, whims, and crazy tendencies in order to secure his flesh with something that never seems to last.-----All in all, Samson serves as a visual study, of two men at war within, providing us with an open display of what happens when the two men are loosed.Give careful thought to the "passions" God has placed within you;Guard them and offer them up to God. Notable "passions" can be both binding and blinding when not bridled by the hand of God, but they can be powerful, beautiful, and wondrous when executed for His glory.Be reminded of this reality at work within you, and allow God to work passionately through you.-----"And Samson called unto the Lord and said, 'O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes ..."Judges 16:28
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