July 22, 2019

Is This Really a Savior?

Judges 14:1-3

God [sent] his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. . . .

—  Romans 8:3

In Samson, God sends his people a savior—and what does Samson want to do? All he wants is to satisfy his eyes’ desire. Samson sees a Philistine girl and wants her for his wife. His parents remind him that God wants him to marry one of God’s people (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). But Samson insists on having this woman because she is right in his own eyes (14:3).

This Nazirite from the womb, though endowed with the Spirit, is not led by the Spirit but by his wandering eyes— just like God’s people. They too are God’s firstborn, special among all the peoples of the earth, bound by their promises (covenant) to love God above all—but repeatedly they follow after other gods. Like the people, Samson does what is wicked in God’s eyes.

In Samson, God sent a savior who mirrored the sins of his people, because God designed the savior of his people to know the burden of their wickedness. Even more, to suffer the consequences of their wickedness. None of these saviors in Judges, however, could escape the burden and consequences of their own sins.

Thanks be to God for the true Savior, Jesus, who understands our weaknesses, who was tempted as we are, but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). He took on the burden of all our wickedness, and he suffered the consequences for our sake. Then he rose from the grave, providing new life for all who believe in him. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

For the Savior who knew and bore my sin, I thank you, Lord. Open my eyes to live for you. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!