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East Sparta Christian Church
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3 Strikes and you're out!

Get Your Own Gutensite
2012
November 29
By
Death of Samson



Theologically speaking, this is such a full time of year for me. With the election right behind us my mind is filled with questions about how to interact with the world and the government in a way that honors God and secures the well being of my nation and my family. With Christmas looming in the near future I’m thinking about incarnation, prophecy, church history, the trinity, angels singing in the night sky, and everything else that comes with
Christmas. I’m reading a really good book by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears titled
“Doctrine: what Christians should believe” and it has me thinking about all sorts of good stuff. But in the middle of all of that I had something of an epiphany last night while reading a bed time story to Elijah. Heather’s mom bought him a few bible story bed time books, one of which is the story of Samson.We got to the part where Delilah cuts off Samson’s hair and he loses his strength when Elijah asked me a good question: “Daddy, why did he lose his
powers?” Which set me to thinking. Here’s what I’ve come up with- Samson was a
Nazarene and so there were three basic things he needed to do to preserve his promise to God: 1- Not drink wine, 2- Not touch anything dead, and 3- Not cut his hair. We know from earlier in the story that Samson was a big drinker, especially at parties and in the presence of pretty girls. Then we read the story of Samson killing a lion with his bare hands. The problem with the lion is that when he comes back later bees have built a nest inside the lion’s carcass
and Samson has to touch the dead carcass to get at the honey. And then of course he tells Delilah his secret, she cuts his hair, and the rest is history. So Samson had three promises to keep and he broke all three of them.

That all struck me as important because we typically think that Samson’s strength was in his hair- but it was really in his promise to God to do (or not do) certain things. And here’s the question that I have: if Samson had not been a drinker and he had never touched anything that was dead would he have still lost his strength when Delilah cut his hair? Personally I don’t think he would have. I think it was the violation of all three promises that led to Samson’s downfall.

The warning for us in this story is that when you walk as close as you possibly can to the edge there is an unfortunately high probability that you’ll fall off. Sometimes when it comes to sin, or ‘questionable’ behavior we tend to ask the question “Well, what can I get away with?” Where is the line that I shouldn’t cross? How far can I push before I get into trouble? That’s how Samson did it. He drank wine and kept his strength, he touched a dead lion and kept his strength, but then he went too far and lost it all.

And I am not trying to say that each of us is only a hair cut away from the fate of Samson. I believe that the grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient to forgive all of our sins. But I do sometimes wonder if we don’t spend too much time pursuing the edges of Christianity when we ought to be seeking the heart of Christ.

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Comments

Mark - RLCA

December 03, 2012 10:42 AM

I like your website and blog - great start in reaching out to others!  As you get younger members or attenders, you might consider a church link on Facebook.  It's a big responsibility to keep the infomation updated - but well worth it.

Mark Piatt

Round Lake Christian Camp


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