This series is for men. What does it mean to be a man? Ezekiel 22:30 says, “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” Today, God is still looking for a few good men: men who will stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves; men who would lay down their life to serve their wives as Christ laid down His to serve the church. Men who will lead their children to God. We need to be a group of men who are compassionate and heartbroken for the one far from the heart of God. This series on how to be a Godly man will revolve around Samson. Most people know about Samson, his successes and his failures. Samson was a strong man with a dangerously weak will.
Bottom line: Self-indulgence today becomes self-destruction tomorrow.
Something To Talk About:
- Lust: I want it: Samson was looking for love in all the wrong places. 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.” In those three verses, he went to the wrong place (vs 1). He gave in to the lust of his eyes (vs 1-2) and he ignored the counsel of others (vs 3). There’s no question about what attracted Samson to this woman. It was her looks. He wanted it so bad that he went against all the godly and family counsel. Samson was blinded by what he thought was love, or was it lust. Either way he wanted something and nobody was going to talk him out of it, even though the Scriptures commanded him not to intermarry with women from other nations. He lost all perspective and self control.
- Entitlement: I deserve it: A lion approaches Samson, and aided by the spirit of the Lord, he tears the lion apart. “Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. And he found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass. He scooped some of the honey into his hands and ate it along the way.” Samson broke a vow to God that he wouldn’t touch anything dead, all for a handful of honey. He defiled himself for something so trivial. He then suggests a riddle about killing the lion. Samson himself is a riddle. Samson was blessed by God for a particular purpose. But here he is, lying up against a dead lion, along a side road, eating honey and not going out and doing the task the Lord had called and equipped him to do: to get rid of the enemy, the Philistines. He felt entitled to get the wife of his choosing and he felt entitled to take matters into his own hands instead of patiently waiting for God’s timing.
- Pride: I can handle it: Samson had a lot of potential. He was reared in a Godly home and he was given supernatural strength. He could have led Israel to impressive victories and freedom. But he never realized his full potential and much of it because he was too proud. He was too proud to settle for a Hebrew girlfriend. He was too proud to listen to the counsel of His parents. He was too proud to depend on God for his strength. His pride led him to break his vow of not cutting his hair, touching something dead and drinking alcohol. And he was too proud to see that Delilah was his enemy. When she seduced him and begged him to reveal the secret of his strength, Samson was so arrogant he couldn’t imagine any woman deliberately harming him. He thought he was invincible and eventually told her the secret of his strength. If she cut his hair he’d be as weak as a kitten. She did and he was. There is a powerful lesson for all of us men in all of this. We too may have a lot of God-given potential, but we may also throw it all away because of a weak spirit and a lack of self-control.
- Chase that rabbit down the hole and Pray and ask God what is the right thing to do in this situation: So the next time you are moving in a direction that you shouldn’t be moving toward, or doing something you know you should not do, pause, and pray for wisdom. Pause and pray before you walk through the wrong door, or marry the wrong person, accepting the wrong job and walking into a possible addiction. Consider where your action will lead you and ask God what is the right thing to do in that moment.
- Samson was incredibly strong, but had a dangerously weak will. What are some of the dangers you’ve experienced or seen because of having a weak will?
- Read Judges 14:1-10. In this passage we see Samson demonstrating attitudes that make strong men weak. What are some of the causes of a weak will? Which weak attitudes do you struggle with the most? How have your weak attitudes affected you and those you love? Do you have any accountability in your life when you feel weak? What does that look like? How could you increase the accountability in your life?
- What steps can you take this week towards changing your attitude and relying more on God’s strength in the areas you are weak?
- What are some examples of how God’s strength has helped you overcome your weaknesses?
- What steps will you take this week towards changing your weak attitudes and relying more on God’s strength?
Take One Thing Home with You
I doubt many people think about Jesus and Samson in the same way. There are some similarities between Jesus and Samson, but there are major differences as well as you would expect when you compare a flawed man to the Son of God.
Jesus is the true and better Samson, who would succeed in every place that Samson failed. Like Samson, Jesus’ strength would reside not in how he was built, but in the indwelling power of the Spirit. But unlike Samson, Jesus would never compromise on God’s law. He would keep every facet of it.
Unlike Samson, who was controlled by his impulses, Jesus would be controlled by God’s will. Unlike Samson, who felt entitled and proud, Jesus—who actually was entitled to a throne—would take the role of a servant and submit himself to the humiliation of the cross.
We look at the strength of Samson with awe. But I stand amazed at the presence of Jesus. You see, admiring Samson for his strength might impress us, but it can never truly lead us to change. Because what we most need isn’t a strong role model; what we need is a weak and broken Savior, someone who would give us His strength and save us from ourselves.
The irony of Samson was that he was strong on the outside, but terribly weak on the inside. In that way, he’s like so many of us. We need someone to live in and guide us. We don’t need a flawed superhero. And when you see and believe what Jesus did for you—that someone who was rich and strong and righteous would die for you, then you can begin to live the life God calls men to live.