Summary: Today’s sermon is about a childless couple unexpectedly blessed with a grape-less son who ends up being a womanizing hothead hippie, marries the enemy, has a hobby of setting fox’ tails on fire, gets put in prison just because he gets a haircut, and dies of fallen arches. This is how it happened.
A Self-centered Hothead Meets God’s Providence
Some people think that God using someone means God endorsing someone. God uses two types of people:
1. Those He uses because of their close walk with Him.
2 Timothy 2:21, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
2. Those He uses despite themselves.
• This can include compromised believers who are never consistent.
• It can mean unbelievers, like King Cyrus, Ahasuerus, or Gamaliel
Today’s sermon is about a childless couple unexpectedly blessed with a grapeless son who ends up being a womanizing hothead hippie, marries the enemy, has a hobby of setting fox’ tails on fire, gets put in prison just because he gets a haircut, and dies of fallen arches. This is how it happened.
If Samson were to visit a modern psychiatrist, I wonder what diagnosis he would be given?
• self-centered until his death
• promiscuous and patronized prostitutes
• he disregarded his parents by marrying into a pagan family
• loved drinking parties
• had violent fits of rage beyond our comprehension
• was a loner; led no military in his one man unintentional war
Main Idea: Our God is sovereign and creative; in His providence, may use even our weaknesses and defects to accomplish His will.
I. God Used Samson DESPITE Himself (13:1-16:31)
A. His BIRTH (13:1-25)
1. The Angel of the Lord appears to Manoah’s wife and then Manoah.
2. Instructs them he was to be a Nazarite from birth: no grape product, no haircut, no touching of dead bodies…. Normally for a short period… John the Baptist…
3. It is not until he violates all three of these restrictions that he loses his strength…
4. After offering a sacrifice, the angel ascends and Manoah realize he has seen God; Judges 13:22, And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”
B. Samson is TRICKED by his Philistine Bride (14:1-19).
1. He asks his parents to arrange a marriage to a Philistine woman.
2. His parents try to dissuade him to no avail (God used this, 14:4)
3. On route to arrange the wedding, he is attacked by and kills a lion.
4. Then, some time later, he travels to the wedding itself, sees the dead lion’s carcass filled with honey, and eats some of the honey, thus touching a dead body.
5. At the week-long wedding feast, he probably enjoys lots of wine, violating the second prohibition of the Nazarite vow. He makes a bet with his new buddies.
6. Read 14:12-14.
7. They threaten Samson’s wife and her family if she does not tell them the answer.
8. To pay the bet off, Samson kills 30 Philistines and takes their clothing…and leaves.
9. This is all supernatural; see 14:19.
C. Samson returns to visit his wife, and finds she has been given to ANOTHER (4:20-15:8).
1. In anger, Samson finds 300 foxes, ties their tails together and sets them loose over the fields of the Philistines to destroy their crops.
2. They discover Samson did this, and want to know why. So they kill his former wife and family, and that makes him more angry, and he kills even more Philistines.
D. Samson handed over by his own people and BREAKS free, killing 1.000 more (15:9-20).
• He uses jawbone of a donkey
E. Samson visits a PROSTITUTE at Gaza and walks off with the city gate (16:1-3).
F. Samson move in with DELILAH who tricks him (16:4-22).
1. Samson is public enemy number one to the Philistines, but he cannot be contained.
2. He falls in love with Delilah; she is bribed to find out the secret of his strength.
3. She questions his love because he refuses to confide in her regarding the secret of his strength.
4. He says it is bow string, then new ropes, then hair wove into loom, then finally the truth, if his hair was cut off.
5. The Philistines could then seize him, bind him, put out his eyes, and sent him to the prison mill to grind grain.
G. The high spot of his life: his DEATH (16:23-31).
• It is perhaps at this point of his life when Samson finally repents and exercises faith.
• Sometimes God has to take everything away before we humble ourselves.
• Read 16: 23-31.
II. Important LESSONS We Can Learn from Samson
A. How we control our IMPULSES affects the quality of our lives.
B. Samson exemplifies a relational FAILURE.
1. He made ungodly choices.
2. He surrendered to promiscuity.
3. He had serious anger issues.
4. He was self-centered.
C. ANGER is powerful and can be used destructively or constructively.