Day 80: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 80: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

We’ve looked at Samson’s career as a man who: he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” (Jdg. 13:5).  In his brief biography he has not shown noble character, rather he’s been abysmal at representing the Lord.  He has harassed the Philistines, making them rue the day, they harassed him.  We last saw him… he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. (Jdg. 15:15).

After his victory over them, there was not a transcendent spiritual moment for Samson.  The next few verses put his attitude in perspective.  At first, he seems to be spiritually thoughtful: And he was very thirsty, and he called upon the LORD and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, (15:18).  He sounds grateful in his prayer to the Lord, then he turns peevish with God, demanding the Lord do something for him: and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” (15:18).

Is he thirsty?  Yes, but is he going to die of thirst?  No.  He exaggerated his need, then demanded that God satisfy his thirst.  Granted we were not there, and we don’t know his precise condition, but he appears to treat the Lord disrespectfully, after he honored Him.  This seems a very bizarre contradiction, to thank God, then challenge Him.

This is not unusual for a survivor of trauma.  Samson was being a snarly beast.  A combatant is faced with a very ghastly reality: ‘Writing after World War II, Willard Waller said: “Why is the soldier angry?  Because he was the one singled out to fight and die and suffer and see horrors.” RECOVERING FROM THE WAR. Patience H. C. Mason. P. 250

“Psychiatrist Helen DeRosis put it this way: Hostile people feel they have been done great and irreparable injustices.  In many cases this is true…A state of hostility thus evolves from a state of chronic fear in combination with chronic anger.” Ibid P. 250

Samson might be angry at the Lord for his conditions.  The responsibility of saving Israel from the Philistines was not his choice, he was given the job.  ‘It’s God fault!’ reasoning. Samson was thankful to the Lord and irritated with Him. This is PTSD symptomology. Samson had on his shoulders the burden of being in horrid circumstances, without remedy.

The Lord had a response for Samson.  God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived.  (15:19).  The Lord kindly served Samson without rancor.  He caringly met Samson’s needs.  This is a great insight for the trauma survivor – the Lord knows and cares!

The chapter closes with an interesting note: And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years. (15:20).  For twenty years Samson functioned at a high level, bearing responsibility, and being a civil servant, for the sake of the Israelite population.  But was he healed from the presumed PTSD?  Let’s see.

Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. (Jdg. 16:1). Samson was not alright!  He’s still pursuing sex, the replacement for intimacy.  Samson was still in unease and living on the edge. He was still hated by the Philistines and puts himself in jeopardy for selfish reasons.  Samson was not living a Spirit directed life, he was living by impulsive conduct, though a believer in the Lord.

Job, a predecessor of Samson said: For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me. (Job 32:18).  Job was managed by the Holy Spirit, even: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? (Job 31:1).  Job did not let himself gawk at young women like Samson.  Job knew he was susceptible to fleshly desires, and he let the Lord partner with him to curb his thoughts.  Job’s words reveal that he had a very real struggle with sexual visualization.  Samson did also, but he was less successful than Job.

Here’s a good starting point with this issue: The righteous shall live by his faith. (Hab. 2:4). A believer is not immune from stimulation, but can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, begin a journey of victory just like Job.  It is simple, but not easy.  You will not be successful in your own strength.  ‘Faith’ is not a magical formula it is a process of spiritual maturation.  The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes, and the more you desire purity.

So, Samson, had some distress, not fully experiencing redemptive life.  The word ‘faith’ In Habakkuk 2:4 means stable, and steady.  Though Samson is listed in Hebrews 11, as a person who lived by faith — he’s still behaving impulsively!

There is a constellation of problems that develop after combat trauma.  One problem is the ability to suppress things.  Some people suppress pain more successfully than others, but submerged pain is under a body of behavior that masks their trauma experience.  Combat veterans often self-medicate by introducing products or behaviors that will help them suppress or block intolerable symptoms of dis-ease or distress. Alcohol, drugs, or sexual improprieties are common attempts at self-medication, by sufferers of PTSD.

Samson was repeatedly, sexually promiscuous.  We cannot know through the Biblical text that sex was his drug of choice, but it is mentioned often throughout his brief biography in conjunction with his trauma events.  So, what?  Sex, releases hormones (oxytocin) within the male that give him a feeling of peace and satisfaction.  For many men, sex becomes a means to achieve contentment in circumstances of unsettledness.  In Samson case, it seems it’s his drug of choice.  Samson was pursuing a way to get peace. But God gave him the mandate: he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” (Jdg. 13:5).

The Lord did not demand combat.  ‘Saving’ could have come through considerate negotiation, finding a peaceful solution with respect.  Abram and Lot chose this negotiated settlement: read Genesis 13:8-12. An ancient Jewish proverb says: The best way to conquer your enemy is to make them your friend. Not easy, but not impossible.

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Prov. 16:7).  This is a general truth, not an absolute truth. Jesus was perfect, doing no wrong, yet his enemies killed him. Will Samson finally seek peace, or an alternative?

We’ll see what’s in Samson’s future.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Help me to conquer my desires.  What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (Jas. 4:1).  Father, what a gigantic struggle!  My impatience, my pride, my desires take control of my life!  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (Ps. 51:2 ).  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (Ps. 51:6).  So how does this change, Lord? Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Ps. 51:10).  Ugh, Lord, you’re willing to slough through the sewer of my heart, and clean me up and restore me.  Thank you!

Then as this redemptive life grows within me, let me desire further purity, eschewing those things I pursued before.  If I fail, let me have no delight in my passion, rather let me yearn to get back with my Heavenly Father, where it is safe.  Minister to me, nurture me, comfort me with your presence so I become a warrior for virtue.  Let me not be satisfied with improvement, rather I want to yearn for perfection.  I want my family, my friends, co-workers, acquaintances see the change in me, from compromise to fulfillment. Why?  So they see the glory in you Lord.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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