Stupid is as Stupid Does Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asked an assistant to prepare an analysis on a special assignment.
The assistant worked night and day.
An hour after he gave it to Kissinger, he got it back.
There was a note attached that said: “redo it.”
The assistant stayed up all night redoing the report.
Again he submitted the report, but again Kissinger asked him to redo it again.
After redoing the report three times, the frustrated assistant asked to see Kissinger.
He pleaded his case to Kissinger; he told him that he was tired of working on the report, and said, “Besides, I’ve done the best I can do.”
Kissinger replied, “In that case, I’ll read it now.
The lesson today is about one of the best-known men in the Bible.
Samson was the most gifted, powerful, and feared judge that Israel ever had, but he failed to give his very best to God; he squandered much of what he had been given and only redeemed himself at the very last minute.
The last war that took place during the era of the Judges was an ongoing war with the Philistines.
Time and again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years, which was the longest duration of suffering in the land, before Samson appeared on the scene.
What does God expect His servants to do with all that He has given them?
All the talents, gifts, and opportunities?
God expects His servants to live life with dignity and decency.
Judges 16:1-4says that "One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, "Samson is here!" So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, "At dawn, we’ll kill him." But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. Sometime later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.”
1988 was a disaster waiting to happen for Christians, especially in this country.
Two of the biggest TV evangelists - Jimmy Baker and Jimmy Swaggart - had a very ugly, public fallout that reverberated till today.
They were Christianity’s media darlings, biggest fundraisers, and the most charismatic, powerful, and visible stars.
First, Jim Bakker made a stunning announcement that he was stepping down as head of PTL and Heritage USA in anticipation of a newspaper’s revelation of an affair Bakker had with a church secretary.
America’s first televangelist paid some $265,000 to cover up the affair.
Later he was convicted of misspending millions of his follower’s dollars.
Rival preacher Jimmy Swaggart called the Bakker scandal a cancer.
Next to fall was Jimmy Swaggart, the Pentecostal preacher who preached to 7,000 weekly in his congregation.
A short three months later, Swaggart was photographed entering and leaving a New Orleans motel where it was later divulged, he had hired a prostitute to pose nude for him.
The woman who later posed for Penthouse magazine said of Swaggart, “He was "kind of perverted...I wouldn’t want him around my children."
Two years later Swaggart was stopped by the police in California, again with a prostitute in his car.
The Chinese have a saying, “A hero has difficulty overcoming a woman’s beauty.”
Samson had no problem resisting power, fame or money, but he let sex, lust, and temptation ruin him.
He lived a life of self-indulgence, covetousness, and pleasure.
In private and when he went out in public, he was promiscuous, vulgar, and depraved.
He was the master of men but the slave of women.
He was a savage with Philistine men but a pussy cat with their women.
He had strong physical strength but fatal moral weaknesses.
Samson’s steps took him to sleazy places, dirty beds, and narrow, crooked, and run-down streets, where a fast buck would buy him a cheap thrill and a night’s rest.
Even worse than that, he had no sense of decency, guilt or shame.
He did not even wear a hat, a wig, or a cloak to conceal his identity or cover his tracks.
He did not know, wonder, or care if others knew what he was doing.
Discretion, good manners, and secrecy did not cross his mind and were not his concern.
He was a man of low morals, bad taste, and poor choices.
And he had a ravenous fondness for Philistine ladies.
His dead wife was a Philistine.
One day he visited a prostitute in the Philistine city of Gaza, and he fell in love with Delilah who was probably a Philistine.
Samson tested the waters of morality, blurred the lines of goodness, and cut corners in integrity.
He loved to live his life on the edge with women, and to throw caution to the wind with sex, and to walk on the wild side of vice.
Even when he was hurt it didn’t mean a thing to him, because he expected to have nine or more lives.
Don’t be like Sampson, live a life of obedience and discretion.
I’ll tell you some more of the story.
Then she said to him, "How can you say, ’I love you when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength." With such nagging, she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man." When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, "Come back once more; he has told me everything." So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I’ll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.”
I am among the minority who had little interest in the original Star Wars movie, but I do have a liking for the sequel story of the man called Anakin Skywalker in Episode I and II.
Anakin, who was later involved with the sinister Darth Vader, was a cute, helpful, and giving 9-year-old boy in Episode I.
In Episode II, he appears as a twenty-year-old man who was skillful, gifted, and a daredevil Jedi apprentice who considered his mentor’s instructions overbearing, therefore he sidestepped the rule that forbids romance for Jedi Knights.
In one defining moment, when Anakin and his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, were chasing an assassin in a space ship at night, Anakin sped dangerously, with no regard for the crowd or his own safety and chased the suspect through the crowded streets and airspace.
No turns, speed, or altitude were off limits for Anakin.
Just as they had lost the assassin’s ship, Anakin threw himself overboard, glided his body through the air and air-traffic, and landed his body perfectly on the suspect’s space ship.
Obi-Wan Kenobi could only mutter, “I hate it when he does that!?
In another incident, Anakin massacred a whole village, including women and children, to avenge his mother’s death at the hands of intruders.
The writer for the movie is a man by the name of Lucas.
He explained to Time magazine why Anakin turned into the evil Darth Vader.
He said, “He turns into Darth Vader because he gets attached to things. He can’t let go of his mother; he can’t let go of his girlfriend. He can’t let go of things. It makes you greedy. And when you’re greedy, you are on the path to the dark side, because you fear you’re going to lose things, and that you’re not going to have the power you need."