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Summary: Why was Samson the only Nazirite to be born with superhuman strength. The answer may surprise you.

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OPEN: (We played the opening to the original Superman series, as well as displaying a picture of George Reeves - which stayed on the overhead thru the first illustration)

"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

(Here we displayed a montage of Superman’s from the first TV superman up thru Dean Cain of "Lois and Clark")

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)


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Talk about it...

Ahkeem Darden

commented on Aug 17, 2012

What about 14:19 when he struck down the 30 philistines and stripped them of thier belonging? He had to have touched dead bodies then?

Jeff Strite

commented on Aug 18, 2012

Ahkeem, you asked a very good question on my Samson sermon. And it''s not a question I know the answer for. Touching a dead body was a "bad" thing for any Israelite (tho especially Nazarites). Anyone who did so was unclean and could not offer sacrifice. I''m not sure the Bible addresses this quandry for soldiers. My suspicion however is that the dead in war was viewed differently in the eyes of God than the dead who just happened to be laying along side the road. The issue (I believe) would have been the problem of disease that can be spread when coming in contact with bodies that have been dead for a few days. I could be wrong, but this makes sense to me.

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