Summary: We must have the courage to overcome failure.


Judges 13-16

S: Courage

Th: Profiles in Courage


?: Inductive

KW: Component

TS: We will find in our study of Judges 13-16 how Samson overcame his failures.

The _____ component of Samson’s story is the…






Version: ESV

RMBC 27 July 03 AM


ILL Notebook: Strength (Really bad dude)

From Bad Beginning to Happy Endings, Ed Young

An old fellow had been in the north woods for weeks by himself, camping out. Each night at dusk he built a campfire, boiled water for coffee, and took out his skillet to fry up some bacon for dinner. As he was sitting by the fire one night, the water boiling and the bacon sizzling, he heard a tremendous racket in the brush. The sound was like a roaring freight train, and as trees fell over and branches snapped, the biggest bear he’d ever seen lumbered into the clearing. And on the bear’s back was a tough-looking man holding a seven-foot live rattlesnake in his hands.

The man shouted and screamed as he brought the bear to a skidding halt, bit the head off the rattlesnake, and flung it into the brush. Then he slid off the bear’s back, turned, and hit him between the eyes, knocking him unconscious.

The camper was speechless as this wild-eyed renegade walked over to the fire, tossed the boiling coffee down his throat, drank hot grease from the skillet, and ate all of the bacon in one bite.

As he wiped his hands with poison ivy and slapped the bear back into consciousness, he turned to the camper and said, “Partner, I’m sorry I can’t stay around and visit with you a while, but I’ve got to keep moving ‘cause a real bad dude is chasing me.”

1. Have you ever met a really bad dude?

Have you ever met someone that just really scared you?

Well, as we continue our series of “Profiles in Courage,” we meet someone that had the same kind of effect on people.

In fact, a whole nation fears him and his homeland treats him with a degree of wariness.

His name was Samson, and he…

2. Samson was a gifted man with tremendous strength.

As we give consideration to this man, we are going to see that he was extraordinary.

He was a man that God blessed with great opportunity.

He had all the makings to become one of the all-time greats.

But, even though he had great potential…

3. A broad examination of Samson’s life brings us to the conclusion that he was a failure.

Though he was greatly gifted, he was not a zealous servant of the Lord.

Samson’s walk with God was, at best, erratic.

His life is rampant with reckless adventures, the acting on momentary impulses.

His thirst for revenge and his weakness for women leads us to conclude that his life was squandered.

4. Yet, we find Samson making “The Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11:32-34).

When the writer of Hebrews notes those that excelled in the demonstration of faith, hear what he says…

[32] And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — [33] who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, [34] quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

This is so amazing!

How does he get in?

Well, let’s consider the story of Samson…


I. The first component of Samson’s story is the PRODIGY.

1. Samson was a miracle baby (13:2-3).

[2] There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. [3] And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.”

We know from our previous studies of the Hebrew culture, not having children was considered a tragedy.

So when the angel of the Lord approaches Manoah’s wife with a message about bearing a son, this is more than exciting.

This was a miracle.

And as is always the case in these types of circumstances, this son was going to special.

This son would become an important leader for Israel and be a blessing for his homeland.

You see…

2. Samson was a man with a calling (13:5).

Hear the instructions for this set of godly parents…

[5] “…you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”

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