Today on Summit Life with Jiddy Greer. Until you see and believe what Jesus did for you, you'll never become a person of strength because Jesus is the real Samson. His glorious life enables you to live like Samson should have lived. God does want to use you powerfully in people's lives. He is going to give you supernatural strength to bless others, but you're going to screw it up until you see that Jesus was the real Samson that was given for you. Welcome to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian, Jiddy Greer.
I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. Okay, if you ever finished the first book or movie in a series and felt frustrated or anxious with the ending, you're ready for the next installment to see how everything comes together, right? Well, today we're continuing our study called Broken Saviors. And as we come to the end of Judges, we'll find out that the entire book is just one portion of a much bigger story. And it's all pointing ahead to a glorious ending. If you have missed any of the messages of this teaching series so far, or if you'd like to get your copy of Honest Questions, Quick Answers Volume Two, visit us at jdgreer.com or by calling us at 866-335-5220.
For right now, let's get started. Here's pastor Jiddy with the second part of our message about Samson titled, When the Weak Become Strong. Samson's story comes toward the end of the book of Judges. In fact, Samson is going to be the last judge specifically talked about in Judges. And we're going to get a lot more material on Samson than we do any of the other judges. You're going to get three whole chapters worth. And that is because Samson's life sums up the entire message of judges, and then points us beyond judges. He kind of shuts the book down and then points us beyond it. You're going to see and hear a picture of how God saves.
Watch this, chapter 13, here we go. And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. And so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years. Verse 2, there was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, behold, you shall conceive and bear a son.
Therefore, be careful and drink no wine or strong drink and eat nothing unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor will ever come upon his head, for the child will be a Nazarite to God from the womb. Watch this, verse 5. And he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines. So we've got the beginning of a salvation by a judge who has nobody that comes after him. And then the book of Judges ends and we are left asking the question, well, if he began it, who's going to complete it? And now you're reading the Bible the right way. Because now you're seeing that this thing that he began is not going to be completed in the book of Judges, it's not going to be completed into the New Testament. That's the way the Bible intends for you to read it.
Let's keep going. Verse 6, and I'll just summarize what happens here. This angel, after he appears to Manoah's wife, Manoah, his wife goes back and tells Manoah, Manoah the unbeliever, he's like, well, you've been hitting the strong drink a little too much. And Manoah said, well, why don't we ask the angel if this is really legit and you weren't hallucinating, why don't we ask the angel to come back? And so the angel comes back to Manoah's wife and Manoah's wife runs against Manoah. And one of the first things that Manoah says to the angel, verse 15, please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you. In other words, let's eat together. But the angel of God will not do it because eating in those days was a sign of fellowship and peace. And there is no peace between God and Israel.
So I'm not going to eat with you. So verse 12, Manoah begins to pepper the angel with questions. When your words come true, what is to be the child's manner of life and what is going to be his mission?
Verse 17, what is your name? So that when your words come true, we may honor you. What's he wanting to know?
And so God interrupts and says, I'm not going to show you the details. The question is, do you trust my character? Why do you ask my name? Seeing it as wonderful. Is that enough for you?
Manoah wants to know more about what to do. God says, wait a minute, this is who I am. This is my name.
It is wonderful. And the question for you is, is that enough for you or are you going to require explanation? Because I'm not going to give it. I'm going to give you revelation. Verse 19, so Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to the Lord, the one who works wonders. The night and dinner together, he's offering a sacrifice, which is more appropriate. Verse 20, when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar and Manoah and his wife fell with their faces on the ground. And then Manoah said to his wife, which is kind of humorous when you think about it, face down in the dirt, Manoah kind of says, we shall surely die for we have seen God. And his wife said to him, if the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands or shown us all these things or announced such things to these as these. She responds in a way that puts her among the greatest women of faith in the Bible. She says simply, I trust him.
He's obviously good. And I am ready to obey all that he has said. Now I have a question for you is this. Have you ever said that to him? Just a total unconditional, absolute yes. He's not waiting for you to accomplish things. He just wants you to lay it down and surrender. Yes, Lord is the only response he requires.
