Samson’s story is found in Judges 13-16. Samson is often portrayed as an example of how NOT to be a man of God, and there is some legitimacy to that, as we read about his weaknesses. But in Hebrews 11:32, Samson is listed in that chapter that names so many of the great Old Testament men and women of faith! What is it about Samson’s faith and weaknesses that we need to learn?
I. Samson’s Fame – Judges 13:4-5, 7, 14
A. Samson’s mother was told by an angel that her “boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb.” – Judges 13:5 – also see Numbers 6:2-8
B. The faith of Samson’s mother (and later his father), even while she was pregnant, began the process for Samson to become “set apart” for God’s work!
C. Samson’s super-human strength was shown on many occasions. He killed a lion with his bare hands (Judges 14:5-6), wiped out 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15), AND uprooted a city gate, carrying it nearly 40 miles away (Judges 16:1-3).
D. Samson’s strength didn’t just rest with the length of his hair. His strength came from God. And so does your spiritual strength! – Psalm 28:7; Eph. 6:10; 2 Cor. 12:10; Phil. 4:13
II. Samson’s Shame – Judges 14:1-3
A. Samson began to show a weakness. He did not choose the right kind of woman!
B. Samson was actually sinning by going against God’s command not to marry outside of their faith! – some examples are Judges 14:16-17; 3:6-7; Ezra 10:2-14; 2 Cor. 6:14-18
C. Samson’s shame got worse when he began going to prostitutes! – Judges 16:1-5, 20
D. Ultimately, Samson lost his strength because of a sin that affects so many – PRIDE! – Prov. 16:18; 1 Cor. 10:12
It’s our pride that can lead us look to ourselves when we need strength; when we are faced with temptation. It’s our pride that can make us look anywhere but to God when we have to make decisions. And it’s that pride that can lead us into bondage and pain in our lives. May we always be “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2)!