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Samson – Birth of a Strong (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 14, 2021 6:00 am

Samson – Birth of a Strong (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 14, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Judges (Judges 13)

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When Jesus said, Men ought always pray and not lose heart, in Luke 18. You know, you go through life and you just don't want to pray sometimes, because you're just frustrated, worn out, tired, sense of defeat.

What's the use? I've been praying this and praying this, God's not listening, and then that verse comes to mind. Men ought always pray and not lose heart. Well, coming from Christ, it's more than just an encouragement. It is a command. And because He is worthy, we begin to pray.

This is a calling for her, as it is for any parent to rear the child as God has said. And this is a particular, of course. You cannot just, this is not a one-size-fits-all. It's not for everyone. And if you tried to make it for everyone, you'd cause a problem. But the child would not indirectly, even before conception, the child abstained from banned consumables. His mother would not be able to, you know, have a glass of grape juice. She was totally good with that. The husband was good, too, because it meant more for him.

She didn't tell me I can't have it. Anyway, verse 5. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son, and no razor shall come upon his head. For the child shall be a Nazarite from God from the womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Well, let's not confuse a Nazarite with a Nazarene. The Nazarene from Nazareth, the Nazarite, one who is dedicated for a period of time, or in the case of Samson, possibly Samuel, John the Baptist, a lifetime. But Samson is clearly distinguished as a Nazarite from birth. Now, the Levites, they were priests, or they were assistants to the priest. If they were of Aaron's line, they were born priests. That was their duty. But a Nazarite served out of devotion, in a voluntary sense. It wasn't their duty. They did not have to be this way, except for Samson. In Samuel's case, his mother Hannah placed him. You know, Lord, I'll dedicate it. He didn't have a say-so in the matter.

It was kind of remarkable when you begin to think about how little we have to do with showing up on earth. Well, Numbers chapter 6, God gives the instructions for one who wants to draw closer to God in this type of way. He'll speak to the children of Israel and say to them, when either a man or a woman consecrates an offering to take a vow of a Nazarite to separate himself to Yahweh, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink, he shall neither drink vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink, neither shall he drink any grape juice or eat fresh grapes or raisins. Great popsicles would be out.

That would be a tough one to say no in the summer. But anyhow, the lifestyle of the Nazarite was to be this living proclamation that I'm drawing close to God, that I must decrease so God can increase in my life. No razor was to touch the head. I like a good clean shave. I think most men that shave, you appreciate one.

Well, if you were a Nazarite, you could rent space out to the birds to nest in certain seasons of the year. No razor. This prohibition is emphasized because it is the one that got Samson to really mess up.

He was already messed up, but it just came, that was the one that stood out. And his long hair, of course, was a proclamation of his devotion to God. So, can't you just get a haircut? You know, the Marine Corps will never take you that way. And so, I don't want them to. I'm devoted to the Lord, and this is how it would be. I don't know what the other branches do.

I don't think they get haircuts. All right. It's just a little fun. We don't mean anything about it.

It's mighty quiet in here right now. Anyway, the duration of the vow, again, that was up to the individual except in the case of Samson. So, just to summarize, he was to abstain from contact with the fruit of the vine. That's important because we're going to catch him in the vineyard. However you like to pronounce it.

Where I come from, it's vineyard, but I like when people say vineyard. I figure you've been working all day. You could use a little attempt at humor, but evidently, I won't try again.

Maybe. Anyway, from contact with the razor, of course, that would have been an obvious violation if he had shown his hair or something like that. No contact with the dead, even the nearest and dearest. If you were under the vow, you were to abstain from this contact. And again, this was a proclamation of your affection and your dedication, your desire for God in your life, your desire to not be so self-interested, but to be centered in God. And your love for God under this rite was making this proclamation that other loves are lesser loves.

You can have other loves. You still love your children just as much, for example, but God is God and your children and anybody else is not. And that belonged to the vow, keeping the body under submission. He says, for the child should be an as a right to God from the womb. This is a high honor, but it's a demanding responsibility.

And just like, you know, no one should take this unto themselves. When we serve the Lord, we want the Lord to be in it. We want his leading. He has to be in it or else the flesh is pushing something up a hill.

