During the time leading up to Samson’s birth, the people of Israel had completely assimilated into Philistine culture. They were quite comfortable living like the Philistines. Have you ever had a friend or a group of friends that you started to become like? This is a pretty common thing to have happen during our school years - but maybe you even notice it happening now?
Why is assimilation into the surrounding culture so attractive for churches, and for individual believers? How do you feel that pressure in your own life?
Though Samson lived a completely sinful life, God continued to work through him and even filled him with his Spirit. Have you ever seen the Lord working through your sin or someone else's?
Why is it exciting, liberating as well as humbling to know that God works through flawed people?
It wasn’t until the end of Samson’s life that he relied on God’s grace rather than his own strength. This is seen in his final prayer where he asks the Lord tos strengthen him one more time. Where in your life do you need to rely on God’s grace rather than your own strength?
In this story, we see the first time that Israel failed to cry out to God for rescue. For many of us, our weaknesses have been on full display over this past year. Frustrations, pain, anger, an inability to control circumstances. It’s all been there this year. How many times in the midst of that have you cried out to God? What has his answer been?