When I was in high school my leader told me that Paul had a thorn in his side. A thorn? That must have hurt. No one really knows what that thorn was (poor eyesight, a limp, depression, etc.). Like Paul, Samson had a life long thorn. He had an addictive personality. Samson had a huge issue with LUST. My leader turned to me and said, “You have a thorn also Greg!” What? You also have an addictive personality. I. Have. An. Addictive. Personality?? What is that?
Do you have an addictive personality? How do you know? Eat food for Comfort? Use Alcohol to socialize, have to have a cup in your hand? Need to be constantly stay connected- always counting your followers and likes? Shop for self-esteem wanting what you buy make you stand out? Gambling excitement? Use drugs or anything really to self-medicate? Is everything VERY, VERY hard to quit?? If you do not have problems with lust you may know someone that does…
We live in a sensual society. Sensuality is everywhere at schools, in homes, on TV, Newspapers, mags. Ever since the Fall of man, we’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. Samson, whose life and exploits we have been studying in this series from Judges is a good case in point.
Samson’s Addictive Personality
One might expect Samson to lead now and lead well. But he goes very far spiritually and geographically away from God- he’s a spiritual midget but physical giant. Some think that 20 years have passed from chapter 15 to 16. Now Samson relives an old practice- Wandering Eyes. Samson has lived with an eye problem. Judges 16:1 is a picture of an addict who leaves home, maybe not wanting to be caught or really not caring.
Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her (Judges 16:1).
His rep precedes him, the town surrounds him. They think they finally will win. However, they experience a slight miscalculation. He handles gates like a realtor handles a For Sale sign. Samson carried gates 40 miles or to the top of the hill that faces Hebron…Taking gates meant Samson won! Gates were for defense. Jesus said The GATES of Hell cannot stand, there will never be a day when Satan will win. In our next post, I will share about the wonderful grace of God. But I am left scratching my head. Although God is not mentioned, there is no way Samson could have lifted the gates without the Spirit of the LORD rushing upon him. Without the spirit he would have been dinner to a lion, he would have been powerless against the Philistines, he would have been weak in the face of the Philistines.
LESSONS TO LEARN
Addictions are a long-term battle. Samson was 20 yrs in the clear. If we don’t continually fight, we will succumb.
We don’t build back up, we take up where we left off. Alcoholics are always alcoholics. What a frightening thought, “We may be walking with the Lord for years, but in an instant, in an unguarded moment, we can fall back in.” Please Heed: 1 Corinthians 10:12- Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
The grace of God covers are sins. The grace of God covers our shortcomings. God wants to live and work in us and through us.