It cannot get up to the top and it's going to roll back on them. And so being led by the Spirit is difficult because of our flesh, but it is an imperative to wrestle. Don't think that being led by the Lord is going to be handed to you. Sometimes it will be. Many times it's not. You've got to fight for it.

I don't mean in the flesh at all. It involves waiting. It involves being denied. It involves a lot of things that are burning off the dross to get to where you stand in the matter that you're looking to receive instruction from God. It can be grueling, but I'd rather have that in my life than just living like a pig that has returned to the slop, as Peter talks about. I'd rather have my struggles in the Spirit with the Lord. Those struggles are born out of my flesh, not out of his reluctance.

I'd rather have that than to just live without the Lord. This is the way it is. There are just rules and laws that we don't know all about. We know some. We know enough.

We don't know it all. Well, unlike the other judges, Samson is not going to rally an army. He doesn't need one. He is one.

The guy kills a thousand men in one swoop. So it tells you something about his personality. He had friends. He seems to have been a jolly guy, you know, kind of fun-loving guy, kind of like your athlete types.

And that's not necessarily a compliment. It didn't work out well for him in the end. And so what he did, as he is told here, and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

That is exactly what happened. He began the process. He did not finish the process. What would he have been had he adhered to his calling, to his vow? If he took it more seriously than he did, what would have happened? What kind of hero would Samson have been?

Well, we're not going to find out. But we don't want to be too hard on him. Because remember, David crossed bigger lines than Samson. God still loved David and used him even after and still held up his name as a righteous man in the days of Christ. Those are lessons for us on grace and kindness, that the mission is to find solutions to problems in Christ, in the flesh, and not look to take our wounded out and stone them. Verse 6, to do that without, I mean, they have to repent.

I mean, I don't want to sound careless, reckless here. There are rules, and we want to try to abide by them. One of the rules in church discipline or Christian discipline is grace, to look for opportunities to show grace and mercy. Verse 6, so the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came to me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God.

Very awesome. But I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me. I just love this, the whole story here. A man of God came. So she's assuming he's a prophet, more than likely. She doesn't catch that this is, of course, how could she? There was really nothing given to her to say, I'm more than just a man, I'm not a mortal, I'm God.

So there's God in human form, and he's giving this promise. She says he was very awesome. That's when you can use the word in the proper context.

I can't help myself. To ask somebody what time it is and say awesome is butchering the meaning in the language, and you should, you know, next time you call someone, they call, maybe put an order online or something, and say, oh no, it's shipped. And they say to you, oh awesome, or something, just correct them, shame them.

Make them feel humiliated, daring to use the word awesome like that. Anyhow, what she means here is, a man of God came to me, his countenance was like the countenance of the angel of God. Very awesome. Off the chart. That's what she's saying. You're not going to find anything like this anywhere else.

You're not going to go to the market and find somebody with a face like this guy's face. That's what she's saying. It's out of words. It's like infinity. There's nothing more. Well, actually infinity means nothing but something more, but you should get what I'm saying. Deuteronomy 7 21, you shall not be terrified of them, for Yahweh your God, the great and awesome God is among you. Now God is awesome, and change for a dollar is not.

Those are the trivial things. What else came from California? Anyway, she says, but I did not ask him his name. Can you imagine, tell him husband and wife, I forgot to ask him his name. I don't know what his name was. I should have asked.

What was his name? I didn't ask. That's the first question you should have asked him. But I did not ask where he was from, and he did not tell me his name. Okay, that's how it goes, but it's the same thing.

She doesn't know who he is. This is important to them, because names in that society were more than just titles for identification. It was more to a name.

They just like the sound of that. They were interested in the nature that the name would reflect. I mean, God is my judge. They wanted to put that on the child, so the child would go through life being conscious that God is the judge, and live up to the name.

Often they did not live up to the name. But, I mean, Judas Iscariot, it's a nice name until you remember who it belonged to. Nobody names their child Judas too much nowadays, because he's stained it. But praise, I mean, you know, Judah, the tribe of Judah.

So, you know, we go with Jude, that's a nice name to go with. Rick is a biblical name, and I can prove it. It's not in the Bible. That makes it biblical. Okay, listen, the politicians can do it.

Why can't I every now and then? Verse 7, And he said to them, Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine. She's now repeating the story.

No similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. For the child shall be a Nazarite to God, from the womb to the day of his death. Again, Samson, the earliest example of this Nazarite, and to the day of his death. There's a lot of, there's something attractive about hearing that. He's going to be dedicated to God till he dies, just the idea. And the angel of the Lord told her this, but there's a lot of heroism packed into that. And, you know, maybe when you first start serving, you've got all these grand plans for the Lord, but then you find out how difficult it is.

And so when I read this now, I get out of breath almost of how much is involved here. You know, Jesus pretty much made obsolete the lifelong Nazarite with the communion table. Wouldn't be able to come to the communion table. And so maybe you can take such a vow if you wanted to for a week or so. You know, just I want to draw near to the Lord. I'm going to abstain.

We call it fasting. And in the spirit, it certainly is advisable, but you could not rightly say, I'm going to take the vow of the Nazarite for my life as a Christian, because that would exclude you from the table and that would be foolish. Verse 8, then Manoah prayed to Yahweh and said, O my Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come to us and teach us what we shall do for the child whom will be born. What a righteous character. And his righteous character is being held up to us. What's the first thing he does once he's told? He prays.

That's how the story is. His wife tells him that she's had this, you know, man of God with this awesome countenance come. And the first thing he does is pray in his prayer.

It's so sensible. The parents of Samson were praying parents. He's asked, he wants God to meet the man so he can get instruction on how to do this right. He wants the details. He wants the blueprints. He doesn't want, he's not saying, I'll figure it out as I go along. I'll be okay.

I got this. And he's saying quite the opposite. I'm depending on the Lord to tell me just how he wants us to do this. So she's ecstatic that she's having a child. And he's delighted that he is going to have a child too.

But how to do the whole process? It's like, this is great. This is the remnant of God in these two. This is why God chose this couple. Not that there was no one else around, but these are, again, righteous features being held up.

And I would think as the years rolled by, when he and she told the story, there was a lot of joy involved. They never forgot what this man of God looked like. Says here in verse 8, and said, oh my Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come to us again. You can hear the sincerity in his prayer. God, can I see them again?

I mean, let them come again. And he says, and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born. You know, there's no doubt in that. There's not if the child will be born.

Really? Can you give me a sign? No, he's accepted it right away. I think, first off, he doesn't doubt his wife. She comes and tells him, she says, get out of here. She accepts it.

There must have been something in her face that let him know this was something really special. Because he goes right into the character of a righteous man. And again, not depending on himself, looking to God, that's humility. The Christian church and the Christian individual should look to the Holy Spirit before we do anything that is of any value. I mean, you brush your teeth in the morning, you really don't have to pray for that direction. That's kind of a mandate.

Oh, hygiene is good. Anyhow, we are taking up a collection for a laugh track in the church, I should add. We're going to put an end to this. And I don't want any sympathy laughs.

Those hurt. It's just not right. Anyway, before you question someone's sanity, you better make sure you've got solid proof. That's slanderous. And he doesn't question her sanity. He doesn't say, you're crazy. Get out of here. Don't let it appear to you. You can't have children.

Just live with it. No, he just believes her because they have a good relationship. Verse 9, And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came to the woman again, as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah, her husband, was not with her. Now, of course, my question is, what's she doing sitting in the field? Who does that? Well, when I was in Israel, I saw a shepherd sitting in the field, nodding. The sheep were just doing whatever sheep do, and he's just sitting down, and I guess maybe that's what she was doing.

I mean, what else do you do out in the field? You can let out a good sneeze without covering your mouth, if no one is around. Anyway, it's quite profound, and God listened to the voice of Manoah. See, this is again, this is why I like this couple. I mean, there's a man, a fervent prayer of a righteous man.

He's an unsung hero, he and her, the couple. How come they don't show up in the New Testament? Well, because God wanted me to use them in the sermon to say that. All right, I'm done.

That's it. We're just going to finish in prayer the cute little things that I am enjoying myself too much. So the angel of the Lord there, well, angel of God, which is interchangeable with angel of Yahweh, in verse 3.

So that's not a contradiction of any type. When Jesus said, men ought always pray and not lose heart, in Luke 18, you know, you go through life and you just don't want to pray sometimes. Because you're just frustrated, worn out, tired, the sense of defeat.

What's the use? I've been praying this and praying this, God's not listening. And then that verse comes to mind. Men ought always pray and not lose heart. Well, coming from Christ, it's more than just an encouragement.

