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Did Samson look like a muscle man?
And how this impacts each of us immensely…
Don’t assume the answer is yes. Why am I writing on this? Because too many of us still look to ourselves instead of to our heavenly Abba, our dear Father or our Savior Yeshua (or Jesus Christ, if you prefer).
Though I’m writing about Samson, the principle of what I’m going to explain will carry across many concepts. We’re coming up soon to the day of Pentecost when God empowers us all with His Spirit. GOD is our strength. The very word we use -- “God” -- comes from the Hebrew El (singular) or Elohim (plural), which is translated “God” or gods, depending on the context, but it literally means “Strong one(s)” or “mighty one”.
Now back to Samson and why this is so important. If Samson looked like a Mr. Universe, a Charles Atlas, a Hercules-type figure, then people would attribute his strength to HIS muscles. But something about Samson was very puzzling. He had long hair due to his Nazarite vow, but aside from that, I’m convinced he looked like every regular guy. SO how could a regular guy carry off the gates of a city or break fresh ropes like thin thread? That’s what was so puzzling.
And for that matter, was Samson ALWAYS strong, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? I’m not sure we can say “yes” to that. Notice this about Samson. It was in the times he needed strength, when it says “then the spirit of YHVH (the Lord) came upon him” and then it describes some amazing feat of strength he did against the Philistines. Was he only strong when he was moving in the strength of God’s spirit? I tend to think so myself.
“And the Spirit of YHVH came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand….”
When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of YHVH came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.
“Then the Spirit of YHVH came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men….”
So do you see why now that I think Samson looked ordinary but did powerful feats when God’s spirit came upon him? If he had huge muscles, then he could boast of HIS great strength. But if he was ordinary, then he and others would have to realize he was receiving supernatural strength.
Paul said “I can do all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Hmm.
So what if Samson looked just like you or me, but when he needed strength, he was given the strength from the Mighty Ones (Elohim) to do whatever Yah wanted him to do?
And so here’s the main point of this blog: what are you trying to do in your own strength?Sure, you know you have the spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9-10), but do you rely on the spirit, or on your own righteousness, and on your own efforts, on your own holiness, on your own ability to overcome and fight sin – or are you learning to form the relationship with Yeshua and rely on HIM?
Yeshua said, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). NOTHING. Get it? Nothing spiritually. But WITH him, Paul says we can do ALL things.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do NOTHING”.
Some of you still think you can save yourselves. Good luck, as you’ll need it. We have one Savior and it’s not me or you. It’s Christ. Some of you still think you can create your own “new creation in Christ”. Sorry folks, there’s only one Creator and it ain’t you, and it sure isn’t me. The creator of the NEW me and the new you is GOD. I’ll show that in my sermons. Some of you believe in spiritual evolution. You think, given enough time you can struggle your way into being holy enough or righteous enough to “make it” into the kingdom of God. But the standard set is the very righteousness of God himself. Nothing short. Not a smidgen short of perfection will allow you get in there. Not a smidgen short. I need to give a sermon on how we become truly PERFECT, but if you want some clues, read these for starters: Col 1:27-28; Hebrews 10:14. The Torah, the law, could not make anyone perfect; we need something more (Heb. 7:19; 10:1).
Tell me ONE person you know, aside from Yeshua himself, who you think was 100% perfect – and I mean in his/her thoughts as well, 100% of the time. If you think you can, I propose you don’t know that person very well. And anything short of 100% perfect will fail to get anyone into God’s kingdom. When we are presented to Yeshua as His Bride, we will be 100% without spot or wrinkle, faultless, perfect – or we won’t be there. But it won’t be because of MY goodness. I’ll be there because of being IN HIM, covered by Him and HIS life. It’s got to be GOD’S strength being made perfect in our weakness, lest we have something to boast about!
Isaiah 45:24 says “…surely IN YHVH (the LORD) I have righteousness and strength.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He said to me, "MY grace is sufficient for you, for MYSTRENGTH is made perfect in WEAKNESS." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Finally, my brethren, be strong IN THE LORD and in the power of HIS might.
That’s why we have a Savior who becomes our life (Colossians 3:3-4; Gal 2:20-21) and who produces in us HIS righteousness (Philippians 1:11), since we are merely branches on His VINE, displaying HIS fruit, the fruit of the Spirit. It’s not the fruit of Philip Shields or the fruit of YOU. It’s not. Or if it is, it won’t be good enough for the 100% perfect kingdom of God.
That’s why I am going to be giving updated sermons on what it means to be “in Christ”, or to accept His righteousness by faith, as Paul clearly, clearly teaches in Philippians 3:9-10, 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Romans 5:16-19 and so many other places. Go to the Audio Sermons and Transcripts – look these up by topic – and look up RIGHTEOUSNESS series given in January –Feb 2007 and November-Dec 2010. Listen to those and learn how we become righteous enough to be in the kingdom.
Now please, by now you know I teach we must be growing and changing to look more and more like our Savior. If Christ lives in us truly, he will be living in us the way he did the first time – obediently, joyfully, and faithfully and so on. If we aren’t walking like him, we don’t know him (1 John 2:3-6). Sometimes we still stumble in our walk of faith, but he’s there to help us, even carry us and to cover us by HIS blood, HIS life and HIS righteousness.
So I’m convinced that Samson looked like an ordinary man who did extraordinary things when God’s spirit empowered him. Maybe you’re not gifted with physical strength from God as Samson was, but many are being empowered with spiritual strength as they learn to rely on the power of HIS might and to walk in faith alongside the ONE who is perfect, always, all the time.