So on this Sunday before July 4th, I have to say that I am feeling really good, and I hope that you are too. As we in America get ready to celebrate our Independence with fireworks celebrations and food, and of course feeling grateful for the folks in the Armed Forces who give their lives daily for our freedoms, there is something that is weighing on my mind and I know it is on others minds who know the Bible well.
I’m talking about our friend Samson. You of course remember Samson right? He was thought to have been the absolute strongest man in the world and from the outside it certainly seemed like he had the world on a short leash. Looks can of course be deceiving.
What do I mean by this? Well you really need to read the story of Samson closely. For example, if Samson looked like we think he would look, kind of like the Incredible Hulk with muscles bulging all over his body, then why would Delilah keep hounding him about what the true source of his strength was? Couldn’t she just open her eyes and see the muscles ripping through his body? You know why she had to keep asking? Because more than likely Samson looked like no more than your average man. Probably close to around 5 foot 10 and probably around 170 pounds. This was why everyone was totally perplexed as to how Samson could do the fits of strength that he did. You see, this is exactly why we must read the Bible with context in mind!
Now if there was anything that Samson wanted, he pretty much could have or take. The Bible shows us that he would even just straight up tell his parents what to do. For example, “Go and get this lady for my wife right now! What are you waiting for?” Boldness was never a problem of Samson’s.
Right now, Samson reminds me of America. We pretty much just tell the rest of the world how things are going to be these days. There is little negotiation happening and when we feel like doing something ,we do it. We even talk about building walls around our country to keep people out. By the way, building walls is not a new idea. Remember the famous walls of Jericho? People have been building walls around the cities forever. It is just a shame that we no longer possess the common sense to self police enough to not have to build walls.
Ok back to our story. Samson, looking just as normal as any other man, possessed the strength of 100 men and this was all due to the power that God bestowed upon him because Samson had taken a Nazarite oath. This meant that Samson agreed to never cut his hair, or touch a dead body or else God will stop being with him. So Samson went about his life pushing the Philistines around like rags dolls because they were enemies of God.
Samson would often walk right into their towns, pull up the gates of the city with his bare hands and walk about 10 miles with these hundreds of pound of stone gates on his shoulders just to show people that he could and that they should fear him. But after years of doing the same thing, Samson got bored of being number one so he decided it might be fun to really rub it in the Philistines faces so he started to look to marry their women.
This was the last straw so the 5 leaders of the Philistines got together and gathered up about every penny they had and they offered the equivalent of 1 million dollars to Delilah if she could find out Samson’s secret. She tried three times to get Samson to tell her but he just kept toying with her, getting what he wanted out of her each time which was free sex from a prostitute – further slapping the Philistines in the face.
Yet here is what we need to take note of about Samson’s story. He had no business being in Gaza messing with the Philistines. he could have been back at home married to an Israelite and doing God’s work. But instead, he was bored with being the top dog so he decided to continually flirt with sin. Over and over again he would flirt with sin. He kept pushing and pushing further and further into sin feeling like he was invincible.
And this is exactly what we are doing in America today. We are Samson. So since we are acting exactly like Samson, we should look to see how he ended up right?
Well after sex with Delilah yet again before he fell asleep he finally told her what the true source of his power was – he had never cut his hair. Delilah called in men to cut Samson’s hair and before you know it, well why not read one of the absolute saddest verses in the Bible for yourself? My heart hurts every time I read this:
“Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.”
BUT HE DID NOT KNOW THAT THE LORD HAD LEFT HIM
Wow! Samson, in his greatest moment of defeat, came to the realization that yes indeed God does get fed up with us from time to time and simply walks away!! That is bone chilling to me and I hope it is to you. This is some of the most real Bible teaching I will ever give to you. God is patient but He will not be mocked. Please do not think that you can keep playing around with sin and not confess it and just wave it in God’s face. You will pay in the end. Just like Samson did.
So what happens to Samson next? Well the Philistines lined up to get chances to stick red hot sticks into his eyes to blind him. Samson was then chained to a grain grinding wheel and for years and years he had to walk that wheel in a circle to mindlessly grind grain for his enemies. Sounds like a great time doesn’t it? Was the sin worth it?
It never is, but Satan sure makes it sound fun doesn’t he? “One more time won’t hurt you?” “Everyone else is enjoying this so why not get yours?” “God just wants you to never have any fun at all!” LIES!!!!!
Well the Philistines parade Samson into there year end party to make him look like a fool yet again, but what they forgot to keep an eye on is that Samson’s hair had grown back by this time. Now make no mistake, Samson’s true power and strength came from the Holy Spirit and God and NOT from his hair, but the Bible tells us his hair grew back so I want to be correct with my teaching here. At any rate, by this time Samson had been utterly humiliated and had all but given up on life. He wanted to die. But he also realized that he had turned his back on God. So in a final act of repentance, Samson praised God, asked God to give him just enough strength in order to take this palace down and kill everyone in it and of course Samson would die there too. God granted this repentant wish. Samson pushed against the two columns holding the ceiling up and the entire building came down and killed everyone present, including Delilah!
So I ask you, if we continue to act like Samson and parade around is if we were untouchable, should we not expect things like this to happen to us? On this Independence Day, I would simply ask you to pray that we would return to our senses and bring God back into our lives before we end up pushing grain wheels in circles for the people who decide that they have had enough of our Godless actions.
“Father, thank you for the opportunity this July 4th to spend precious time with friends and family. Father thank you and please protect all of the people who selflessly give their lives to protect us each and every day. It is a special person who would lay down their lives for people they do not even know, and for them we are grateful. Father, I pray that common sense would return to America before we end up slaves to the grinding wheel of the enemy. Let us stop talking about building walls and instead build relationships with others in which we put their wants and needs before our own. Thank you for your patience with us God and in Jesus name I pray, AMEN!”
May you and yours have a happy and blessed 4th of July.
With great Love,
Pastor Brad Komgenick