Summary: If you are a Christian you have been given gifts from God and you are expected to use them for God and His Kingdom.
An eye full
Samson – Judges 13-16
Chapter 16:18-31 Reading
Each of us is meant to have great potential as a Christian. Jesus himself tells us…
John 14:12 NIV
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Wow! Have you given sight to the blind lately or fed thousands of hungry people with just a small lunch – no – well me neither. But that does not mean that we should stop trying. All we need do is increase our faith in Jesus.
I put this example to you in order to make you realize that Jesus wants us to be living out our faith towards a goal. The goal is to be like him and the way to accomplish that goal is by depending on the Holy Spirit of God to grow our faith in the Lord in every way and every day. That’s a tall order for all of us and it will take a lifetime of growing and searching and changing to become more like Jesus and less like the people we are. But with the Holy Spirits strength we can do great things.
The Bible has many examples of people who had great potential and who blew their opportunity to achieve great things for God. We are given these examples to encourage and correct us when it comes to doing the things God’s Holy Spirit has called us to do.
For some time now I have wanted to share with you the lessons from the life of Samson. You remember him that strong man of Israel who had a weakness for pretty girls. Samson’s biography is told in chapters 13 through to 16 of the Book of Judges.
I’ll give you just a few highlights to refresh your memories:
His birth was a miraculous event – his Mother was barren
The Angel of the Lord announced that he would be born to deliver Israel.
He was an only child – got a lot of attention.
He was to be set apart for God as a Nazarite – nothing fermented – no wine – no grapes or even raisins; He was to avoid dead things – his hair was never to be cut. Being a Nazarite involved keeping a series of vows. Samson had a problem keeping his word and telling the truth.
Here is a quick overview of his strengths:
He killed a lion with his bare hands – Judges 14:6
He killed 30 Philistines single handedly – Judges 14:19
He broke the cords that the men of Judah had tied him up with and then slew 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
He tore off and carried the gates of a Philistine city doors, doorposts and all – Judges 16:3
But despite all his great conquests and battles of strength for the Lord he was given to a very common human weakness.
Samson was addicted to sex and his favorite girlfriend would be his undoing. We read how Samson first took a Philistine bride just to set them up for a fight. He thought nothing of the girl but used her for his personal gratification. She was later burned to death and there is no mention of Samson grieving over her – Judges 14:10-14
He spent time with a Harlot in Gaza not long after his first wife had been murdered – Judges 16:3 Hardly the kind of behavior befitting a Nazarite.
Finally he meets Delilah who was also a foreign woman and not the kind of girl that a Nazarite should be keeping company with. But he liked what he saw.
We see in Samson great physical strength a gift from God that was meant to be used to save Israel from her enemies but Samson uses his strength for his own vengeance and not for Gods purpose.
How many of us have been given talents or gifts from God and we fail to use them for Gods glory? A gift can be anything – you may be good with numbers – have you offered to be treasurer, you may be good with people and leading have you offered to be Clerk of Session? Maybe you have a way of connecting with kids – have you offered to teach Sunday school?
If you are a Christian you have been given gifts from God and you are expected to use them for God and His Kingdom.
So what is standing in your way?
Do you like Samson have an addiction that is weakening your effectiveness for the Lord? Is this addiction taking time away from your family and your responsibilities to them? Is it consuming your resources, money, time and peace of mind? Has it taken you away from doing the things of God and instead all you can do is satisfy your own selfish need? Is it affecting your health; physical and mental?