It's the only one that pleases him. It's really the only one you can give the great substitute for that is religion. You see religion is built on negotiation. God, here's what I'll do. I'm gonna go to church this many times and I'll give you this amount of money and I'm gonna be this good. And I expect you to do this in return. But it's like I told you last week, Jesus does not negotiate.
Why? Because he owns it all already, including you. And you can only be in one of two postures with Jesus faith and surrender or rebellion.
Right? When it comes to Jesus's claims of Lordship, there's only one or two postures you can be in. Jesus does not come as a moral influence like CS Lewis said. He doesn't come to try to make bad people become better people. He comes to rebels and demands they lay down their arms. It's like I've told you, he doesn't come as an influence in your life to help you.
He comes to take over. Because there's really only one or two postures that are appropriate when it comes to the Lordship of Jesus. You're either in religious negotiation or you're in total surrender. And I've told you that if you're not in total surrender, it's kind of like if I were to tell my wife, hey, Father's Day, I want you to know I'm 96% faithful to you. What does that mean?
I mean, you're like, oh, it's an A. Ooh, I got an A. No, it means maybe, it could mean that out of 100 women I know, I got relationships with only four of them. That's wholly unfaithful because when it comes to a wife, you either are or you're married, you either are or you aren't. When it comes to the Lordship of Jesus, you either surrendered or you are not. Religion is the great counterfeit to true faith and surrender and busyness and religion keeps a lot of people deceived into thinking they're right with God when they are not. We've got people in churches all over America this morning saying, well, I go to church a lot, I give a good amount, I try not to break too many of the commandments. You have either said to Jesus, I believe all that you say and I'm ready to follow you with my whole life or you have not. Religion negotiates faith, surrenders.
Which category are you in? Have you ever said absolutely unconditional? Yes, Lord, I receive and I will follow. Verse 24. So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew and the Lord blessed him.
But already right there, we see a big indication of trouble. Because Samson's name, Sam's son, is a tribute to the son, God. Samson is going to live a life that depicts Israel, a life that is filled with compromise. Let me give you four problems that are going to plague Samson's life. These are, think of these like a precursor to the next couple of messages.
I won't go deep into them, but I want to introduce them to you because they are kind of thrown out there for you. Verse 24. Number one, compromise. Samson's life is going to be characterized by compromise. He is going to break flagrantly all three provisions of the Nazarite vow. Remember the three provisions? No wine, never cut your hair, don't touch anything dead. Chapter 14, you want to go over one chapter? I'll give you a little appetizer on this. Samson falls in love with a Philistine girl, which is obviously a problem because she doesn't even share his faith. But because to celebrate his engagement, he throws a Miztah.
Remember what those are? A week-long beer keg party. So he's not doing too well with the alcohol vow. A few days before the party, a lion attacked. He's on his way to the party, the engagement party, when a lion attacks him. And then comes my favorite verse in the whole story.
Judges chapter 14, verse 6. The lion attacks him and he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. As one tears a young goat? Was that common in those days?
It's said like it is. I've never torn a goat. It doesn't sound like it'd be that easy to me to tear a young goat.
But evidently, everybody did that back then. Anyone could tear a young goat. But Samson not only tore a young goat, he could tear a whole lion. And so he tears the lion. And a few days later it says he's passing back by the place where he killed the lion. He looks over off the road and there's the lion's carcass. And in the carcass is a bee hive that is filled with honey and bees, which raises a number of questions to me.
Like, how did it get in there? Did the lion eat it? Maybe that's why the lion was mad and attacked Samson.
Poor lion. Or maybe the bees make the hive in there after. Do they like carcasses?
Is that like an ideal place for them to put? I don't know. It doesn't tell us. It just says that he saw it. So he went and he got the hive out and he eats the honey. But obviously he touches a dead body in the process because he's hungry.
And of course he ends up cutting his hair, which leads to his downfall. He compromises whenever it's convenient. Number two, impulsive.
Impulsive. Throughout his life, he's controlled by his passions. He gets hungry for honey. He eats. He wants a woman. He takes her.
