Summary: This sermon looks at the life of Samson and the mistakes he made. If we do four things perhaps we will not make as many mistakes. 1. Learn from your MISTAKES 2. Choose your friends WISELY 3. Take God SERIOUSLY 4. Never Give up on GOD
How To Live Beyond Our Mistakes
I am glad that I live in the age of computers that have spell-check. It’s not that I am a really bad speller – it’s just that I’m not a really good one. To tell you the truth – I have gotten better at spelling over the years – but I am not perfect and I am still thankful for spell check. If you’re not familiar with spell-check – it will correct some of the spelling as you typing – but not always. If it doesn’t automatically correct the misspelled word it will underline the spelling mistakes in red. As you go deeper into spell-check it will give you suggestions on how the word should be spelled – but not always. There are times when a word so badly misspelled that even spell-check can’t help. (At least that’s what happens to me.) That’s when a really big mistake has happened – at that point you have to go to another source to get that mistake fixed – that’s when I have to pull out the dictionary.
Sometimes I wish there was a “spell-check” for daily living. You know something that would correct you as you go from day to day. Maybe it could be named “mistake-check.” Sometimes it could fix things automatically as you went along. Sometimes it would just underline the mistakes and let you know of your errors – and give you options. But then when the really bad mistakes happen – you realize that you need to go to another source to fix that.
Is there anyone here who has not made a mistake in their life? I know we all have. I probably make mistakes every day. Some of them I can fix on the spot. Others are not so easy. It’s those big mistakes that haunt me. They come around like the ghost of ‘Christmas Past’ to let me know what I did wrong.
Today I want to look at a man who made some pretty big mistakes in his life. His name was Samson.
Samson was a ruler-judge of Israel for twenty years. He seemed to have everything going for him. Yet he was one of his own worst enemies – he made some huge mistakes during his lifetime. Samson had super-natural strength and good looks and he had God working in his life – but even all that did not keep him from blowing it over and over time again. He brought all kinds of troubles on himself.
The story of Samson’s life is told in Judges chapters 13-16. We’re not going to read all those chapters this morning – but let’s look at his birth and talk about his life. In Judges we find that he had a supernatural birth. The Bible says:
“Then the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman (Samson’s mother) and said to her, "Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines." Judges 13:3-5 (NASB)
You see right from the start that the child has promise. He will have a supernatural birth and he will have a mission. He is to help his people out of the hands of the Philistines. Later on in the chapter we find:
“Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the LORD blessed him.” Judges 13:24
But as Samson grew up – his moral character went down.
Two really big problems that he had to deal with were anger and lust.
He never really learned to control either of them. All of his life they plagued him – and later they caused his downfall.
Two Big Weaknesses In Samson’s Life
A. Samson had a problem with anger.
He often got angry – frequently he blew up. A primary motive for his actions was revenge. At one time Samson killed thirty men because he lost a bet. He killed thirty men so he could take their possessions and pay off the bet.
Another time he got mad and caught three hundred foxes – tied them together – put torches between them – lit the torches on fire – let the foxes go and set the field ablaze because he was angry and wanted to get even. The Bible says it burned up the standing grain, along with vineyards and groves.
Because of the fire – some men killed Samson’s ex-wife and her father. Samson became angry again – and do you know what he did? He swore that he would take revenge on her death. It says in the Bible that he tore into them and ripped them limb to limb – it was a great slaughter (Judges 15:8 Msg).