Stupid is as Stupid Does Part 2

by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)

Samson’s passion, aggression, and lack of restraint were getting him into deep trouble.

He was the Philistine’s number one public enemy, but he frequently ventured into enemy territory in utter disregard of the many ambushes set up there.
Last-minute escapes, no-holds-barred fights, and dog-eat-dog reactions were routine.
He did not abide by the rules, follow a routine, or listen to any restrictions.
He toyed with dead bodies, gave hair tips to Delilah, and turned his back on his religious heritage, responsibilities, and disciplines.
Samson was a high roller in life who not only failed to control his hormones but also failed to discipline his muscles.
Nothing was sacred to him.
He did not uphold the discipline of godliness or the exercise of goodness, and his life was a total mess.
He ultimately abandoned, violated, and betrayed God’s trust in him.
Samson’s life was also a big, fat lie.
In the passage I read to you there are more references to lies than any passage in the Old Testament.
He made bets, misled people, and misrepresented facts.
Samson and Delilah played a cat and mouse, fact or fiction, truth or dare, all or nothing game back and forth.
He was so smitten, infatuated and lovesick, that he could not see or think or act straight.
It did not occur to him that their love was one-way, that Delilah was double-crossing him for eleven hundred pieces of silver.
He was so undisciplined that the Philistines were able to stake out the house, occupy the next room, and even chop off his hair without him knowing it.
Sadly, Samson didn’t even feel a breeze or a coolness or the lightness of his head.
He loved and hated Delilah’s shy whispers—“Tell me now” and “Tell me.”
And her direct accusations— “You lied to me!” and “You have made a fool of me.”
And her nagging questions, “How can you say, ‘I love you”’ or “How can you tell me you love me?”
Samson told Delilah everything that was in his heart.
The phrase “all his heart” occurs three times in verses 17 and 18, demonstrating an alarming condemnation of Samson’s betrayal of what God had entrusted him with.
It was a naked moment.
He was exposed.
The Lord’s strength had left him.
Samson walked the path of danger, followed the way of fools, and the course of destruction and as a result became a slave, an entertainer, and a clown.
Don’t be like Sampson, live your life with purpose and self-control.
Now for the rest of the story.
But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, "Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands." When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, "Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain." While they were in high spirits, they shouted, "Bring out Samson to entertain us." So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, "Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them." Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.
I don’t know if you like basketball or not, but I want to tell you about NBA superstar Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers.
He is the team’s franchise player, the number one pick in the draft, a talented scorer who won many individual awards.
In the 2000-2001 season, he won the MVP award, his coach Larry Brown won the coach of the year, and the team stormed to the NBA Finals, only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The following season, he couldn’t take the team past the first round when they lost to Boston.
The coach and management talked publicly about trading him.
But why trade your best player and risk becoming a mediocre team?
Because he was offended by all the talk, Iverson wouldn’t practice.
Coach Brown said: “My problems with Allen have been the same for six years.”
"I love him, his competitiveness. The issues are things he has control over, and he’ll have a problem with me if he doesn’t take care of it. He has to be at practice. He has to set an example. He knows that if he’s willing to do that, he’ll be a Sixer for life.”
Iverson did not get it.
He defended himself, “I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re in here talking about practice. Not a game; we’re talking about practice. How silly is that? I know I’m supposed to be there. I know I’m supposed to lead by example. I know that. I know it’s important, but we’re talking about practice. ... How can I make my teammates better by practicing? They are supposed to be used to playing with me anyway. So my game is going to deteriorate if I don’t practice with those guys?"
Samson was kind of like Iverson; He was a talented but troubled man who had no game plan on how to use the talents, gifts, and opportunities God had given him.
Though he did accomplish a lot, much of his success was a reaction to the aggravation others caused him, and a testimony to the Lord’s grace.
He got the wrong idea about his destiny since he believed that all his life he would have a silver spoon in the mouth.
His talents and gifts were used unpredictably, erratically, and distastefully.
He failed to live up to his potential, to uphold the Nazarite vow, and to fulfill the hope of his parents.
In fact, he was a parent and a parent in-law’s worst nightmare.
His parents grieved and his wife died.
He did not need an army to fight with him or want his parents to tell him what to do.
Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Samson’s kamikaze death with the Philistines was not a glorious one.
Any kind of death in association with their enemies was unacceptable to the Israelites, and burial with them was absolutely unthinkable.
Just like the brave men of Jabesh-gilead who braved capture to bring home the dead body of Saul who died at the hands of the Philistines, Samson’s brothers and his father’s family did the same.
Contrary to what he said in his prayer before dying, God did not forget Samson.
Samson was the one who forgot that God was with him during his imprisonment, affliction, and humiliation.
His hair began to grow again after it had been shaved.
God’s grace also provided for the possibility that the Philistines would forget, misjudge or overlook Samson’s secret—he was getting stronger.
Talent, ability, and confidence did not invite trouble, but pride, arrogance, and self-satisfaction did.
The text painstakingly pointed out that Samson was an ordinary man in God’s eyes and that his strength was exceptional, but not great, not the great strength that his enemies or Delilah had made him out to have.
From his prayer, it seems that even Samson knew it, but Delilah’s dangerous seduction appealed to his ego and pride.
She attributed to Him the phrase “great strength” that belonged only to God.
Samson’s reign, unlike Deborah’s and Gideon’s, did not bring peace to the land.
Samson thought he had made a fool of Delilah three times but he really made a fool of himself many times.
As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
Conclusion:
What is your life like?
Does it include lies and open deceit?
Or are you in better spiritual shape than before you were saved?
Do not think you are alright.
The Chinese say, “There is always a higher mountain.”
The Bible warns those who think they are standing firm to be careful that they don’t fall (1 Cor 10:12).
For God’s children, repentance is never too early or too late and better late than never.
Amen.

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