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Summary: A look at several (from entertainment and science) who started out as failures but became great successes. Samson is our model of one who started well, failed miserably, but was restored.

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The Restoration of a Failure

Judges 16:20-22

Today I want to start by looking at some Famous Failures.

1. He was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of creativity and imagination.

2. He did not speak until he was 4 and didn’t read til 7, his teacher called him "Slow"

3. He went broke 5 times before devising the first assembly line produced automobile.

4. 12 times he failed in business and in politics before he became the 16 President of the United States

5. In grade school he did so poorly that his teachers gave up trying to help him… today teachers teach his theory of gravity and call him Sir.

6. As a young man his teacher said, “As a composer he is useless.” During his not so bright career he went deaf. What good is a deaf composer… what kind of music can he compose? He did his best work… Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

7. He was a very poor student. His teacher said he was… “ too stupid to learn anything.” He failed 9000 times before he created the first incandescent light bulb.

8. His high school coach cut him from the team because of his “Lack of skill.”

9. She was cut in the first year of her contract with 20th Century Fox because her producer said she was “Unattractive and cannot act.”

For 40 years she has been the poster child for Unattractive Women

Today, I want to talk about one of scripture’s most famous failures... Samson.

Last week we looked at

The Blessing of a Godly Start

The Destruction of Godless Choices

The Contagious Nature of Sin

and

The Destructive Wake of Sin

We left Samson in the quagmire of his own sinful nature.

We looked at 3 sad verses in the 14th chapter

V. 1 Samson went down

V. 5 Samson went down WITH his parents

V. 10 Samson’s father went down

Chapters 14, 15 and 16 tell the story of Samson’s continued descent into the abyss of moral decline.

The verses get sadder and sadder, until we reach the saddest verse in the whole story

verse 20... "But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him."

This is a solemn warning to all people... lost and saved.

God is holy and righteous and he will not dwell in an evil and sinful place.

Samson’s life had degenerated into such a sorry state of affairs, so sinful, so unrepentant, so ungodly that God withdrew his presence, his blessings, his strength and his protection.

God has given us a warning that "My spirit shall not always strive with a man." Gen 6:3

If you are lost… God will send His Spirit to convict you of sin and to lead you to repentance. He will have patience and strive long and hard with you.

But there comes a time when the Spirit no longer convicts, no longer afflicts, no longer calls. That man is hopeless.

If the Spirit is dealing with you, praise God.... listen and heed while he calls.

If you are saved, God has promised "I will never leave you and never forsake you." Heb 13:5

But neither can He be a part of sin and ungodliness.

He will not be a party to your sin.

He will not ultimately leave you or forsake you... he will be there at the judgment.

However…He WILL withdraw his presence, his power, his peace, his protection, his guidance.

ILLUSTRATION: AS a child I remember watching a movie about a little boy who got sprayed by a skunk. His parents nearly scrubbed the skin off him but they could not get rid of the odor. So for a couple of days, he had to sleep in the barn and eat his meals outside the house. He could see his family inside the house eating at the table, laughing and talking. When it got dark he sat in the yard and watched through the window as Pa read a story to the other kids and watched his Ma tuck the others in bed. It broke his heart to be excluded… on the outside looking in.

I guess if you could multiply that hurt to about the tenth power… you would understand what Samson felt as he sat in the darkness of that prison cell or as he was tied to the handle and walked in circles to grind corn.

Samson did not know that he had fallen so far that God had withdrawn.

Many Christians today do not realize that God has withdrawn and taken with Him His Spirit, His strength, His peace, His blessings and His protection.

Samson had flirted with evil, befriended evil men and engaged in evil activities.

He had become desensitized to evil.

And ignoring the prompting of the Spirit of God, the warnings of his Father and the tears of his mother… he had toyed with sin until he thought it could not hurt him.

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