Doesn't matter if she's a Philistine or a prostitute. Whenever. He gets mad. He kills people. Almost every demonstration of strength in his life comes as a result of him being personally ticked off about something. He's not righteously angry. He's just chapped. You get this image of a guy on roid rage, essentially, as you read Samson.
Only one illustration of this because it's one of my favorite stories. After Samson kills the lion and eats the honey out of its belly, you remember he's on his way to his bachelor party, beer keg party. When he gets there, there are 30 Philistine guys. And he says, I'm going to tell you guys a riddle. And here, let's make it interesting. If you can guess the answer to this riddle, I'll give each of you a brand new suit of clothes. But if you can't guess the riddle in seven days, each of you has to give me a set of clothes. All right. And so the Israelites are, you know, the Philistines are like, well, we're smarter than you anyway, and we're not going to let you show us up.
So boom, bring it on. So Samson says, okay, here's the riddle. Out of the eater came something to eat.
Out of the strong came something sweet. Now, obviously he's talking about honey from the lion. Well, the Philistines go back and they caulk us and they can't come up with the answer. For six days, they talk about it.
And they're going to panic because now they're going to lose and they're going to lose face. And so they go to his bride, the Philistine, his bride to be, and they say, would you please get Samson to tell you the answer? And you give it to us because you're one of ours. And she's like, well, I can't really do that. He hasn't told me. And they're like, if you don't do that, we're going to kill you and burn your house with fire. So the woman goes to Samson and she pulls the oldest trick in the book. She starts to cry and she starts to say stuff like, you don't really love me.
We're starting out our marriage with secrets and all the counselors say, that's not good. You've got to tell me. In fact, let me read it to you. Verse 17, she wept before him for the next seven days that their feast lasted.
Talk about a miserable beer keg party. And so on the seventh day, he finally told her because she pressed him hard. And she told the riddle to her people and the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, Samson, what is sweeter than honey?
And what is stronger than a lion? Then in my second favorite verse in the Samson story, Samson says only if you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle. Men, two obvious lessons for you right here, okay? Little father's day advice from uncle JD. Number one, do not let anybody plow with your girlfriend.
Number two, do not call your wife a heifer, okay? That's father's day, okay? Well, Samson is ticked. So he goes out and he kills 30 other Philistines and takes their clothes off their body and takes it back to those 30 and like, here's your clothes, they're all bloody and torn.
He's like, here's your clothes. That's his whole life right there. Every one of his great feats of strength come from an impulse.
It would always be funny if it weren't so doggone tragic. He's impulsive. And honestly, y'all, as I was thinking about that this week, about how much Samson was willing to risk. I mean, he is the strongest man who ever lived, but what guy in the world would not want to be that? I mean, I would be like, honestly, I'm the strongest man ever. I don't even look like it. I'm just him. He's willing to risk all that for some honey?
Just the taste of some honey? I thought, who would do that? And then as I'm asking myself that question, it occurs to me.
I see guys do it all the time. This is Summit Life with Pastor J.D. Greer. We have a new study right now that covers some strange but brutally honest topics. We created a second volume of Honest Questions, Quick Answers. Some of you might remember when we offered volume one, two years ago. This is a new book, and it's full of new questions and answers from Pastor J.D. like, what is an idol? And is it okay to ask for success?
These types of questions often trip up people who are searching for God, so let's remove the stumbling block with wisdom straight from God's word. Reserve your copy today by calling 866-335-5220 or visit us online at jdegreer.com. Thanks for being with us today. Now let's finish up today's teaching. Here's Pastor J.D. How many men have thrown away their family just because they want a little taste of pornography? How many guys do I know in college that won't really think about the claims of the Lordship of Jesus on their life because they don't want to have to give up sexual freedom while they're in college? And I want to look at them and say, you're willing to give up God? You're willing to give up eternity for you can have a little taste of pleasure for a brief time in your life? Impulsive.
It ruins him. Here's an important point. I want to give you a little bit of inspiration. Here's number three, entitlement. I'm not going to go into this one. I have to wait for that one, but that's his attitude. I deserve that, honey.
