The Lord is a Warrior

When I was a kid, I used to love watching WWF wrestling. One of my favorite wrestlers to watch was this guy…

… the Ultimate Warrior. He was always one of the toughest “good guys” there was. Every now and then one of the “bad guys” would start to beat him up, but then all of sudden, just when you thought it was all over, the Ultimate Warrior would start shaking the ring ropes and would “miraculously” get his strength back. Then it really was over, the Ultimate Warrior would go crazy and destroy everyone in his path.

Strangely enough, I was reminded of the Ultimate Warrior this past week when reading my Bible. (Go ahead and laugh… I am.) I’ve been reading Judges, and this past week took me through the stories of Samson. Samson seems to “go crazy” twice in chapter 14. First, he’s approached by a lion, you’d think the lion would destroy Samson, but nope, Samson tears apart the lion with his bare hands. Then again at the end of the chapter, Samson strikes down thirty men of Ashkelon when they cheated at solving his riddle. Samson was destroying everything in his path… and he didn’t even have ring ropes to shake.

Here’s the part that really surprises me, in both instances, with the lion and with the men of Ashkelon, what prompts Samson to do all this is that “the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him.” (See vv.  and 19). Huh? When I think of the Holy Spirit coming upon someone, I usually think of Jesus’ words (quoting Isaiah) in Luke 4: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” See, I can understand the Holy Spirit coming upon someone to preach the gospel. Sometimes, I’ll even think of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon people and causing them to speak in tongues. (Not often, of course. I am Presbyterian after all.) But the Spirit of the Lord coming upon someone and causing them to destroy a lion, or 30 of the person’s enemies?

I suppose this is a good reminder of the “wildness of God.” C.S. Lewis’ oft-quoted line about Aslan is true: he’s not a tame lion. God is not tame. There’s a wildness to God the Holy Spirit. We cannot tame Him, despite our best efforts. Maybe when we pray for the Holy Spirit to come, we should be more careful, we might actually wake him.