(08a) Samson and Delilah - the movie.
When the Philistines ruled over Judah, the Jewish people fought against their oppressors and were killed during these battles. It is only normal one wants to be free. But then God promised to liberate his people via Samson. So, when Samson grew up he became very strong. Everyone asked him when he would start his war against the Philistines. But he replied he waited for God's sign, he would not start a stupid struggle because the Philistines were much too strong compared with the Israelites. But that was not what the people wanted to hear, they wanted liberation and immediately, even when the Philistines became less cruel. But because the people believed in a symbol, they upset the Philistines who reacted with panic and terror.
As so often, people who pretend to believe in a god often try to force their god to act; the same is true with religious extremists nowadays who try to make the revelations happen. They attack people who live in the same area because they do not accept the others living there, even when maybe God decided they should live together with foreigners. Religious extremists even attack their own people when they think the others do not live according to god's will (as if they know god's will).
But people have the freedom to make their own choices, even when this means many people die. Indeed, some of the Israelites decided to act against the Philistines even when they were told to wait because freedom was near. These Israelites were slaughtered because they didn't use their brains during their preparations and didn't wait for the right moment to fight against a mighty army because they thought it was enough to believe God was on their side. Even now, in Israel many extremist are not happy with the given land and they want more as they believe more was promised, and as it is not given fast enough, they decide to take it themselves and as a result the Arabs and people all over the world who try to have a peace deal are frustrated and become angry because their efforts are in vain. I think the Jewish people should thank the Arabs because the Jews took away a large proportion of the land where the Arabs were living. Although it was mainly Germany that destroyed the Jewish people, others had to sacrifice their land. I know, one may call me now an anti-Semite.
Follow your own conscious and don't always wonder about God
Samson was a gift from God and the Jews acknowledged this. Then, I wonder, why did they listen so little to what Samson told them? I think that is why God did not abandon Samson even when others told him that he didn't obey God's laws while God abandoned king Saul who did everything that was within his power to please God. I think the reason was because Samson lived according to his own convictions, to what he thought was right, even when other people told him he acted against God's will. Why did he had to do things in a different way when he was not hurting others (e.g. he continued marrying his beloved one). I think king Saul was abandoned by God because he didn't acted according to his own convictions. When Saul saved his opponent, and the prophet told Saul God was not pleased with this, Saul changed his mind and sacrificed his enemy to please God (human sacrifise, forbidden by God). I think king Saul should have argued why he saved the life of his enemies and that might have pleased God because it would show God king Saul didn't think only about his own salvation. God stopped human sacrifices, so why did Saul sacrifice a human? Also Abraham did dare to disagree with God and so God sometimes changed his mind and was pleased with Abraham. Is it not better to break bad laws to do good than obey a bad law (although that demands courage)?
One of the "forbidden" things Samson did was marrying a foreign woman and in the film his mother, father and fellow Israelites turned their back towards him because they claimed he did not follow God's way. Was God so stupid He did not foresee Samson might like foreign women and therefore His plan might not succeed? Or did He want to give an example that people should love the one who is destined for them and others should not interfere with this? If Samson had listened to those who feared God and not to his heart, God's plan might never have worked. In the Bible (I have the Rainbow Good News Bible), Judges (with the story of Samson) is followed by a story about Ruth, a foreign woman who marries a Jew (Boaz) and becomes the great-grandmother of King David who was, according to the Jewish people, their most important king and the story about Ruth confirms to me that God does not mind people marrying foreigners if that is His plan. A pity Delilah did not follow her heart but betrayed him.
On the other hand, it is a pity that Samson was betrayed twice for the love he felt for foreign women as if foreigners are not to be trusted. The first time is very sad as the woman betrayed Samson because she tried to save her father, his family and his possessions; because Samson did not see the reasoning why she betrayed him and how heartbroken she was because of this (according to the movie) she and her father died because of Samson's revenge and Samson was not there to save them from their attackers. He acknowledge he was punished for not seeing her love for him and her father. The second time is worse because, although Delilah loved Samson, she still betrayed him, not to save the life or property of someone but for her own purposes, for money. And although (in the movie) she mourned him, she still wanted to make fun of him by displaying him at the court. Those who oppress were punished for their lies and betrayal because Samson destroyed the temple of the Philistines and all the people present. A few times the general of the Philistines spoke about making peace with the Israelites but the king refused. Rulers who don't want to make peace with the people they rule will be destroyed as people will raise against them.
The story also learns us another thing: God says He does not like idols and the story about Samson reminds us of this. Of course, we can make sculptures but we should not worship them as more important than living things. It is obvious that the Gods made of stone and worshipped by the Philistines, didn't save their people. But much more important is the story of a hidden idol: where was Samson's strength: in his hair or in his muscles? Everyone thought his strength was in his hair and when Samson's enemies cut his hair, Samson believed his strength was gone while in reality it was still in his muscles and after some time he realised this as he was forced to do hard labour. They say his hair grew back, but nevertheless, it would never be as long as when it was not cut.
How many people do not fight for symbols: they kill (innocent) people when they think others insult, do not follow or destroy holy books (a book can be replaced while people can't; and God is not a book although some people seem to think he is), they worship crosses and headscarves or old walls. Many people still hope for the return of the covenant box or Jesus. But God promised that his chosen people (I think humanists from all over the world) will no longer need these symbols because God's message will be written in their hearts: love other humans as you love yourself, do not cheat and lie and do not kill unless necessary (e.g. you have to protect your own or someone else life against someone who wants to kill). But I think it will still take some time before people will understand that.
These are my ideas, and people are allowed to disagree.