So I'll take it. Number four, pride. Everything in Samson's life becomes about him. You got to read through these chapters in the next few weeks and observe how many times Samson uses the word I. Samson is going to leverage his God-given strength primarily to benefit him, not for God's kingdom. Eventually he's going to allow his hair to be cut because he's convinced himself that his incredible strength comes from himself and not from God.
Let me say this to the guys in here. Again, this is a later message. Those same four things are the greatest threats to what God wants to do in your life. The exact same four.
Compromise, living impulsively, living with a sense of entitlement and walking in pride. They destroyed Samson, the strongest man ever to live. They have the same things, the enemy, the same playbook he is using to destroy your life.
But that's next time. To bring it back to the message for this week, the end of chapter 13, what I need you to see is that Samson, from the very beginning, the way his story is presented, is pointing you forward beyond judges. Samson is the last judge in this book, the last great hope for Israel. And so we, by this point in the book, are waiting to see how he's going to rescue and rule God's people, how he's going to bring them back to obedience to God. But in almost every way, we're going to find ourselves disappointed because he points us forward to another. Jesus will complete what Samson begins.
See, that's the most important word in this whole story. Chapter 13, verse 5, he began the salvation of Israel. Jesus will complete it. You see, Jesus' birth and Samson's birth have remarkable similarities. Samson is giving us, in his birth, a picture of how the real Savior would come one day. The births of Samson and Jesus were both miraculous. Samson's mom was bold and barren. Mary was a virgin.
One huge difference, though. The birth of Samson brought joy and honor in the midst of shame. The birth of Jesus brought shame to Mary and Joseph because everybody thought that they had had him out of wedlock.
Samson's birth brought celebration. Jesus was born into poverty and shame. Why that distinction?
Why? Because the real Savior would not save us simply through power. The real Savior would not simply turn our sorrow into joy. He wouldn't simply remove our shame.
The real Savior would have to take on our sorrow, have to take on our shame and be born into it and then die for it. Samson was a Nazirite, which was a religious vow that brought somebody honor. Jesus was a Nazarene, which meant that he was culturally despised as an outcast. One more thing, when Samson and Jesus were told a lot about their births, but almost nothing about their childhoods.
The author who's writing Judges probably has no idea even what he is doing. But the Holy Spirit is guiding him to write this story in such a way that we see a parallel for how Jesus is born, because we're told an awful lot about his birth and an awful lot about the angels that showed up, and we're told nothing about his childhood. Samson's story is told in such a way that it gives us a premonition of something that is to come, even though the people and judges didn't know what it was. Because Jesus is the truer and better Samson, and Jesus will succeed in every place that Samson fails. Like Samson, you see, Jesus' strength will reside not in how he's built. It wasn't going to reside in his personal charisma, his beauty.
Isaiah said there was no physical beauty that we would desire him. Jesus' strength, like Samson, would come from the indwelling power of the Spirit. But unlike Samson, Jesus would never compromise. He would keep every facet of God's law without sin.
Instead of being controlled by his impulses, Jesus would be controlled by God's will. After fasting for 40 days in the wilderness and not eating a thing, the Satan shows up and offers him some bread. And what does Jesus say?
It's totally the opposite of Samson. He says, Man does not live by desire. Man does not live by bread alone. Man lives by the will of God. Jesus did not do what pleased himself. Jesus did what pleased God. And so in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus looks at the Father and says, I don't want to do this. Nevertheless, it's not what I want, God. It's what you want.
It's what pleases you. Though Jesus was entitled to the throne, Jesus would take the role of a servant and submit to the humiliation of the cross. I look at Samson, a man of incredible strength, a Nazarite with incredible strength, and we are awed by his strength. But I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how he could love me, a sinner condemned unclean. When I say how marvelous, it's not about how strong Samson was or how strong God can make me. When I say how marvelous, it is about how Jesus would come and take upon himself my weakness.
How the one who was strong and rich became weak and poor. The one who was righteous would become guilty. How he who knew no sin would become sin for me. And then I say how marvelous, because my salvation didn't come by a man with muscles or a man with intelligence.
