1. In Hebrews 11 we read about a number of Old Testament characters who showed how faith will enable a person to be in good standing with God. 2. In vs.32 Samson is mentioned. a. Samson was one of Israel's judges. b. (Judges 13-16) God used Samson to deliver Israel from Philistine oppression. 3. Review of Judges 13-14: a. (13:1) The Philistines were afflicting Israel. b. (13:5) Manoah's wife was informed that she would give birth to a son who would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines. c . (13:24) Samson was born, and the Lord blessed him. d. In ch.14 we read about Samson's first involvement with a Philistine woman. 4. In ch.15-16 we read about Samson's victories over the Philistines and his involvement with Delilah. Discussion:
I. (Judges 15) SAMSON BEGAN TO AFFLICT THE PHILISTINES
A. (vs.1-2) Samson returned to take his wife, but her father had given her to someone else. B. (vs.3-8) Samson retaliated against the Philistines. 1. He first burned their crops (vs.3-5). 2. In turn, the Philistines killed his former wife and her father (vs.6). 3. Samson responded by slaughtering many of the Philistines (vs.7-8). C. (vs.9-13) The Israelites delivered Samson to the Philistines. D. (vs.14-20) Samson broke his bands and killed 1,000 men.
II. (Judges 16) SAMSON WON HIS GREATEST VICTORY OVER THE PHILISTINES AT HIS DEATH
A. (vs.1-3) Samson escaped from Gaza. B. (vs.4-14) Delilah made 3 attempts to discover the source of Samson's strength. C. (vs.15-18) Samson revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah. D. (vs.19-21) Samson was finally conquered. E. (vs.22) However, Samson's hair began to grow again. F. (vs.23-31) Samson was given an opportunity to win a final victory over the Philistines. 1. The Philistines credited Dagon with delivering Samson to them (vs.23-24). 2. Samson "made sport" [amused and entertained] for the Philistines (vs.25-27). 3. Samson brought the house down upon many of the Philistines at his death (vs.28-31). Conclusion:
1. After losing his strength Samson finally appreciated the true source of it (Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 4:13). 2. After losing his eyesight Samson was able to demonstrate his faith as he never had before (2 Corinthians 5:7).