Summary: Part 3 of series on Samson
Small Steps Toward Big Destruction
Samson Week 3
We are in the middle of a 4-week series called Samson.
In case you missed last week, let me give you a quick review.
At this time in history,
Israel had been conquered by and were being oppressed by
and Samson was called by God
to free God’s people.
God gave Samson supernatural strength
in order to do what God called him to do,
and God just asked Samson to obey 3 Nazirite vows,
to not cut his hair,
touch dead things,
or drink alcohol,
as a way of showing that Samson was set apart
to be used by God.
Unfortunately we saw that,
just like many of us who have so much potential,
Samson again and again made bad decisions.
The first week, we looked at
3 attitudes that make strong men weak.
The first attitude is lust; 'I want it',
as he pursued a Philistine woman,
something he was forbidden to do.
The second attitude is entitlement; 'I deserve it',
as he went and touched something dead,
so he broke one of his Nazirite vows.
The third problem we see is pride;
as he throws a drinking party,
and breaks the second of his 3 Nazirite vows,
because he says, 'I can handle it,
I want it, I deserve it and I can handle it!'
those are 3 attitudes that our spiritual enemy, Satan,
loves to use, to make strong men weak.
The good news is though;
we serve a God
who loves to make weak men strong.
Now, last week we talked about
another weakness of Samson.
He was emotion driven, not Spirit led.
We watched him give in to two common emotions
that hurt men so often;
the emotions of anger and of pride.
But at the end of last week, we watched as Samson,
after defeating 1,000 men in battle,
kind of came to himself in the middle of a desert
and realized, 'I'm in big trouble.
I am going to die of thirst out here in the desert.'
And we learned the principle that
when you allow your deepest need to drive you to God,
God will meet your deepest need.
Today, as we pick up the story,
Samson’s in the desert, dying of thirst
he cries out to God.
Then God does a miracle,
and provides water for him,
Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, [which means, the spring of the one who cried out] and it is still there in Lehi.
20 Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
If you're not careful,
you can read just right past verse 20,
but that is actually an amazing verse.
because in one verse
it captures 20 years of apparent faithfulness.
20 years is a long time.
I’ve been a pastor here only 18 years,
but that seems like a really long time.
Samson humbled himself,
and cried out to God for help,
he was revived and refreshed
and all of a sudden now,
he's on the right track,
and he stays on the right track for 20 years,
doing what he was created to do.
We're going to watch though,
as tragically, this guy who is doing things well,
honoring God, serving Him,
as many of you may be doing right now.
we're going to see this guy
with so much God-given potential
after 20 years of faithfulness,
he makes some terrible decisions
that destroy his life,
and destroy all that he worked for,
In fact, by the end of the story today,
He’ll be a blind slave,
with his eyes gouged out,
his hands shackled;
and he's the laughing stock of his enemies, the Philistines.
And it raises the question,
How could a man with so much strength,
with so much God-given potential,
mess up his life so badly?
And the answer --- is our key thought for the day:
Samson didn't ruin his life all at once.
He ruined it one step at a time.
And the interesting part is,
that’s exactly the same way
many of us have, or will mess up our lives,
one step at a time.
Most people don't do it all at once.
How do we do it?
we mess up our lives one step at a time.
Lets continue our story…
One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute.
Whooooo! Wait a second!
We just read that he served God faithfully 20 years
and then it says,
One day, he does what?
goes to Gaza, and gets a prostitute?
One day – he just went the wrong direction.