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Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see the story of one of the great heroes of the Bible...Samson. But as you track his life you’ll see that there were some missteps that moved him from fame to shame. And it’s my hope that we can look at t

“Fame to Shame”

Judges 16: 15-22, 28-30

May 5, 2013

Intro: Mike Tyson was no doubt the MOST feared fighter of the 1990s. Even his nickname’s scary--Iron Mike! Mine pales in comparison--Elmo. Tyson was so dominating he started his career off by winning 19 straight fights by knockout. He finished up his career w/44 KO’s in his 50 victories. He was also the youngest undisputed heavyweight champion at 20.

-But as dominating as he was, by the end of his career he was simply a shell of himself. And it manifested itself in the ring when he became so desperate that he bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear! Tyson’s career ended w/him winning only 5 of his last 12 fights. When we think of him now, we tend to think of him as being a caricature of himself. We think of him biting a guy’s ear off, going to prison and getting that weird tattoo on his face.

-Tyson is one of many examples of people who reached incredible fame only to finish his career a shell of what he once was. This fall doesn’t just happen to people in athletics. It happens to people in all walks of life. We all know stories of businessmen who attained great success only to end up in trouble b/c they compromised their principles trying to get just a little bit more. We know stories of people who had a great family life only to see it be totally dismantled by unfaithfulness in marriage.

-We’re continuing our series “Breaking Bad” by examining how there’s a very slippery slope that can lead us from great fame, great success, to shame.

Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see the story of one of the great heroes of the Bible...Samson. But as you track his life you’ll see that there were some missteps that moved him from fame to shame. And it’s my hope that we can look at the life of Samson and learn how to keep from following his path.

TEXT: JUDGES 16: 15-22, 28-30

Bckgrd: Throughout the book of Judges you’ll read @ Israel finding herself in trouble time and time again. Israel would be overrun by a neighboring nation or people and find herself in bondage. And then they would cry out to God for help. And God, in His mercy, would send a long a person to lead the Israelites back to freedom.

-Samson was one of these guys who was chosen by God to bring freedom to his people. And God worked thru Samson in a unique way. An angel told Samson’s parents that they were going to have an especially strong son who would bring freedom to the Israelites. But the angel told them to make sure they didn’t cut Samson’s hair b/c if his hair was cut then it would mean the loss of his power.

-Well, they didn’t cut his hair and Samson became known as a great warrior. Unfortunately, he also had a penchant for getting himself in tempting situations w/women. And there came a day when he went from fame to shame. There came a day when his continual playing w/temptation finally caught up w/him and destroyed his life.

-You know, there are a lot of us who can identify w/Samson. Maybe not in strength, but in our continual piddling around w/temptation; piddling around w/things we shouldn’t mess with. Some mess around w/drugs and alcohol, others w/lying, others w/seeing how much they can get away w/before they get caught. But I want to share this very important truth w/you. When you mess w/sin, it will leave it’s mark on your life and it’ll move you down the path to shame.

-For the next 20 minutes I want to share w/you from Samson’s life what messing w/sin does. 1st, when you mess w/sin:

1: IT WEARS YOU DOWN (vv. 15-17)

Exp: Samson was a man who’d reached incredible fame at this point in his life. He was known for his super-human strength. Let me just name a few things he’d done at this point that made everyone’s hero. He killed a lion w/his bare hands. He killed 30 Philistines on his own. The Philistines captured him, bound him w/rope, and Samson snapped the ropes off, grabbed the jawbone of a donkey and smote an army of men! It’s like reading a comic book!

A.But his powers weren’t b/c he did P90X and hung out at CrossFit w/James. His power came from a unique gifting from God. At this point all Samson knew was success. And, as w/so many of us, he had a hard time handling it. He got to a point where it seems that he didn’t think it mattered what he did, he’d always come out on top.

1.But let me tell you something. When that happens, we’re ripe for the picking. This is where our text picks up. Samson was at a point where my guess is he rationalized his behavior. His thought process could’ve been, “Every time I get in a bind, God delivers me. I’m uniquely blessed so it doesn’t matter how I live.”

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