Samson, from the biblical book of Judges, struggled with characteristic traits that weakened his life with God. What can we learn from the tragic life of Samson and the distractions that hindered him from serving God?

Message by Todd Lester – October 9, 2016

Judges 13:24 When her son was born, she named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him as he grew up.

HOW TO BE A STRONGER PERSON

CHARACTERISTICS THAT WILL WEAKEN YOUR LIFE

1. SELF-INDULGENCE WEAKENS YOUR LIFE

Judges 14:1-20

Judges 14:1-3 One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.” His father and mother objected. “Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?” they asked. “Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?” But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.”

Galatians 6:7-8a Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.

  • Strong people discipline their desires.

1 Corinthians 6:12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.

Proverbs 25:28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

2. BITTERNESS WEAKENS YOUR LIFE

Judges 15:1-17

Judges 15:3 Samson said, “This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.”

Judges 15:7 “Because you did this,” Samson vowed, “I won’t rest until I take my revenge on you!”

Judges 15:11 So 3,000 men of Judah went down to get Samson at the cave in the rock of Etam. They said to Samson, “Don’t you realize the Philistines rule over us? What are you doing to us?” But Samson replied, “I only did to them what they did to me.”

Judges 15:4-5 Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails. Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines. He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain. He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.

Judges 15:15 Then he found the jawbone of a recently killed donkey. He picked it up and killed 1,000 Philistines with it.

  • Strong people restrain their reactions.

Proverbs 29:22 An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

Proverbs 16:32 Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

Proverbs 29:11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

3. CARELESSNESS WEAKENS YOUR LIFE

Judges 16:1-20

Judges 13:3-4 The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food.”

Judges 16:4-5 Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”

Judges 16:16 She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.

Judges 16:19-20 Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him. Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.

  • Strong people keep their commitments.

THE TRAGIC RESULTS

Judges 16:21 So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.

SAMSON’S SECOND CHANCE

Judges 16:22 But before long, his hair began to grow back.

For Sermon discussion resources click here:   Oct 9 Sermon Resources

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