Dear Church Family,
This past Sunday we covered the story of Samson in Judges. If we missed you feel free to listen to the sermon here.
After the service someone shared with me that she was on the treadmill while listening to Samson’s story. The more she learned about Samson and his despicably poor choices the more she found herself running harder and faster!
Someone else admitted to me that they no longer “liked” Samson because it had been a while since they actually read his story and his opinion of him had largely been informed by how Samson is portrayed in the movies. While Hollywood has taken some liberty in making him a bit more “likeable” the Samson we find in scripture is anything but likeable.
Yet he’s the one God chooses to free Israel from the oppressive rule of the Philistines. Does this mean then that Samson’s story gives us permission to act out of greed and lust? Since God will still use us in spite of our poor choices, is it okay to do whatever we want? The answer is, of course, “no.” Samson’s poor choices resulted in his eyes being gouged out and him being thrown into prison. There are always consequences to our bad choices. There are always consequences to our sin.
The takeaway from Samson’s story is that we’re all in danger of making poor choices that have far reaching consequences for ourselves and for others. We all have the tendency to just “be about me” resulting in us using the blessings God has given us for our own personal gain. God blessed Samuel with super human strength and with the role as Judge over Israel. While he could’ve used his blessings to glorify God by redirecting Israel back to worshiping God alone and leading his people out from under an unjust government, he instead used his blessings to get what he desired in the moment.
We can keep ourselves in check by asking ourselves if we are using the blessings God has given us to:
- Put us in a thankful posture before God.
- Help those in need.
- Direct others to Jesus Christ.
Samson realized dependence upon God too late. We can’t even do the things listed above without God’s help. It would do us good right now, this very second, to shut down the computer and set down our phones, to take the time to thank God for his unlimited grace and forgiveness and to seek his guidance in how we can better use our blessings to point others to Christ.
Seeking God alongside you,
Kristine Aragon Bruce,
Associate Pastor for Family Ministries