Summary: Comic book character? Superhuman? Incredibly strong. Incredibly flawed. The Strongman teaches us strong lessons.
The Strongman - Pt. 2
The Demands of Deliverance
Although his story only encompasses 4 short chapters in Judges, The Strongman has captured the imagination of Hollywood and Christians alike. A comic book hero with Hulk like traits minus the green skin. Meek and mild one moment and seething with uncontrollable anger and power the next. He was otherworldly strong and ironically real world weak.
We began to examine his life last week. We learned that God used The Strongman but didn’t change The Strongman. Samson settled for outward demonstration but resisted and failed to submit to inward transformation. We learned that The Strongman loved himself more than anyone else. He would constantly use his gift for his own good, benefit and pleasure although he was called to use his gift for the greater good. Out of our overview last week I asked you whether or not you are being changed by God and if your gift is being used to help anyone but you?
So let’s begin a more focused look at specific moments in The Strongman’s life. This morning I want to talk to you about "The Demands of Deliverance."
And then the People of Israel were back at it again, doing what was evil in God’s sight. God put them under the domination of the Philistines for forty years. At that time there was a man named Manoah from Zorah from the tribe of Dan. His wife was barren and childless. The angel of God appeared to her and told her, “I know that you are barren and childless, but you’re going to become pregnant and bear a son. But take much care: Drink no wine or beer; eat nothing ritually unclean. You are, in fact, pregnant right now, carrying a son. No razor will touch his head—the boy will be God’s Nazirite from the moment of his birth. He will launch the deliverance from Philistine oppression.”
III. The Demands
Just a few thoughts before we deal with the demands.
a. Back away from the back ats!
The opening stanza describes The Strongman’s environment and it screams to me and speaks about me and you! The Children of Israel were back at it! They have reverted to their evil.
How many of us are back at something that we should have at our back?
We continue to repeat and revisit our history rather than look back at our history. What we go back to brings us back to bondage and slavery. You would think we would just keep walking. We walked away but we fail to stay out! Too many of us are living back! We want God to fix the results of our decisions without dealing with the decision making process so we end up back at it! It doesn’t seem to matter what promotion, what raise, or what change you end up back at it. It is time to deal with the back so you can move forward. You can’t seem to be happy because you won’t deal with the back. New spouse but back at it. New car but back at it. New house but back at it. New job back at it!
What are you back at this morning? What is it that God set you free from that you continue to go back to? What habit? What addiction? What attraction? What are you back at? It is time to get out and stay out!
Many of us would be much closer to freedom if we would quit being back at!
b. Are you the least likely or the likely least?
The Strongman’s mother was the least likely to give birth to deliverance. She is unnamed. She is barren. She is unknown.
Some of you have disqualified yourself from being a carrier of the supernatural because you think you are the least likely. You have been barren. You have been dry. You have been hurt. You have been divorced. You have been broken. You have been passed over. However, the encouraging truth is you aren’t the least likely. You are the likely least! God loves to birth greatness in folks that can’t take the credit! He specializes in using the passed over, overlooked, and unexpected. Unknown to man doesn’t equate to unknown to God!
c. Deliverance always comes with demands.
Samson’s mother receives a mandate from God. Take much care. In other words, you have been given a great, God gift and it is now your responsibility to handle that gift with care. Don’t take the gift for granted. Don’t squander it. Don’t mismanage it. Don’t pollute it. Don’t just ponder the gift . . . protect the gift. Some of us examine our gift; think about our gift, parade our gift but most of us never protect our gift! Take much care! Refuse to pollute your gift!