Samson, A Man Headed for a Meltdown
If your manner of life doesn't match your mission, you are headed for a meltdown. Samson was a man headed for a meltdown.
Samson was born with incredible potential. But as Hall of Fame NFL coach, Bill Parcells said, "Potential is just a fancy way of saying that you haven't done anything yet."
In receiving the news of the promise of his son, Samson's father asked a perceptive question.
Now when your words come true, what is to be the child's manner of life, and what is his mission.Judges 13:12
Samson had the potential to begin to save his people from their enemies (Judges 13:5), but how would he have to live so that he could fulfill that potential? The reply to his father was a shortlist of disciplines and restrictions that would define Samson's life.
Samson Despised Restrictions
Samson was astonishingly strong and fairly intelligent. The combination of the two made Samson the ultimate "you're not going to tell me what to do" kind of man.
God forbid Samson to drink alcohol. Samson never missed a party.
Samson was not to touch a dead body. He took honey from the carcass of a dead lion.
God dedicated Samson to his service. Samson was far more dedicated to women.
In God's commands, we tend to think he is keeping something from us. The truth of the matter is that He is reserving something for us. In the prohibition to kill God is guarding life. In the prohibition of adultery, God is protecting love.
Samson failed to see that what God kept from him was because of what God had for him.
Samson Deceived People
If you read the story of Samson, you realize that he never told a whole lie, but he seldom told the full truth. At the moment, deception seems like an avoidance of failure and a shortcut to success. The problem with deception is that you have to live by a lie. Your deception begins to make the decisions for you.
Samson Demanded His Way
Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman. His parents begged him not to do so, but Samson objected, "Go get her for me, for she is right in my eyes (Judges 14:3)." For Samson, the only right way was his way. He not only refused the restrictions of God, but he despised the wisdom of others.
Samson Destroyed His Opportunity
Samson's story ends with the world's strongest man in a circus sideshow. A deliverer born of God dies in an idolatrous embarrassment (Judges 16:27).
If your manner of life doesn't match your mission, you are headed for a meltdown. It's true in athletics, business, family, and especially faith.
If you despise restriction, advance by deception, and demand your own way you will eventually destroy your opportunity. Your potential will be a memorial to what you didn't do.
When we obey God's Word it pleases Him and blesses us.
What's your mission?
What's your manner of life?
Do they match?
If not, the only potential you have is of a meltdown.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Judges 14.
- What is Samson's attitude toward God's Word?
- How does Samson make decisions?
- How will you apply your takeaways from this chapter to your life today?
Go back to Judges 13:1-7 and read the vision for Samson's life. How would the story of Judges 14 been different had Samson obeyed the Word of God? How would yesterday have been different if you had obeyed the Word of God?