6 Lessons from SAMSON

Just about everyone knows about SAMSON, the Mighty Man with the long Mane. His life is very interesting and troubling.

We all know about his STRENGTH his long hair (Jud 16:7, 13:5).

Did you know that as a Nazarene he didn’t drink ALCOHOL? (Num 6:4-5)

Did you also know that he had MARRIED a wife and that she was a Philistine (Jud 14:1-3)? Later he would be with Delilah, the woman that would cut off his STRENGTH.

After she cut his hair, Samson was blinded and mocked. But his hair grew and he OVERCAME more enemies in death that he had in his life (16:30).

The New Testament also has a record of him in the “Hall of Faith” found in Hebrews chapter eleven verse thirty-two.

Samson doesn’t fit the typical mold of a hero of faith, but a hero he was. Here are a couple of lessons we might glean from his time as a Judge.

First, be a SERVANT of God as early as you can. “For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Jud 13:5; cf. Ecc 12:13; Matt 22:387).

This next one usually ruffles some feathers, but do your best to be ALCOHOL free. “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things” (Prov 23:29-35). John the Baptist, another one with the Nazarite vow, was called, “great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink;” (Luke 1:15).

Being alcohol free sets us apart from the world. “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1Peter 4:3-4; cf. Eph 5:18).

Another great lesson we can learn is to MARRY well. “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death” (Jud 16:16). While it doesn’t appear that he had ever married Delilah, we know what his association with her did to him. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness” (2Cor 6:14)? Even under the best circumstances, marrying an unbeliever means that you are headed in opposite eternal directions.

Another lesson we could glean is that of allowing the SPIRIT of the Lord direct us. “And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house” (Jud 14:19). While Samson had the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are still led by the Spirit when we are filled with His Word. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Col 3:16; cf. 2Tim 3:16-17).

The last two lessons are so important.

Despite what you’ve done in life, you may still OVERCOME sin in our lives through faith in God. Those that have obeyed the gospel may turn back to faithfulness as long as life remains. “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God,” (Judge 16:28). Repentance and Prayer is available to those that stumble after having obeyed the gospel. (Acts 8:18-24; 1John 1:9).

Finally, along with the previous lesson, NEVER quit. Despite being chained, mocked, and blinded, Samson’s final act in service to God would bring about his death. “And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” (Judg 16:30).

While we live in an age when are weapons are spiritual and not carnal (2Cor 10:4), “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2Tim 3:12; cf. Rev 2:10).

May God Bless you all

Spencer

Under the Influence

As the New Year fast approaches, I know that many will be celebrating the new year, often while drinking adult alcoholic beverages. You’ve heard about driving under the influence? That is when a person decides to drink alcohol unto intoxication, or imbibing in some other mind altering drug, and then decides to get behind the wheel of their vehicle. In a recent news story, a woman driving while under the influence, ran a red light plowing through a crosswalk, killing 3 people including a child and his mother.

Here in Borger, Texas, it’s listed as DWI; Driving While Intoxicated. According to the Texas DoT website, a first offense DWI charge can get you; “A fine of up to $2,000, Three days to 180 days in jail, Loss of driver license up to a year and an Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license.”

Just the first offense penalty would be enough for me to avoid DWI. When you consider the human costs with the possibility of causing someone’s death or even my own, then without a doubt I would never drive under the influence of alcohol.

But that is the secular human side of me. As a Christian, I abstain from alcohol use. I don’t drink. As I pondered this thing called DUI or being under the influence, I was reminded of a passage I had recently studied in Ephesians;

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,” — Eph 5:18

            This verse instructs us to NOT get drunk, but rather to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Some would suppose that we should be under the control of the Holy Spirit, losing our own control and free will. But this just doesn’t fit with the rest of the scriptures. Paul had just written in Chapter 3 of the same book:

“…if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,  4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),”– Eph 3:2-4

            When you consider these verses from the same letter together, what you will see is that we need to read and to study our Bibles, allowing those teachings to influence us. To “BE FILLED” with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the Helper promised by Christ;

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”– Joh 16:13

We have the Bible, the scriptures, because holy men of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down the things of God. [2Pet 1:20-21] It’s through the study of the scriptures that we can know the will of God for our lives, to know how to live on this earth and how to get to heaven.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”– 2Ti 3:16

            Jesus charged the Apostles to teach the people “all things that I have commanded you,” and this they did as they traveled, speaking to people, and also as they, with others, wrote these commands down for us today.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. — Mt 28:19

Knowing all of this, let us not be drunk with alcohol or drugs, rather, let us be filled with the Holy Spirit by studying our Bibles, learning what is the will of the Lord.