Summary: God uses imperfect people! That's the message of the book of Judges. In the third sermon in this series we see Samson's Rage, Samson's Romances, and Samson's Repentance.
Judges: Ordinary People in the Hands of an Extraordinary God (Samson)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 7/20/2014
Charlie Brown scuttled onto the pitcher’s mound as Lucy took her position behind home plate, ready to warm up before the game. “Are you ready, Charlie Brown? “ Lucy asked. “I’m ready,” Charlie answer. With that Lucy arched the ball across the field. Charlie Brown jumped up and stretched his mitt high into the air, only to get conked in the forehead and knocked flat on his back. Lucy calls out, “Charlie Brown, you’re the worst player in the history of baseball!” Charlie responds, “You can’t possibly know that. You shouldn’t say things you can’t prove.” So Lucy reevaluates her statement, and then calls out, “In all probability, Charlie Brown, you are the worst player in the history of baseball.” Charlie Brown stands up, dusts himself off and says, “I can accept that.”
Nobody’s perfect, are they? We’re all full of faults, flaws and failures.
The Bible is full of ordinary, imperfect people. Story after story is marked by scandal, stumble, and intrigue. Noah drank 'til he passed out. Abraham lied about his marriage and slept with the maid. Sarah laughed at God’s promises. Jacob was a con-man. Leah was ugly. Moses was a murderer. Miriam was a gossip. The list goes on and on. Each one of them had flaws of Biblical proportion. Yet, their faults and foibles are evidence of God’s willingness to use imperfect people. No one demonstrates this better…
If you ever need a reminder of God’s tolerance and love, you’ll find it in these people. If you ever wonder how in the world God could use you to change the world, look at these people—ordinary people in the hands of an extraordinary God. As we leaf through the pages of the book of Judges, we meet someone who is one of the most flawed, imperfect people in all of Scripture. His name is Samson.
When I was a kid attending Sunday School, Samson was my favorite hero of the Bible. God chose Samson from birth to become a hero to his people; a champion who would push back against the oppressive onslaught of their enemies. God infused Samson with superhuman strength, stamina, and invulnerability. Samson had all the makings of a real-life superhero. Sadly, Samson comes off more like a supervillain than a superhero. Unlike fictional superheroes such as Superman, Batman, or Spider-man, Samson never quit learned that with great power comes great responsibility.
In Sunday School lessons, we often gloss over the fact that Samson is a reckless, irresponsible, inebriated jerk who disappoints and endangers the Israelites he is supposed to be protecting. The truth is—Samson had more vices than virtues. He was about as imperfect as they come. Yet, God still used Samson to restore the faith and freedom of his people. If God can find a place for Samson, He just might have a place for us too.