Summary: Samson’s life story reminds us of the consequences of poor choices.
SAMSON, GOD’S STUMBLING HERO
Have you ever felt like a spiritual failure? If so, let me introduce to you others who have shared the same experiences in their lives: Samson, Jacob, Jonah, Martha, Peter, Thomas. Each of these people pictured for us in the Scripture had one thing in common. They were imperfect people, yet God still used them. And He wants to do the same things in and through us! So if you’ve ever felt like a sinner beyond help and beyond hope, I want to encourage you this morning. There is still hope.
Someone has said, “While there’s life, there is hope.” But the deeper truth is that only while there is hope is there life. If you take away the hope (or promise) that bad things will one day get better, then you reduce life to a painful burden too heavy and difficult to bear. To hope for better days is as natural as waking up in the morning. Alexander Pope wrote,
"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blest."
Where do we look for to find this hope? Can we look to the political process and find hope? Hardly. We should pray and vote to insure that moral and godly candidates are elected. But don’t be deceived. Hope for America is not found in the political arena. Furthermore, hope may not be found in the ever changing fields of medicine and technology. Hope that lasts beyond the grave is not found in the accumulation of wealth.
Where is true, genuine hope found? It is found in the God of hope. The God of hope was able to use Jacob the cheater, bossy Martha, stubborn Jonah, and the womanizing Samson.
It’s hard for us to read the story of Samson’s life without thinking, “This is a tragedy, a waste of potential.” The story of Samson’s life is a story of so much good being wasted because of the way he allowed himself to be snared in the traps of Satan.
And yet the Bible tells us that Samson is a hero of the Christian faith. Hebrews 11:32 - “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets.” The Bible goes on to say that these men “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
There is a phrase that is a part of Samson’s life; and a part of our lives as well: “Out of weakness [they] were made strong.” It is a part of the lives of all of God’s people on this earth who are not yet perfect.
What do we see in the life of Samson? What lessons should we learn from him?
I. THE DEFECTS IN HIS CHARACTER
A. He Couldn’t Resist a Girl (14:1-3)
Samson lived in a time when his society was more permissive perhaps than any other time in the days of Israel. As a matter of fact, the society in which he lived was so permissive that the Bible says in Judges 17:6 “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”