“The LORD is the strength of his people,a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever (Psalm 28:8.9).”
The Earth is in big trouble. It’s wars and violence have finally alarmed the other beings of the universe who have observed it from afar.
As a result, they send Klaatu to tell Earthlings,”Don’t make us come down there”! Klaatu’s message is that Earth will be destroyed if it doesn’t mend its violent ways.
In the 1951 movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, Klaatu is represented as a kind of savior. Like Jesus, he mixes with the humans, gets to know them, and tries to non-violently communicate their situation to them.
Unfortunately, none of this works. The people of Earth don’t “get” Klaatu and are terrified. He is killed for his trouble, just like Jesus.
Fortunately for mankind, a woman named Helen Benson is there to save the day. She follows Klaatu’s instructions, to be carried out in the event of his death.
Helen goes to the spaceship and repeats the phrase “Klaatu barada nikto” to the powerful robot Gort. The words are kind of a fail safe phrase that prevents the robot from destroying the Earth and inducing him to retrieve the body of the dead spaceman.
When Gort finds the body, he takes it back to the spaceship and revives Klaatu. Helen is amazed, but Klaatu tells her his revival is only temporary. How long he lives is up to “the Almighty Spirit”, he tells her.
Klaatu walks out of the spaceship and finishes his mission. He tells the assembled crowd that if Earth doesn’t change its ways, they will be destroyed by robots similar to Gort.
The Bible has a story similar to the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. It is recorded in Judges 13.
In this story, the angel of the Lord reveals to the wife of Manoah that she is to have a special son. She is warned to avoid alcohol and unclean food. This is because the boy is to be a Nazirite.
A Nazirite was a person in Jewish tradition who dedicated themselves to God in order to draw close to Him. The Nazirite took a vow to avoid booze, to not cut his or her hair and to keep away from dead bodies.
Lou Engle says that the Nazirite was more than just a person seeking a closer walk with God. The Nazirite of the Old Testament was a person whose job it was to save and restore the nation of Israel.
This was to be the purpose of Samson, the son of Manoah and his wife. The Israelites had done evil in God’s sight and been given into the hand of the Philistines, a brutal, warrior-like people (Numbers 13:1). They needed a deliverer.
The Angel of the Lord visiting Manoah and his wife was similar to Klaatu in purpose. Like the space man, he was on a mission, which was to provide a simple and clear announcement regarding the impending birth of Samson.
Klaatu’s whole purpose was to warn Earthlings of what was to come. He didn’t waste time and words getting involved in minor things like the petty squabbles of humans.
The angel of the Lord didn’t mess around either with trite matters either. He wasn’t interested in being served a banquet in his honor or engaging in idle chit-chat with Manoah (Judges 13:9-18).
Like Klaatu, the angel of the Lord was misunderstood by his earthbound human audience. Manoah believed the visit of this heavenly being meant his doom and was scared out of his wits. It took his wife to knock some sense into his head (Numbers 13:19-23).
The Angel of the Lord said that Samson, if he was to be a savior of his people, had to fulfill the vows of a Nazirite. We see later that he had some trouble doing this.
Gary Naler writes that the vows mentioned above have some symbolism related to the Garden of Eden. The Nazirite’s purpose was to restore the garden.
Thus, Samson’s job would be to save his nation through bringing it back to the knowledge of good. Naler says the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a “grape tree”.
Further, Manoah’s son was also to glorify God with the glory Naler says originally clothed Adam and Eve. This was symbolized by the Nazirite through growing the part of his body that showed his strength and identity as a man, his hair. Doing so was a sacrifice of his personhood to God.
Finally, in avoiding corpses the Nazirite was showing his purpose of bringing life to his people. In Naler’s view, the Nazirite restored the original Tree of Life in the Garden.
Nazirites like Samson took their vows permanently. However, there were temporary Nazirites, as described in the New Testaement (e.g., the apostle Paul in Acts 18:18). In fact, Wayne Blank notes that most Nazirite vows were temporary.
Klaatu’s mission in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” had failed up until the point of his death. He came back to life temporarily to complete it.
I think there are times, special temporary seasons, when God must seperate us for a mission of His. We may be called to be a “Klaatu” or a Nazirite temporarily. We don’t necessarily have to cut our hair, abstain from Miller Lite and stay away from funerals.
However, in principle we may need to sacrifice for the good of our loved ones, our church or even our country. We need to be, if you will, “saviors”.
We can’t just wait around for some miracle from God. God does work mightily and He can and does work miracles.
However, on Planet Earth it seems He generally uses people. We may be the miracle our loved ones need.
Do I need to be a Nazirite? Could be. When God sends his version of Klaatu or the Angel of the Lord to my door to draft me, I best not turn him away.
Like Helen Benson, I may be the person to ward off the evil heading our way. God may send me to say His version of “Klaatu barada nikto” to the destroyer and stand in its way.
I hope I ignore the naysayers around me and rise to the occasion. It’s my mission.