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Topic: Heroes (03/08/04)
TITLE: H E R O E S
By Phyllis Inniss
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Hero is a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability. A hero is a person, especially a man, admired for noble achievements and qualities (e.g. courage). 2. The principal male character in a literary or dramatic work (Longman Family Dictionary).
Samson is the first hero I shall mention. He let Delilah beguile him into a state of vulnerability. He knew his strength was in the length of his hair for no razor had touched his head because he was a Nazirite to God. Delilah betrayed him into the hands of the Philistines - enemies of Israel - for eleven hundred pieces of silver from each of the lords of the Philistines. She had tried to entice him on three occasions before to learn the secret of his strength and each time he fooled her. On the fourth occasion she plagued him so much with her importunities that he succumbed and told her that if a razor were to touch his head, his strength would leave him.
Delilah got one of the Philistines to cut off his hair. He was now powerless in the hands of his captors who bound him and gouged out his eyes. While the Philistines were celebrating in honour of their god Dagon he allowed himself to be led next to the pillars, and as his strength had returned with the growth of his hair, , he pressed against the pillars while calling on God to let him die with his foes. As the building came down more were killed at his death than he had killed during his lifetime.
David is next. He had committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, whom he had had killed in battle. The son born to King David and Bathsheba after David brought her to live at the palace died and David realized that God had punished him for his sins. He admitted that he had sinned against the Lord. God, however, forgave David because he repented and felt remorse for his sins. He always sought advice from God through his prophets before he entered into battle. He sang songs of praise and had songs of praise sung to the Lord and most of the psalms in the Bible are psalms written and sung by David in obeisance and praise of the Lord. When David had the opportunity to kill King Saul who was seeking feverishly to kill him, he refused to do so, because Saul was God’s anointed.
Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, was appointed by David to build the temple (which he David had planned) for the Lord. At the completion of the building of the temple, Solomon offered up a most fervent prayer to the Lord asking him to hear the supplications of the people of Israel and on hearing to forgive them. And when God appeared to Solomon one night and asked him what the Lord should give him, Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to rule the people of Israel. The Lord granted his wish and also added riches, possessions and honour, such as no other king had before him and none after him ‘shall have the like’
Jesus referred to Solomon in the New Testament when he was advising the disciples not to worry about what they should eat or wear. He told them to consider the lilies of the field - ‘Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these’. Now the word ‘glory’ is not to be taken lightly, especially when used by Jesus. It is marked by resplendence or magnificence and splendour, blessedness, and happiness of heaven (Longman Family Dictionary).
Despite the fact that Solomon was given so much by the Lord, and against the advice of David, his father, Solomon still sinned.. He took strange women as wives, who brought their idolatrous worship with them, and in no time the nation was sinning against the commands of the Lord. However, he repented towards the end of his life.
Twentieth century heroes would be Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr., who were both assassinated in the cause of peace; and Nelson Mandela, who survived 27 years in prison to help put an end to apartheid in South Africa on his release, and is still around today.
Of course, our greatest hero is Jesus Christ who gave his life for all sinners and left a legacy of good for us all to follow.