Summary: in spite of his pride, God used Samson and God can use you also!
• SLIDE #1
• Last week we started our Great Deliverers series by looking at a man who was fearful and humble almost to a fault. Gideon was able to overcome his fear and become a great deliverer for God.
• Today, we are going to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and look at a man who was far from humble and for a good chunk of his life, far from obedient.
• Today we will look at Samson, a man who was able to deliver despite his enormous arrogance and pride.
• The example of Samson is not an example we would necessarily want to model; yet, in spite of his pride, God was still able to use Samson for His purpose.
• Samson was a man who from birth was called by God to be something special.
• Yet during his adult life, Samson did not embrace his calling from God.
• Samson seemed to squander the great blessing that God had given him; however, as we look at his life, we will see that God was still with him.
• Samson is the last judge mentioned in the Book of Judges.
• SLIDE #2
• Depending the timeline one follows, Samson lived around 1100 BC to 1049 BC. Samson was born to be a Nazarite, who was one who for a period of time or a lifetime would vow to refrain from alcohol or anything grape related, they would refrain from cutting their hair, and they would avoid dead bodies.
• There was a prescribed way to end one’s Nazarite vow that we will not cover today.
• The Bible does not seem to offer a reason for taking a Nazarite vow, it is implied that it is a sign of devotion or seek answer to prayer.
• Remember the cycle of sin, servitude, supplication, and salvation the nation of Israel was going through in the book of Judges, well, Israel was in throws of the servitude part of the cycle.
• In Judges 13:1 we are told the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so God handed the nation over to the Philistines for 40 years!
• During Gideon’s time, it was only 7!
• SLIDE #3 POINTER
• SLIDE #4 POINTER
• Philistia was located on the southernmost coastal plain of the ancient land of Canaan (southern Levant) and included the territory extending from the Yarkon River (in the north) to the Wadi Gaza (in the south).
• Thanks to its location, it dominated the southernmost stretch of the international commercial route named the Via Maris (“way of the sea”), through which trade between Egypt and the Levant passed.
• So this takes us to the story of Samson.
• What I hope we can glean from Samson is that you do not have to be perfect to be used by God, as a matter of fact, God can and will use us in spite of ourselves at times.
• Let’s begin by observing that…
• SLIDE #5
I. God used Samson despite his pride.
• Samson is born, and here is what the book of Judges states concerning his childhood.
• SLIDE #6
• Judges 13:24–25 (CSB) — 2So the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew, and the Lord blessed him. Then the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
• All we know is that Samson was blessed by God as he grew up. Then we see that the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him.