The sojourners

Judges 16:30 “And Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’”

Psalm 39:4-5, 12-13 “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!  . . . Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.  Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”

As Samson cried out his final words, he said “Let me die with the Philistines.”  And that is, indeed, what happened to him, as he broke apart the middle pillars of the building in which the Philistines were partying and mocking his life.  

Interestingly, the word “Philistia,” the land of the Philistines, who were the enemies of God and the people of God, means “land of the sojourners.”  What a picture of each and every one of us as we live our lives on this earth.  You see, a “sojourner” is defined as “one who lives temporarily in a place.”  That’s what we are, for though we may think of the place where we live as our home, the place of our roots, those roots are only temporary, for one day we will leave.  It’s this very thought that the psalmist contemplates in the words of Psalm 39 above.  He talks about his life being a fleeting thing, like a mere breath.  He talks about how he is nothing but a sojourner here, a guest, like all who came before him.  He is fully aware that his departure is coming, a time when he will be no more.

It is to this very point that the life of Samson is such a wonderful and awesome shadow of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  You see, Samson’s last words were “Let me die with the Philistines.” Even so, Jesus, the eternal Son of God Who had no beginning and has no end, chose to come into this world and love His enemies, suffering death just as we all do.  But He did this so that we could share in the eternity of His very life, in place of the sojourning nature of the life we once had.  What an awesome thing this is. What eternal hope in this temporal world.  And it’s all because the Savior of the world chose to come here so He could die with the sojourners, that we might have life.  It’s the message of the gospel. It’s the message of hope to the hopeless, peace to the anxious, and life to the dying. 

Praise His wonderful name!

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