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Summary: God chose, blessed and empowered Samson, but he squandered the grace of God for most part of his life. he lived an unhappy, messed up life. Don't take the grace of God for granted.

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Judges 13:1-14 - Don’t Take God’s Grace for Granted

30 Aug 2015

It’s easy for us to take things for granted, and take people for granted, when they are there for us all the time. We fail to appreciate them when they are with us.

Sadly most people tend to realise the value of these things or people ONLY after we lose them.

It is equally easy to take God for granted, and forget the blessings He has given us. We need to MAKE AN EFFORT to remember Him and appreciate His gifts.

The symptoms that we are taking God’s grace for granted is when we find ourselves complaining and criticising MORE than we are being thankful.

Don’t take God’s grace for granted. This thought came to me when I looked at this unusual life in Judges 13-16.

• This man fails to recognise the unique blessings that God has given him.

• He had everything going for him, right at the beginning (by the grace of God), but he ended up with nothing worth remembering.

• He squandered the grace of God, so to speak, and lost all the blessings he had.

This man is SAMSON, the last Judge of this book. He occupies the largest portion of the book, from chapter 13 to 16.

• I believe the writer devoted FOUR chapters to him, with a detailed accounts of his adventures, because there are important lessons for us to learn.

Let’s read how it all began in Judges 13:1-14 – the birth of Samson.

• 13:24-25 “The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him, 25and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.”

The story begins EVEN BEFORE Samson was born. God was responding to a need in 13:1 “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.”

• This is the one place in this book that we DID NOT read of the people crying out to God for help.

• They did not. God stepped in. He initiated a move to save Israel and made plans for a deliverer to be born.

GOD CHOOSES SAMSON

• God declared to Manoah and his wife, a sterile and childless woman, that they are going to have a son, and he is no ordinary child but the deliverer of Israel.

• They did not asked for it. Samson had nothing to do with it. It was the GRACE OF GOD.

GOD BLESSES SAMSON

Samson is to be set apart as a Nazirite. According to Numbers 6 (God’s instruction to Moses), a Nazirite is one who is dedicated to God by a vow of separation.

• Separated in three ways: (1) not to drink wine or any intoxicating drink; (2) not to go near to a dead body; and (3) not to cut his hair.

So his power does not lie with his long hair. We know of the famous story that Samson lost his power when his hair was cut. His power comes from his dedication to God. As long as he remains committed to God, he experiences God’s presence and power. The moment his hair was cut (chapter 16), he lost his strength because “the Lord had left him.” (16:20)

Samson’s parents, although shocked at such a news, was fully cooperative.

• The father prayed, “…teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.” (13:8)

• They were submissive and God-honouring. This tells us something about the home Samson grew up in. Samson was raised in a godly home.

This is the 2nd time we see the GRACE OF GOD in his life. Samson did not choose it. He was given God-honouring parents and a good home.

• Those of us who are born in Christian families ought to give thanks for the GRACE of God. We are blessed at birth and blessed to be raised in a Christian home.

GOD EMPOWERS SAMSON. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, mentioned a couple of times by the author:

• Jud 13:24-25 “The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him, 25and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.”

• Jud 14:6 “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat…”

• Jud 14:19 “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men…”

• Jud 15:14 “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.”

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