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Summary: SAMSON - even with these great displays of strength and awesome accomplishments, he DID NOT live up to the potential God placed in His life! Let’s look at Smson’s strengths and weakness and learn how “Only the Strong Survive.”

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Only The Strong Survive!

Text: Judges 13-16

Video: Power Team

Introduction:

Tonight we are going to look at the life of Samson - the strongest man ever! He killed a lion with his bear hands. He picked up the gates of the city Gaza, put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the hill for everyone to see. He killed one thousand men with the jaw bone of a donkey. He collapsed the temple of Dagon by pushing the two pillars down that supported the building, killing over 3000 men and women.

This was one strong dude! He would make the power team look like wimps!

BUT - even with these great displays of strength and awesome accomplishments, he DID NOT live up to the potential God placed in His life! Let’s look at Smson’s strengths and weakness and learn how “Only the Strong Survive.”

Samson’s Strengths

1. Supernatural birth - His mother was infertil, but an angel appeared and prophecied about her giving birth. His supernatural birth indicates God’s special call and purpose for his life.

Life in itself is a miracle of God. Because of that, God too has a purpose for your life. God has a pupose foreverything - and it includes you! God’s purpose in our life should give us strength and hope for whatever comes our way. As long as we persue that purpose, God will give us the strength to overcome.

2. Dedicated at Birth - Nazarite Vow

Nazarite = “to set apart” (Numbers 6:2-21), designated one who was set apart and dedicated wholly to the Lord.

It was a voluntary act designed to teach Israel that total devotion to God must come first from a person’s heart and then come to expression in self-denial, visible profession, and personal purity.

A. Disciplined in Appetite - He couldn’t allow anything unclean in his body. This was an act of self- denial and discipline.

We too must be disciplined to not allow anything unclean in our spirits - music, TV, etc.

B. Disctinct in Appearance - He couldn’t cut his hair. It gave him a disctinct appearance - everyone would know by his hair that he was a Nazarite. Long hair was a disgrace to a man. For a Nazarite, having long hair sybolized his willingness bear ridicule for the Lord’s sake.

Are we disctinct in appearance, or do we look just like the world? Are we showing skin, wearing tight clothes, rebelious style clothing?

C. Discret in Association - He couldn’t go near a dead person. Death was not a part of God’s plan for mankind. Death is a result of sin, and therefore a corps is viewed as unclean.

Who do you associate with? Are you amoung the living dead - sinners, or do you surround yourself with Life - those who live for Christ?

Transition:

The things that should have been Samson’s strength, because of compromise, became his weaknesses!

Samson’s Weakness

1. He followed his lusts rather than the law (14:1)

From day one fo Israel’s deliverance, God specifically told them not to have mixed marriages (Exodus 34:15-16; Duet. 7:1-6).

Now Samson, a Nazarite, seperated unto God as an example to Israel, choses to follow his own fleshly desires rather that obeying God’s Word.

Disreguard for the law of God is weakness that allow the enemy to take advantage you.

2. He chose rebelion rather than accepting rulership. (14:2-3)

Now here is the strongest guy ever, muscles bulging out everywhere, who probably had the pick of any woman he wanted in the nation of Israel, yet he wants the Philistine, the enemy who he’s not allowed to have. His parents were against it!

Your parents need to be involved in the major decisions of your life. They have knowledge and wisdom to help guide you into what’s best for your life. They have been given to you by God to help you attain the potential God has placed within you.

Rebelion against authority destroys our ability to rule over our enemies.

3. He pursued his passions rather than purity. (16:1)

Instaed of learning from his mistakes, Samson seemed to repeat them. Here again Samson is giving in to his flesh and spends a night with a prostitute.

If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are destined to repeat them.

4. He became comfortable with compromise rather than conviction.

Again in 16:4 he falls for another Philistine, Delilah. This guy really has a problem! Remember, Samson was a Judge - “set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (13:5b). He is supposed to be out delivering his people from the oppression of the Philistines, but instead he’s flirting with them! He was litterally sleeping with the enemy!

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