My coach would always say, “Never play to the level of your competition.” I guess if your competition was better it would be bad advice. I have seen too many teams play to the level of their competition and not play to the top of their ability. It is extremely frustrating as a coach. Samson is the strongest in the league by far. It is hard to get any good game tape on this guy…”no one knows where his strength comes from” (Judges 16:6). He has destroyed thousands with a jawbone of a donkey, torn lions apart, caught foxes and destroyed crops. This all leads me to ask: What did Samson look like? Hollywood Samson or maybe the real Jewish Samson?
If Samson was what we think, “Incredible Hulk Samson” then I am not sure why people insisted on trying to figure out where his strength came from. No I believe Samson looked like any typical Jewish man would have looked. There seems to always be mystery and intrigue when it comes to God. Enter Delilah whose name means “weak one!” She is called in the find out the answer. She begs, pleads, coaxes him to give her the secret. We are crying in the background, “Wake up Man!”
Samson’s Fatal Attraction
Addictive people don’t typically become addicts over night. If we knew our actions would result in our death or destruction we probably wouldn’t carry them out. No one wakes up one day and decides I’m going to jump off a cliff to my death, without first going down a long path of struggle, deception, giving in, being overwhelmed by chemicals, not having the correct medicinal path, etc. Samson gives closer and closer hints to the “real” secret. Slowly we crawl to the cliff of disaster. Those who are destroyed by addictions get to a place where it is virtually impossible to turn back. The first steps were the determining ones.
St. Ambrose said, “Samson, when brave, strangled a lion; but he could not strangle his own love. He burst the fetters of his foes; but not the cords of his own lusts. He burned the crops of others, and lost the fruit of his own virtue when burning with the flame enkindled by a single woman.
How Should we then Live in Light of This???
Cultivate Intimacy with God- As long as Samson looked to God to quench his thirst he was all right, but when he stopped looking to God he became thirsty and succumbed to Temptation. Our ability to drink will determine our spiritual satisfaction and our ability to spiritually flow.
Marriage does not solve the problem of LUST! Lust is a spiritual problem not a physical issue. If you struggled with LUST before marriage you will after. Marriage is not your answer, Jesus is your answer, the gospel is your power.
Build a Strategic attitude toward Lust–
- Deal ruthlessly with thoughts- Lust starts in the Mind (Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 10:5
- Deal objectively with Movies, Magazines, Marketing…Photoshop is not real.
- Do your best to be accountable- We should never think we can out grow our acct.
- Understand what Flee means- 2 Tim 2:22
Finally…Isn’t it funny how boys play fight with their dad’s. I’m gonna get you Dad…Roar. One punch and they hit your watch and go crying to mom. I’m not sure how to react to that…in the same way, I am not sure how to react to Samson, he seems like he should know better. Even though we don’t want our sons to be like him or our daughters to date him, God used him in big ways. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Should we be like him or not be like him?
I hope the Samson story actually causes your heart to long for Jesus, I hope you see the GRACE of GOD in fresh ways…Judges 16:22. In all of our Brokenness, God’s grace shines bright…he is the God of second chances.
When we look at this story there are several connection points to JESUS-
- Births- both foretold by an Angel
- Both were sold out for silver
- Both were saviors- Samson’s story was set in the Judges period where the story of salvation is played over and over, the people cry out to God and they hear. We see God using broken heroes all over this story, people of fear, deformed people, prideful people, and one like Samson a person full of lust.
- Make no mistake- Jesus is the GREATER Samson. Only Jesus can restore us. He’s the only one who can mend our brokenness. He alone can break down anything separating us from God.
There is brokenness all around us. Every where you turn, people are in pain. This wasn’t God’s design…we got there because of SIN. God made a way through our hero Jesus. He came down, paid our debt and died in our place, and then rose again. If we turn and believe we can be restored, healed, and grow in a relationship with God. What is more, we can go into a world of brokenness and share the love of Jesus.