**This newsletter is the second article in a four part series on the life of Samson.
The first part is "Samson: A Man of Privilege. (September 2016)**
Dear fellow disciple-maker,
Although blessed with incredible human strength, Samson forgot that his power came from God and not himself. What happened to Samson could happen to us. We all have a natural tendency to forget. By forgetting the source of his strength, Samson’s mind-set of self-reliance blinded him to the possibility of a fatal attraction. The major episodes in Samson’s life revolved around personal encounters with ungodly Philistine women. These women were traps set by Satan to defile his heart and dishonor the Lord.
Secrecy and Self-reliance
In Judges 14, Samson took one look at a young Philistine woman and all at once wanted to marry her. Surprisingly, his initial interest in this woman was from the Lord (Judges 14:4). Apparently, God wanted Samson to begin the "engagement process" so he could gain access to a group of Philistines. However, what is disturbing is that Samson kept this fact a secret. He never told his parents, the very people who were best equipped to help him remember God's purpose for his life. A spirit of independence toward his parents was Samson's first step toward self-reliance. God created Samson to be set apart, not sneaky. Sneaky people rely on their own cleverness and form the habit of keeping secrets. Samson never told his parents about the time he fought off an attacking lion (Judges 14:6). Additionally, he kept both his parents and new wife in the dark regarding the riddle he posed to the Philistines (Judges 14:12-17).
A Familiar Pattern
Very quickly, the seeds
of secrecy produced a harvest of vengeance and betrayal. Soon everything
spiraled out of control. The Philistines threatened to kill his new bride
unless she coaxed Samson into explaining the riddle. It took her seven days of
nagging to get it out of him, yet once she knew the answer, she immediately
betrayed him to the Philistines.
Samson's heart was not
defiled overnight. The Scriptures reveal a subtle yet familiar relational
pattern: he saw her...talked with her...and
liked her (Judges 14:1, 2, 7). Today, little has changed. Men and women
talk, text, e-mail, meet for lunch, and in the process share personal problems.
An emotional bond is formed. A soul-mate is found. A secret life begins. A
heart becomes defiled. Marriages, families, friendships and careers are lost.
Forgetting leads to forsaking.
Do you have a friend who is heading down a path of deception and self-destruction? Perhaps God is calling you to warn them. They may need someone who cares enough to tell them what they need to hear.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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