It is a command. And because he is worthy, we begin to pray. And so there's just one story in the Bible of this praying man. Verse 10, Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband and said to him, Look, the man that came to me the other day has just now appeared to me.

Now, in the New Testament, when Peter was in jail, they were praying for his release. He gets to the house and the lass that answers the door doesn't let him in. And she goes in and tells the people that are praying for Peter's release that he's at the door and they don't believe her. Not the case with Manoah. He believes his wife.

He's here. It's not the case when Mary Magdalene ran to, you know, Peter, who was the leader of the pack, the covering of all of the ladies that did not have husbands for sure, the spiritual covering. She runs and tells Peter and they don't believe her. And then they got up and ran, of course.

They ran together. And then John outran Peter. And John makes sure we know that, too.

That's why he put it in John's Gospel. Anyhow, too many falafels for Peter. You go to Israel, the falafels start coming out of your ears. They're everywhere. They're like falafel vending machines. The kids shoot you with falafel guns.

They're like paintballs, but they're falafel. Okay. So the woman told her husband and said, look, the man came, as I read there in verse 10. No one can force God's hand.

And so when the prayer comes, it's answered so quickly, it's exciting. Job says this, he is unique, speaking of God, understatement of the Bible. God is unique. Who can make him change in whatever his soul desires that he does? Now Job is speaking from a hard experience when he said those words.

He's saying, look at me. God does what he wants to do. Prayer is not designed to get God to do something for me. Prayer is to get me in tune with God.

Sometimes it works out very nicely, like in this example, but for Job, it was a long haul. Verse 11, so Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said to him, are you the man who spoke to this woman?

And he said, I am. Now, I mean, you got to love that the excitement that must have been in both their minds as she's, follow me, and she's going to where the man is, and both their heads, it's this excitement, this spiritual activity. And when we don't get spiritual activity, I don't know about you, but it begins to weigh on me when I can't sense the Lord leading and guiding, and sometimes it lasts for years. Well, I've never had that in preparation and in the pulpit, but I have had it in my private life. It's like, where is the Lord? I used to, we used to have fun, wake up, good morning, Lord. Good morning, Rick.

And it'd just be a wonderful day. And then all of a sudden, huh, where is he? I'm not sensing him.

Did I do something wrong? I've been nothing different. Same haircut. That is how it is.

And then after a while, he picks up like he, like it just never, nothing happened. So how about an explanation? Well, really, I don't want one. I'm just so glad to see you.

And that's how it's been for me. Maybe you think you're better than me. And, all right, verse 11. So Manoah arose, followed his wife, and when they came to the man, he said to him, Are you the man who spoke to this woman? And he said, I am.

Again, holding all the participants in this in a very good light. He has three questions that he asked him. Are you the man who spoke to this woman?

It's his wife. He will go on to ask in the next verse, What will be the boy's rule of life? And then in verse 17, he gets to, Hey, what's your name, by the way? He only gets one answer to the three questions. Verse 12, Manoah said, Now let your words come to pass. What will be the boy's rule of life and his work?

I love this question so much. He wants the details. How is the life going to be ordered? How am I going to raise this kid?

What do I have to do to fulfill, to honor this blessing that's coming to my home? That's what Manoah's question is. He wants precise instruction.

And everything had been going in his favor. Why not ask this question? His birth was foretold by this visitor. There would be special training involved with the abstention from the vine and the vow of the Nazarite, and that's training. He was being trained for what his ministry was to be, his ministry on life. And so the father is diligently inquiring on, How do I do it? What's going to happen as the child matures? So there have been times that I've thought about this question. What will be the boy's rule of life?

Maybe I'll just leave it there, and if it strikes you, you can consider it too. But these facts make the story of Samson's failure more terrible, that he had such a mom and dad that were so in tune with the spirit. They were righteous people. They were in tune with each other. And they were good, decent people from all we have of them. There's not a pick-up here.

And yet Samson, as we'll see later, he gets to be kind of a spoiled brat. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Judges. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. If you'd like more information about this ministry, we invite you to visit our website, You'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there, and we encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. By doing so, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app, or just follow the links at That's all the time we have for today. Join us next time to continue learning more from the book of Judges, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-04 11:14:49 / 2024-01-04 11:25:05 / 10

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