Summary: The Bible is filled with stories of fractured lives and messy situations. From these we can learn truths about how God works.
Bob Dylan wrote a song called “Everything is broken.” Here are some of the lyrics.
Broken bottles broken plates
Broken switches broken gates
Broken dishes broken parts
Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken
Everything is broken.
He’s right. Whether it is things or people or systems, everything is broken. Many of us are in this place today because we know how broken we are. Some of you may feel you are so broken that there is no hope or that you cannot possibly be used by God. But the Bible is filled with stories of fractured lives and messy situations. Over the next four weeks we are going to study one example of that. The series is called Broken: How God uses defective people. The focus is the infamous strongman Samson. From his life, we can learn truths about how God works, even through broken situations and broken people.
Samson’s story begins in Judges 13. Notice the circumstances of his birth, vv. 1-2. Everything is broken. The entire nation is in crisis, and on top of that there is a family in turmoil. God’s people Israel have failed spiritually, running after the gods of their neighbors, breaking the laws of the Lord. This spiritual failure led to social upheaval. God allowed the enemy to conquer and oppress them. 40 years of suffering at the hand of the Philistine army. Although God sent this discipline on his people, there is no record of them repenting or calling out to him for help. On top of this national spiritual failure and social upheaval, we meet a couple who struggled with infertility. Manoah and his wife are surrounded by brokenness. For 40 years they knew nothing but subjugation and defeat. The present looked as dismal as the past. And there was no glimmer of hope for the future. They couldn’t raise a family. There was no one to carry on the name, help their struggle to exist, or take care of them in old age. Everything is broken.
Some of what’s broken is because of the failure of others. Mess in the world, in the nation, in the church. Troubled by sin’s presence all around us. The sin done to us. (Troubled teen boy, whose Dad has never been in his life, whose mom has a string of husbands, boyfriends) (the hard working family who are now destitute. Dad and mom both worked minimum wage jobs with no benefits. Mom gets sick and not only do they lose her income, but the medical bills are more than they can pay.) (Elderly couple who worked their entire lives, and now lost everything due to the greed and corruption of a financial planner) (a church, founded on the good news of Jesus, but no longer holds to the truth of Scripture or the tenants of faith. The once strong ministry slides into error, irrelevance, and decline by the spiritual rebellion of its leaders. Pushed aside are a handful of people of love Jesus and cannot sit under the teaching and leadership of those who have left the faith.) (young woman who can’t form healthy relationships, struggles with self-worth, depression, suicidal thoughts because she was sexually abused by a family member and no one did anything about it. No one protected her, or listened to her.)