Summary: Taken down. Shoulders on the mat. No way of escape seems available. Could it be that God is setting up reverse instead?


Part 3

I. Introduction

Wrestling is a sport for the strong. It separates the pretenders quickly. I learned some valuable lessons from wrestling. However, for some of you wrestling is confusing.

So once again here is your crash course in wrestling. If you manage to take your opponent down to the ground from a standing position you have scored a “Takedown” and you are awarded 2 points. If you can then turn that opponent onto his back you are awarded back points of either 3 or 5 points depending on how long you can hold them in that position. If you can put both shoulder blades on the mat you have scored a pin and the match is over. There are 2 other main scoring options that take place once a person has been taken down. If a wrestler, after being taken down, gets away from his opponent and regains his feet then he has “Escaped” and gets 1 point. If a wrestler is taken down, but then turns the tables on the opponent and switches positions into a controlling position he has scored a “Reverse” and receives 2 points.

So a reverse is worth more points. So far I have I encouraged you to quit quitting

and not to settle for an escape. Then this past week I challenged you to not allow the can’ts to keep you from the cans. There are things we all face that we can’t do anything about. However, there are things you can do to set your reverse in motion! I also taught you that a reverse is based on timing. You have to allow God to operate in His timing.

So today I want us to look at one another reverse recorded in Scripture and try to

learn some things.

II. Text

Judges 13:24

The woman gave birth to a son. They named him Samson. The boy grew and GOD blessed him.

Judges 16:4-5, 16-17, 21-30

4-5 Some time later he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek (Grapes). Her name was Delilah. The Philistine tyrants approached her and said, "Seduce him. Discover what's behind his great strength and how we can tie him up and humble him. Each man's company will give you a hundred shekels of silver."

16-17 She kept at it day after day, nagging and tormenting him. (There is certainly a message in this verse, but being a wise man I will move on!) Finally, he was fed up—he couldn't take another minute of it. He spilled it.

He told her, "A razor has never touched my head. I've been God's Nazirite from conception. If I were shaved, my strength would leave me; I would be as helpless as any other mortal."

21-22 The Philistines grabbed him, gouged out his eyes, and took him down to Gaza. They shackled him in irons and put him to the work of grinding in the prison. But his hair, though cut off, began to grow again. 23-24 The Philistine tyrants got together to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon. They celebrated, saying, Our god has given us Samson our enemy! And when the people saw him, they joined in, cheering their god, Our god has given Our enemy to us, The one who ravaged our country, Piling high the corpses among us.

25-27 Then this: Everyone was feeling high and someone said, "Get Samson! Let him show us his stuff!" (The enemy wants to make a spectacle of you!) They got Samson from the prison and he put on a show for them. They had him standing between the pillars. Samson said to the young man who was acting as his guide, "Put me where I can touch the pillars that hold up the temple so I can rest against them." The building was packed with men and women, including all the Philistine tyrants. And there were at least three thousand in the stands watching Samson's performance.

28 And Samson cried out to GOD: Master, GOD! Oh, please, look on me again, Oh, please, give strength yet once more. God! With one avenging blow let me be avenged On the Philistines for my two eyes! 29-30 Then Samson reached out to the two central pillars that held up the building and pushed against them, one with his right arm, the other with his left. Saying, "Let me die with the Philistines," Samson pushed hard with all his might. The building crashed on the tyrants and all the people in it. He killed more people in his death than he had killed in his life.

II. Samson

Talk about a turn of events. Samson was a plague. He had terrorized the Philistines at every turn. He set their fields on fire. He wiped out entire battalion of soldiers with nothing but a jawbone of a donkey. He ripped gates off their cities and left them vulnerable to attack. He was their greatest threat. He was the great equalizer for the Israelites. He was untouchable. He was a national hero. Now, he finds himself, nothing more than a circus act. Ridiculed. Harassed. Laughing stock. He goes from being Super Man to spectacle. From a punisher to a plow boy. A judge to a joke.

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