It came by somebody who would take my shame into him and die for it. You see, until you see and believe what Jesus did for you, you'll never become a person of strength, because Jesus is the real Samson. His glorious life enables you to live like Samson should have lived.
You see, here's what I'm going to explain to you. God does want to use you powerfully in people's lives. He is going to give you supernatural strength to bless others, but you're going to screw it up.
You always will. Until you see that Jesus was the real Samson that was given for you. The salvation didn't come through strength that came by him humbling himself and taking your shame. And when you see and you believe that Jesus was the real Samson who gave up his life to save you, instead of a life that declares I want it so I'll take it, you'll start to say I want God. And so I want what he wants. Instead of saying I deserve it, you'll start to confess I deserve hell and he saved me.
So I'll do whatever you say Jesus. Instead of saying my strengths and my talents and my abilities are all about me, you'll start to say Jesus is all about you. It's all from you. It's all through you.
It's all for you. You'll start to say we're the whole realm of nature, mine, that would be a present, far too small, love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. Instead of saying I can handle it, you'll start to say I can't handle it without God, but I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
And you will cling tightly to the source of strength in your life and you will never let it go. Because this is all about him and it's all about being in right relationship to the real deliverer, the real savior. On the road to Emmaus after the resurrection, Luke tells us that Jesus was speaking with two of his disciples. And it said that walking between two towns, he, they didn't even know who he was at the time, he said he said he saw the Lord and he said he was at the time, said he started with Moses and the prophets, which means Genesis, all the way through the Old Testament, and he explained how everything written was about him. When he came to the Samson story, I have to imagine that he explained some of the things that I'm explaining to you. Because he was wanting his disciples who were about to go into the world to face the Philistines, he wanted them to see, I'm not asking you to go overcome, I overcame. And the whole Bible is not about you becoming like Samson, the whole Bible is not a list of examples for you to emulate.
The Bible is about a savior for you to adore. And your strength is not going to come from what you do for me, your strength is going to come from worshiping me for what I've done through you. And your incredible strength is not going to be given by working it up, your incredible strength is going to come as you stand in awe and amazement of how I was the real Samson for you.
I was the strong one who overcame and you just worshiped me. That's why I've told you that a goal in a sermon is not that you leave with a page full of notes. My goal in this is not to fill your mind full with info about Samson as if that information is going to make you more spiritual.
My goal is not to tell you to live like Samson, you can't live like Samson, you shouldn't live like Samson. The goal of a lecture is that you leave with information, the goal of a motivational speech is that you leave with action steps, but the goal of a sermon is that you leave worshiping. There ought to come a time in the sermon where the penicillin where the pen goes down and the eyes go up and you quit writing down, oh my God, look at all the things I've got to do for you.
And you start saying, oh my God, look at what you've done for me. All of scripture points to one thing, the real savior who gladly gave his life for us. That's the beauty of the gospel. It's the centerpiece of the whole Bible.
It's also the centerpiece of everything we do here at Summit Life. J.D., in our newest resource, you take some time to answer a lot of questions over a very broad range of topics. What do you hope we'll take away from this new book? Well, this book is pretty different from a lot of the resources that we offer, namely in that it's done in the same style as my other podcast, Ask Me Anything, where I take a challenging or difficult question that we're often asked as believers. And I attempt to give you a few short talking points of how to think about the answer and how to share it with somebody else.
This can be part of that hard work of winning somebody to Christ by taking out some of the big objections that they have about the Christian faith. And I think this resource will help you do that. This is a second volume. We offered volume one a couple of years ago.
If you'll go to jdgrier.com, it'll give you instructions on how you can get volume two and volume one if you could get these. And I think it'll help you whether you're trying to answer a question to your kid or trying to answer a question for your own heart or for a neighbor that's asking you. Thanks, J.D. Summit Life is kept on the radio and online by listeners like you.
So when you're hearing our program, you've got a friend of the ministry and maybe even a gospel partner to thank for the message. Give today and remember to ask for volume two of Honest Questions, Quick Answers. Call 866-335-5220. Or you can donate and request this resource online at jdgrier.com. I'm Molly Vidovitch. Have a great weekend and join us next week for Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
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