Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Samson

I want to mention here, that I never thought Samson was a good Bible hero. He was called….even before he was born, and….

He was given superior strength to overcome the enemies of Israel.

But he still did not impress me, for he was not a chaste person….nor one which (to me) really showed much faith….

….after all, what did he do, but embarrass and fight the Philistines?

But I was wrong…..for Samson was in the faith chapter (Hebrews 11:32)….and there are only fifteen named people there.

And here, I want to mention the fact what the Lord showed me about our calling:

What we are called to is important….for God will surely give us the ability to do what He has called us to do.

It does not matter whether it is a great work, for many years…..or a work where no one sees, in prayer….or the calling to witness….

…every work needs God’s enabling….every work fulfilled, brings reward.

(Even the one talent servant would have gotten a reward, had he chosen to use it….Luke 19:12-27)

The Lord showed me that Samson had faith……faith to follow his calling to be a Nazarite.(Numbers 6:2-5)

Here was the warning and prophesy to his mother, before he was born:

Judges 13:4-5 “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”

And that is the fact about Samson…..he did what he was called to….and did it well, saving Israel from the oppression of the Philistines, for twenty years (Judges 16:31).

As a child, the Lord blessed him….for the Spirit of the Lord came upon him for his work…

Judges 13: 24-25 “And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him….”

When he grew up, God caused an “occasion”, where he would fight the Philistines:

Judges 14:2, 4 “And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughter of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.”

This occasion was over a riddle….which he would have won; but they would not have an Israelite win….so they threatened his fiancé with death…and she betrayed him…..later they killed her.

This became the occasion where he fought the Philistines, every time they came against him.

One time it was thirty Philistines, then more, than a thousand. He mocked them every time they wanted to capture him….once letting his countrymen tie him up and deliver him….only to break free and destroy them.

Once carrying the city gate and it’s posts from the wall up to the top of a hill.

On it went for years….

…Until Delilah….three times he mocked her attempts at taking his strength….but she kept at it….and then…he told her all his heart.

Judges 16:17 “That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”

Now I have always thought Samson pretty dumb….after all he had told her three other things….and she did them to him.

But confidence in ourselves….in the ability to keep ourselves from being tricked, is found in all of us…..and it costs us.

And then, I must think….how “dumb” I have been when I have continued to use means that God was not blessing….or continued looking for an answer, when the Lord already told me….

Samson was caught….blinded….and put to work grinding grain in the prison house.

But God still used Samson….when he again fulfilled the Lord’s requirements:

Judges 16:22 “Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.”

And when we sin, and do “dumb” things…..God will restore us when we seek forgiveness, and cleansing….and be obedient to what He said.

Judges 16:23 “The the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.”

They brought him from the prison to make him wander around in the arena….blinded. The great Samson….now a joke.

They laughed and drank….about three thousand…..and Samson was placed between the two pillars that held the house up.

And Samson, in faith, prays to the Lord:

Judges 16:28,30 “And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be a once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

Samson prayed…..”remember me”…..did he think God forgot him? No, but remember me….the one you called….I am now restored in my hair….and in my spirit of faith…..

….restore now my strength, which is the gift You have promised me.

He prays to be “avenged” for his two eyes…..they blinded him by their trickery…..so he would destroy them, in their blindness to their god.

Samson fulfilled his work….which was to destroy the hold that the Philistines had on Israel….for twenty years.

I can think what I like about the failures of Samson…..but he was forgiven and restored……and finished his work.

What about us, as Christians? Are we finishing the work God has called us to do?

2 John 8 “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (gained), but that we receive a full reward.”

Amen, let us be watchful against the wiles of the devil, and the snares and tricks of the world around us…..and finish the work God has called us to do…..whatever it is….for His sake.

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