Summary: 5th in a series of characters mentioned in hebrews ll

Chico Alliance Church

December 1, 2002

Pastor David Welch


Unlikely Heroes Part Six


We have learned some important lessons by observing the kind of people God uses to accomplish his purposes on this earth.

Mainly, they are people with some of the exact same struggles that we face and yet found themselves mightily used by God to bring significant victory for God’s kingdom.

Barak in all his reluctance courageously faced the enemy and brought about victory.

Gideon, in spite of a long list of inadequacies became a courageous warrior and leader.

God used Jephthah an illegitimate impulsive tough guy to deliver from Ammonite oppression.

We began to look at the life of a most unlikely hero; Samson who was born with every advantage but was driven by hormones.

You might sum up Samson’s life as follows: a thrilling supernatural birth, a turbulent self-indulgent life, a tragic premature end.

I. Thrilling Beginning

A. Samson’s parents in their Home town of Zorah in Dan

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. 13:2

Childless couple Manoah and his (unnamed) wife from the tribe of Dan

B. Angelic announcement to Manoah’s wife

You shall conceive and have a son who shall begin to deliver Israel and be a lifelong Nazirite, one specially dedicated to the Lord.

C. The wife’s conversation with Manoah

D. Manoah’s conversation with the Lord

E. The Angel visit

F. The Sacrifice and divine affirmation

This incident reinforced the identity of the one who had been speaking with them.

G. Samson’s birth

H. Samson’s call

II. Turbulent life

A. Driven by the lust of the eye

A Philistine woman catches his eye and he demands that she become his wife.

B. Blessed and protected in spite of rebellion

C. Broken vow to God

The Nazirite was not to come near a dead carcass let alone eat out of one.

Samson’s physical lust not only caused him to despise his heritage and defy his parents but to defile his body, deceive and defile his parents as well.

Unbridled lust and passion always destroys relationships, breeds deeper rebellion and selfishness and leads to ultimate ruin.

D. Bitter betrayal and broken marriage

Then his father went down to the woman; and Samson made a feast there, for the young men customarily did this. When they saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Then Samson said to them, "Let me now propound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes. "But if you are unable to tell me, then you shall give me thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes." And they said to him, "Propound your riddle, that we may hear it." So he said to them,

"Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet."

But they could not tell the riddle in three days.

Then it came about on the fourth day that they said to Samson’s wife, "Entice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us to impoverish us? Is this not so?" Samson’s wife wept before him and said, "You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me." And he said to her, "Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?" However she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people. So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, "What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?"

And he said to them, "If you had not plowed with my heifer, You would not have found out my riddle."

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house. But Samson’s wife was given to his companion who had been his friend. 14:10-20

What looks good form the outside isn’t always good on the inside.

Samson thought he was getting a “head turner” and ended up with a “spine grater”.

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