When hearing the name Samson, the casual observer would say his story is about strength and courage not vengeance and lust. But, after reading the story of Samson and hearing Pastor Chad talk about him, our Connect Group was so disgusted with this scoundrel that they did not even want to talk about him. Imagine, being dedicated to God, trained as a child in the ways of God, given special strength by God and a special mission to help free Israel from the oppression of the Philistines. And then, this self centered, egotistical self indulging rascal goes out of his way to go against his training and the specific direction of God. While he helped loosen the grip of the Philistines he did not break their hold as God had planned for him to do.
Yes, God used him and there are some spectacular events in his life that help us remember him and give us a glimpse of how great he could have been. Unfortunately, he was not an isolated case. Today, we are bombarded by similar stories. Some probably come to your mind even as you are reading this. If not, just look at the fields of sports and politics where news stories are replete with examples of talented, gifted, exceptional people who are overcome by self, power, greed, sex, addictive substances, etc. And then, what could have been so great turns tragically to coping with consequences.
What a contrast to the life of Joshua–no special strength, no special training, just extreme faithfulness. He loved God, spent time with God, everything he did was to bring glory to God. He proved his faithfulness as a spy, as a leader in battle, as Moses’ right hand man, as the leader of Israel. His entire life exemplified strength and courage and how much he relied on God for these qualities in his life.
We are so fortunate that God forgives us and will find ways to use us even in our frailties and disobedience. Think about what Samson could have accomplished if he had been focused on God as Joshua was. Ask God for His strength and courage in your life to help you bring glory to God.
Pastor Chad summarized Joshua’s qualities…
- Have faith, hear and obey God.
- Read the Bible to learn how God wants you to life your life.
- Listen to God everyday, seek what He wants you to do, do it.
- Remove sin from your life.
- Control your emotions.
- Help others.
- Experience love and the presence of God in your life.