Summary: I don’t know if you realize it or not, but the life of Samson parallels that of the United States. The events of last week once again demonstrate the need for us to be obedient unto death.
Samson And The American Story
The events of Tuesday morning are events that will be with me the rest of my life. The pain in peoples eyes. The not knowing where their loved ones were or what happened to them. The un imaginable destruction and loss of live. The questions like why did this happen? Who did this? How can we recover? When a event like this happens there are only two ways to look at it: either you can learn from what has happened or you can continue on, in exactly the same way. I would tend to believe that most Americans would say that they would like to learn from what has happened. Because continuing on the same way, really isn’t an option. I believe that God works in mysterious ways. He can use this horrible situation to show us what we should do and how we should live. This morning I hope to take each of us on a quick trip to the past, look at the now grim present and look ahead to the hope filled future.
I. ONE WITH GOD
Read Judges 13:6-7
A Nazirite was someone who had made a special effort to serve God, to put him first in their lives. With the decision to become a Nazirite their were also some rules that they had to follow. Numbers 6 tells that a Nazirite must abstain from wine and not only wine but also grapes. The Nazirite person couldn’t cut their hair. They couldn’t go near a dead body. Verse 8 of Chapter 6 States “Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the Lord.” Well we see in Samsons case that he was going to separated for the Lord, from the day he was born until the day that he died. *Read Judges 13:24* So here we have Samson and as he grow the Lord is blessing him and by all accounts Samson is one with God. I think that this is very interesting, because at the beginnings of our Country, I believe we were one with God, and God was blessing us. Our Pledge of Allegiance states “One Nation Under God” and if you look at any of your money it reads “In God We Trust” You see being one with God brings blessings, but it also brings some rules and regulations. For Samson it was his food, hair and cleanliness. For us today it is our continuing commitment to follow God’s word and to teach others to do the same. To live lives that are fully trusting in God and His mighty power. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to the see the problem. The problem if you can’t already see it, is the idea of being one with God!
II. SEPARATED FROM GOD
As time went along Samson started doing things that were contrary to what God had in store for Samson. You see Samson started breaking some of the Nazerite vows *Read Judges 14:6-9* But you see the Lord was still blessing Samson. *Read Judges 16:1-3* Samson visits a prostitute, but is able to escape with the Lords help right? I’m not so sure. All the other situations of Samsons life the Lord was there to help him and it says “that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him” here it simply says that Samson broke free. I think there is a strong warning to us as Americans and Christians today. At the beginning our country was blessed because we were one with God. Now we have a strong economy, a top army and the best technology in the world. Now we would have to say that God is blessing us, right? Again, I’m not so sure. Even though we have won wars all over the world. I’m still not convinced God is blessing us. You see Samson had started to separate himself from God and I hope we are not fooling our selves by thinking that God will always look the other way to our lack of commitment and our lack of desire for Him and for His word. But the story continues. Samson falls in love with a young Philistine girl named Delilah. Delilah trys over and over to get Samson to tell her the secret of his strength, but each time when Philistines come, Samsons strength is never gone. After the third time Delilah has had enough. She pulls out all the stops Judges 16:16 says, “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death”. And what does Samson do? *Read Judges 16:17-20* But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Was Samsons strength in his hair? No, it was in his obedience to God. Is our power in our economy, our technology or our military might. No, it’s in our obedience to God. It is almost impossible to obedient to God and separated from Him. However I think many people in this country and many people in our churches have been trying to do just that. We say we want to be one with God when really we have separated ourselves from Him!