Summary: Samson’s life was characterized NOT by his weakness, but by his strength. Why is that? Because he grew through his weakness. He turned to God in his time of weakness and God turned that moment when Samson was weak, into something great! God can and wi
TEXT: Judges 16:19-31
TITLE: Growing Pain #4: Growing through weakness! (Lessons from Samson)
TOPIC: Spiritual Maturity
SERIES: The Growing Church (part one)
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, April 27, 2008
PROP.: In our times of weakness, we will grow because we will have NO choice BUT to ask God for His help!
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! We have been learning how to grow! And one of the most notable things about growth is this: GROWTH is NEVER easy or comfortable. This month we’ve studied what God has to say concerning growing through difficult circumstances: We learned that in the midst of Failure, when you’re waiting on God, and when your faced with Fear that during those conditions that Spiritual growth is favorable!
The reason you grow in those circumstances is because you must trust in God! And each time you trust God, it causes your FAITH TO GROW!
Today, we are going to come to the conclusion that God desires us to grow
Today, as we talk about weakness; I want our attention to focus on Samson. Turn in your Samson‘s story is recorded in just 3 chapters of Judges. Judges 13 - 16. And maybe you’re wondering if I know my Bible characters. I assure you, in this case, I do.
T.S..: Let’s see what we can learn from Samson about spiritual growth. Our story begins in Judges chapter 13.
ISRAEL WAS BAD AGAIN --The nation of Israel has yet once again turned her back on God. So God allows the Philistines to persecute the Israelites for 40 years!
MANOAH AND AN ANGEL --But a man by the name of Manoah had a wife who was told by an angel that they were going to soon give birth to a son. And this son that was going to deliver Israel from her enemies! Good news to say the least! Not only was he going to finally have a son…but his son was going to be a hero! How many of you would like to hear the news that your son would be the hope for America? Now you’re kind of experiencing the excitement that Manoah was beginning to sense.
DIFFERENT THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD
But this angel gives some specific instructions on how to raise their child…
The angel told them that their son was to be a Nazirite. Set apart from birth. Samson was going to act different and look different than the rest of the world. He wouldn’t drink alcohol. He wouldn’t go near dead or unclean things. And he wouldn’t cut his hair.
It was obvious from looking at Samson that he was different. Can I take a moment to say the same thing about Christians? From the time you were born (born again), you were called to be set apart! Called to look differently and act differently than the rest of the world. How are you doing?
This is part of the litmus test of Spiritual Growth. “DO I LOOK DIFFERENT THAN THE WORLD IN WHICH I LIVE?”
I think we’ve swallowed the hook that says, “I’m no different than the world…I’m just forgiven.” You ARE different! You have the Holy Spirit living inside of you! You have an eternity that is glorious! You are called to LIGHT and SALT to a dark, bland world! There better be some differences in our actions, behavior and attitudes!
So anyway, Samson grows up as a Nazirite, dedicated to God. Called to be Israel’s defender and deliverer from the Philistines.
SAMSON VS. THE PHILISTINES--
Chapters 14 - 15 have stories of Samson’s dealings with the Philistines. He sets the grain fields of the Philistines on fire using 300 foxes. His wife ends up being burned to death by the Philistines as a result of these fields being burnt. So Samson attacks and kills 1,000 men with the jawbone of a donkey.
That brings us to chapter 16 and the main focus of our sermon.
SAMSON: SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY--
In chapter 16, it’s the beginning of the end for Samson. He falls in love with a woman named Delilah. And Delilah was given 28 pounds of silver from each of the rulers of the Philistines in order to deliver Samson into their hands. 28 pounds of silver is worth approx $7500.00!
So his girlfriend tries to coax his secret out of him a total of 3 times. And finally Samson ends up with a shaved head. Let’s pick our story up in
19 Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. [d] And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!"
He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I’ll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him.