This week I thought I’d highlight one of the more interesting characters of the Bible and tie his story to a New Testament truth. The whole message is quite lengthy so I decided to split it into 3 or more parts. Being led by the Spirit is something we each need to be learning to do daily, but it’s a difficult task while living in the flesh.
I remember learning about Samson in Sunday School. All I remember learning is that he had supernatural strength because of his long hair and he had a girlfriend named Delilah. Delilah gave him a hair cut and then he no longer had his strength. At least that’s what I remember.
I have learned that nothing replaces personal reading and study. When someone explains the Bible to you, without you reading it, it is from their perspective and their thoughts alone. When the “seeker” reads, with the expectation of hearing from God it leads to personal revelation, which is life changing. This is where the action happens. This is a far superior method of digesting God’s Word as opposed to devotionals and Christian books and magazines which are from the author’s perspective. For the individual to understand that God is the “only Teacher”, is invaluable.
1 John 2: 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
Matthew 23: 8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.
What does this say about teachers of the Word?
They have their place, to help us learn, but it is always the Holy Spirit that teaches through them and so the glory always goes to God. The problem with pastors, authors, and Sunday school teachers, including myself, is that they can be off base. The listener can accept this “false teaching” as truth, which is problematic. This is why we need to continue reading the Word and taking new ideas back to God in prayer. He will help you discern what to do with the new teaching.
Take this word of advice from the Bereans:
Acts 17: 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
And now, back to our main topic, Samson and being guided by the Spirit
When I read the account of Samson today I realize that there is so much more to be learned about his life than what I was taught as a youngster.
The story of Samson’s birth is very similar to that of John the Baptist:
Samson’s parents could not conceive:
Judges 13: 2 In those days a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan lived in the town of Zorah. His wife was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children.
and neither could John’s:
Luke 1: 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
Next time we’ll continue comparing the early days of Samson and John the Baptist. It’s amazing how similar their lives started out.