Summary: Samson is often seen as the example of how NOT to be a man of God. But Hebrews 11 lists him in the chapter of faith. So what is it about Samson and his faith that we need to learn?
"Faster than a locomotive. More powerful than a speeding bullet.
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Look! Up in the air! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman.
Superman. Visitor from a strange planet endowed with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men.
Superman. Who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, wages a never ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way."
George Reeves was one of original actors who portrayed Superman on TV. But his fame was not without certain risks. Every time he donned his superman suit in public there were people who would kick him in the shins, hit him in his back with their fists, and otherwise assault him. His young admirers didn't mean any harm really… they were just eager to prove how strong the "Man of Steel" really was. This was their idol.
One afternoon in Detroit in 1953, Reeves’ costume nearly cost him his life. He was making an appearance at a department store when a young fan pulled out his father’s loaded .45 caliber Army Colt and pointed it directly at Reeves’ chest. Miraculously, Reeves talked the kid into putting it down. He assured the boy that Superman could stand the force of the shot, but "when bullets bounce off my chest, they might hurt you and others around here."
APPLY: That seems crazy doesn't it? To think, that just the appearance of George Reeves in his Superman costume would elicit such a response from people. But, there was something about that suit that set George Reeves apart. If he’d walked into that Department store simply wearing a business suit, or a Hawaiian shirt, he might have been mobbed by his fans… but I doubt they would have hit him – or pointed a gun at him. It was the suit that set him apart.
It was the suit that stood for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”
It was the suit that struck fear into the hearts of evil doers
And it was the suit that created hope in the hearts of the down trodden
It was the suit that set Superman apart
He was a strange visitor from another planet, endowed with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. But (pause)… he was fiction. The red caped Superman has never existed except in the lands of TV, movies and comic books
I. Years ago, however, there lived a real superman – born in a little Smallville known as Zorah
He may not have been faster than a speeding bullet
More powerful than a locomotive
Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound
BUT I suspect he could have bent steel in his bare hands.
His name was Samson.
Just as an example of how powerful Samson was:
"…Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and he came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion roared against him and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion asunder as one tears a kid; and he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done." (Judges 14:5-6 RSV)
"When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the ropes which were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of an ass, and put out his hand and seized it, and with it he slew a thousand men." (Judges 15:14-15 RSV)
"The Gazites were told, ’Samson has come here,’ and they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, ’Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.’ But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is before Hebron." (Judges 16:2-3 RSV)
Samson killed a lion with his bare hands
Wiped out 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey
AND uprooted a city gate, carrying it nearly 40 miles away.
Samson was not someone you messed with.
To paraphrase an old Jim Croce song:
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit in the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger… and you don’t mess around with Samson
The Philistines feared him, the Israelites adored him, and everybody knew WHO he was.