SAMSON PART 1 – WHEN STRONG MEN ARE WEAK
So you think you're strong? If we're honest, most of us tend to think we can handle life pretty well. But how strong are we really?
Even the best intentions falter when faced with temptation. Right men? Yes, this series is for you. For the next four weeks we will be looking at the life of Samson. A strong man for sure. But with a dangerously weak will. Don't let the forces of evil take you out.
If you're unfamiliar with the Old Testament character of Samson and want to read more about him, you can find him in Judges chapters 13-16. Samson came along during a difficult time for Israel. Again, God's people had turned away from him. In response, he hands them over to a group of people called the Philistines who oppressed them for forty years.
Samson's mother is visited by an angel who tells her of his future birth. This angel tells her to raise him as a Nazarite. If you're wondering what that means, here's the explanation. According to Numbers 6:1-6, he had three restrictions:
- He couldn't drink wine, grape juice, or even eat grapes.
- His hair was to remain uncut.
- He must not touch a dead body.
And Samson had a super power. Well, supernatural power. He had awesome strength. One day while on a stroll through a vineyard (what was that about not touching grapes?) a lion jumped out and attacked him. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him and he ripped that lion apart with his bare hands. Another time he killed 1,000 Philistine soldiers with only a jawbone of a donkey. That's what I call a strong man.
But there was a problem. Even though Samson was a man of great strength, he had a dangerously weak will. He also had a weak spot for the wrong women. Like many of us, he had tremendous God-given potential but squandered it with bad decisions and ultimately self-destructed.
Samson exhibited at least three attitudes which led to his downfall.
Attitudes That Make Strong Men Weak
- Lust: I want it.
- Entitlement: I deserve it.
- Pride: I can handle it.
So how do we develop the attitudes that will make us strong? There are at least three things that will help us develop these godly attitudes.
Attitudes That Make Weak Men Strong
- I want God.
We need to realize we need God's power. On our own we're powerless. I want His strength flowing through me. I want Him ordering my steps. I want Him convicting me when I sin and leading me in the right way to live. I want His voice directing me.
Bottom line, we need to develop the realization and desire for God to be a daily part of our lives.
- I deserve death.
For those who think you deserve what you want, I've got news for you. The only thing we deserve is eternal separation from God. The Bible calls this death. The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23
An attitude that makes strong men weak is, "I want it. After all, I deserve it. I work hard. I'm entitled to a little fun every now and then." We're not entitled to anything. God doesn't owe us anything. When we realize we're dead in our sins apart from Jesus, but God in His goodness, sent Christ to forgive our sin, things will change. Suddenly, we're not deserving. We are humble before a Holy God.
- I can't handle anything without God.
Pride goes before a fall. So many men think they can handle whatever comes their way. But before long something happens, a poor decision is made, and then something's got you. Samson thought he could handle his lust. He felt entitled to what he wanted. His pride and weak will led to his downfall.
So you think you're strong? Satan would love to take you out. Satan loves to make strong men weak. But God loves to make weak men strong. Admit it. We all have weaknesses. The Bible says we are to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10. Because My [God's] grace is sufficient for you, for My [God's] strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9.
"Even though Samson was a man of great strength, he had a dangerously weak will."
So what are your next steps? To begin:
- Read Judges 13:1-25
- Samson was incredibly strong, but had a dangerously weak will. Where in life do you feel the strongest?
- 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.
- Where in life do you feel your will is the weakest?
- How has your weak will affected you and those you love?
- What do you think are some of the causes of your weak will?
- In what ways has God’s strength helped you overcome obstacles?
- What does accountability look like in your life? How could increased accountability help you?
- What next steps will you take this week towards changing your attitude and relying more on God’s strength?
Here's some more homework for the next 5 days. As you read the account of Samson from Judges 13 and 14, prayerfully interact with these next steps.
5-Day Mini Devotional
- Thank God for His strength in your life. Share with Him how His strength has affected you.
- Confess to God where your will is weakest in your life. Ask God to help strengthen you.
- Ask God to help you change your attitude so He can turn your weaknesses into strengths.
- Ask God to place the right people in your life that will hold you accountable and develop you into a stronger person.
- Pray for those you know that are struggling with a weak will. Ask God to strengthen them.
What’s one of the most impulsive things you’ve ever done or bought? What was the result of your actions? Please share your comments below.