Samson: Agony and Triumph

Samson’s proclivity for the fairer sex was a fatal flaw
Yet it was the source of his greatest victories
Pleasant paradox of perfect strength in perceived weakness
Showing God can achieve glory from even the debris of character

This strong man then had a jaunty plan to see
A harlot in Gaza, as a Jew he should not have gone that far
Location and intent were wrong, but desire’s pull was strong
While Samson was holed up in the city that night
His enemies lay in wait planning to strike-kill him at first light
Samson sprang a surprise, emerging at midnight not sunrise
The city gates were shut, but the power of God was not

Samson lifted the gates on his shoulders and walked
Away to the hill of Hebron while his enemies vainly stalked
That was Samson at the height of his elemental powers
The hilltop conqueror, the triumphant terror of Philistine warriors
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Samson: Early Promise

The Philistines were terrorizing Israel again
She had forgotten her Lord and He turned His back
To her merciless mistreatment by men with evil intent
Soon mercy returned and the victims went on the attack

The Angel of the Lord appeared to a barren woman
And assured her that she would bear a child of promise
To be the incubator for this strong deliverer
She must avoid vine’s fruit, fine wine and strong drink
And not be so foolish or mean as to eat unclean food

Strict clauses aid worthy causes for the blessed child
Would be consecrated to God’s purpose from the womb
A Nazarene from birth should not be corrupted by earth’s vices
His was to be a life of godly service from cradle to tomb
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Jephthah – He Did The Right Thing

Jephthah was the son of a harlot who wandered in Gilead
Her many forays resulted in a liaison which birthed a first son
For Jephthah’s father who duly married another later
More sons soon followed, legitimate heirs were born

Soon all sons came of age and inheritance became the rage
The legitimately-born decided to cast out the harlot’s son
Thus dispossessed, discredited and disinherited
Jephthah left them in peace, more truthfully he fled
He might have wondered at this unfortunate turn
On Destiny’s forked road-he was undone for being accidentally born

Yet the relatives of the fugitive would still recant
And embrace him as the leading light and noblest native
Jephthah was not to know, he spent years in isolation
He honed his integrity and courage which later lit the big stage
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Gideon: From Latent Valour to Potent Warrior

One day a man was threshing wheat by a winepress
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him
The man was Gideon, and he was working in oblivion
He could not raise his head for the oppressor’s dread

Israel had sinned against the God they once adored
So He had removed His protective shield from their borders
And sent the Midianites to ravage their coffers
For seven years Israel toiled to sow, while Midian toyed
With their harvests, carting away their labour’s fruits

Then they cried for deliverance from penury
They remembered they had a mighty God
Who had helped their sword to win many battles
God found a man to use, it seemed like a ruse
For he was hiding for fear of Midianites arriving
Lest he lose his entire harvest to the eastern pests
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Deborah & Barak: The Vision And The Sword

After Joshua and his contemporary elders died
Israel started the cycle of faith and doubt
One day total compliance with God’s holy orders
The next, the impunity to rebel and flout
The commandments they were given from God’s mouth

At one of the low points of the yo-yo cycle
Israel was in rebellion frolicking with neighbouring idols
God was angered and sent an adversary to have them smothered
He was Jabin, King of Canaan and his army chief was Sisera
Together they subdued and oppressed Israel
For twenty years Israel was in panic, pain and hysteria

They cried out in anguish, God could not let them languish
God sent them a deliverer-her name was Deborah
She was a prophetess and judge of civil matters
Her court was beneath the palm tree
Here people obtained succor from injustice for free
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