6/22/2016 Praise the Lord. I visited Sight & Sound Theatre for the first time in my life yesterday. The musical was Samson. Right at the beginning, the host asked us a question, Hebrews 11 lists a bunch of Men of Faith, such as Abraham, Moses, David, et. al, why was Samson there? Do we agree that in our children Sunday School, New Believer’s class, etc., we rarely use Samson as an illustration for Man of Faith. Right? So, is it the Bible that has a problem, or it is we who have a problem?
感謝主，昨天我有機會到 Sight & Sound Theatre 看聖經音樂劇－參孫。一開始主持人就問一個問題：《希伯來書》11章列出許多「信心偉人」例如亞伯拉罕、摩西、大衛、等等，但是也把參孫放在裡面，不是很奇怪嗎？的確，我們在教導兒童，或是初信造就，如果講到信心，我們幾乎不可能以參孫作為信心的榜樣。可是，聖經卻真是把參孫列在信心偉人當中，這是怎麼一回事呢？是聖經作者有問題，還是我們有問題？
Samson’s shortcomings are obvious, however Jesus said, “I come not to call the righteous but the sinners to repent.” The life of Samson tells us that (1) The graveness of sin: despite Samson was set apart for God as a Nazirite since mother’s womb, his life was troubled by sin and temptation all day long. (2) The electing grace of God: imagine if God did not choose Samson, how much more miserable would his life be? (3) Samson’s prayer: if we look at his life, we found him started with almost no prayer, but then he prayed more and more.
It is easy to notice Samson’s lust, hatred, retribution, lack of self-control, etc., but we rarely pay attention to his goodness, e.g., (1) Perseverance: When 1000 armed Philistines determined to kill Samson, he had no weapon but used a jawbone of a donkey to kill them all. We don’t know if this fight lasted for how many hours or days, but the Scripture tells us that he was so exhausted and thirsty to the point of almost death. (2) Loving his people: All Judges in the Bible are leaders of Israel, some of them even receive worship and honor from their own people, but this is not Samson. Samson was the only Judge that voluntarily being bound by his own people, and sent to their enemy. What a faith, what a love. (3) Samson accomplished more at his death than at his life.
我們都很容易看到參孫的情慾、仇恨、喜歡報復、不愛約束、喜愛放縱自我，但是我們很少看到他的優點，例如：(1)堅持奮戰，一人抵擋一千個非利士人（一個人再怎麼有力氣，這也夠嗆了吧？）我們如果遇到 5 個流氓就不得了，參孫要面對1000個武裝非利士人，各個都要拼死命要把他殺掉，他手上就只一個驢腮骨，聖經說，戰到最後（到底戰了幾小時還是幾天）參孫極度口渴，甚至要死，他向神禱告，耶和華啊，您要我渴死嗎？(2)我們也沒有注意到，參孫對自己的同胞其實很愛護。他身為以色列的士師，那時以色列沒有王、沒有將軍、就靠士師抵禦外敵。參孫為了保護猶大人，居然允許他們綑綁他，把他交在非利士人手中（聖經中這麼多士師，都是以色列的領袖，除了參孫，有哪一位士師願意被自己人綑綁，被交在敵人手中呢？這樣的信心，要去哪裡找？）(3)參孫死時所成就的、所殺的敵人，比活著的時候成就的、殺的敵人還多。
When I meditate upon this Judge, I have to agree with what Hebrews says, despite all his shortcomings, he was a Man of Faith. Samson foreshadowed our Lord Jesus Christ: set apart for God since mother’s womb, perseverance in every battle, betrayed by his own people, handed over to their enemy, and accomplished much more at his death than at his life. Were it not the Hebrews, we may never learn such a lesson. So, how do we apply to our daily life? I think we should ask ourselves: when we look at a person (not only a biblical character, but a person in real life) do we see his shortcomings or do we see “Lord Jesus Christ in him”?
This coming Sunday 6/26 we are privileged to have Youth Director candidate Joshua Cheng to preach to us at the Combined Service.
這個主日我們邀請到青年主任的候選人 Joshua Cheng 來為我們證道，我們採取聯合崇拜。