Summary: Samson was strong....but not strong enough. At least not strong enough to overcome his biggest enemy.....himself !
The Strong Man Who Wasn’t Strong Enough !
Intro. The book of Judges is a book of cycles. The cycle consists of.....disobedience to God, dominion over them, and deliverance from them. This cycle is repeated seven times in the book of Judges. The story of Samson’s life occurs in the seventh, and final cycle. In verse one we see the beginning of this final cycle........”And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord......and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. The Philistines were idolators who came out of Egypt, and were possibly related to the ancient babylonians. They were enemies of Israel.......yet God allowed these wicked idolators to have dominion over his people in hopes of bringing them to repentance. Oh.....the patience of God ! We see his loving kindness in the giving of a new deliverer !
I. The Seed Promised. 13:1-5, 24
a. The barreness.
This woman’s barren condition pictures the spiritual emptiness of the children of Israel.
b. The blessing.
Initially this “angel of the LORD” appears only to the barren wife. But Manoah upon hearing the news of the messenger’s visit prays that God would send him again to confirm what he had said previously.
c. The belief
The devotion of this couple is quite evident. There is no indication of disbelief. They have faith in God, and desire that his will be done in the life of this child. So concerned in fact that they ask God to send the messenger again, and to give them instructions as to how to raise him.
Their devotion is seen in their desire to be hospitable to this heavenly visitor. We see their devotion in the offering of a sacrifice unto the Lord, and also in their recognition of who this guest was. This “angel from the Lord” was the pre-incarnate Christ.
II. The Separation Pronounced.
Numbers 6 gives the details concerning the Nazarite. A Nazarite was usually a self-imposed vow of consecration and discipline for the purpose of some special service. It was usually made for a certain length of time. The child promised to Manoah, and his wife is pronounced by the Lord to be a Nazarite from the womb. Notice the areas of consecration.
If Samson was to be the leader that God wants him to be, then he must be a consecrated man. He must be set apart, separated, distinct, different. So it is with every man, woman, boy or girl who would be used of God, and fulfil his or her God-given purpose, and potential. The key to success as a leader........the key to strength is consecration to God !
a. Separated in his appearance.
No razor was to come upon his head.
Why ? He was to be different in his appearance ! It is a possibility that the Philistines who now ruled over the children of Israel practiced “shaving the head.” Samson was to be different from those he sought to be delivering his people from........the child of God in order to make a difference must first of all be different.
b. Separated in his abstinence.
Samson was to be separated to the Lord in his abstinence of wine, and strong drink ! As children of God, we are to “Abstain from all appearance of evil !” 1 Thess.