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Keep Out of It!

I love the water and I love scuba diving. Exploring under the water is one of the things that really makes me happy and I just wish I could be down there all the time. With an air tank on my back, I can dive into the water for a limited amount of time. But I can’t stay down there forever. The longer you stay in the water, and the deeper you go down, the nitrogen in the compressed air of the tank will get dissolved into your body. With careful procedures you can let out the nitrogen naturally and have no problems, but once you ignore certain procedures and stay too long, the nitrogen that was dissolved in your body will grow bubbles and will cause serious damage to your body. In some cases, you will be intoxicated with oxygen.The reason for this is because we do not belong in the water. We are mammals that belong out in open air, not under the water. To keep safe, we must keep out of it.

 With the oppression of the Philistines for 40 years, God promised a deliverer through Samson.  He was to become a leader and judge for the people of God by living as a Nazirite, someone wholly dedicated to God (see Numbers 6).  When Samson was born, he “grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” (Judges 13:24, 25).

 Our lives as Christians are specially consecrated to God. The famous verse in Revelation tells us, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12) As we live in the end time of history, we are called as a group of people especially consecrated for God. Not only that, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” (1Corinthians 12:7) Just as the Spirit of God moved upon Samson, He moves upon us as well.

 Samson was a strong and powerful leader. And the Lord was surely with Samson in his legendary stories: when he killed the lion with bare hands, when he caught 300 foxes and tied their tails with torches, when he killed 1000 men with just a fresh jawbone of a donkey, when he pulled out the gates of Gaza. No matter how strong you can be, you can’t do these things on your own. It’s just impossible. The only way these were possible was through faith. “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson... who through faith ... stopped the mouths of lions...” (Hebrews 11:32,33) “And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart...” (Judges 14:6) God was with Samson and gave him strength.

 But while Samson was physically strong, he had a weak side. He was weak about women. I am pretty sure most men will understand Samson. The problem here was that he kept falling for Philistine women, not an Israelite. They were heathen and did not believe in God.  One of the reasons that God brought the Flood upon the earth was “that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” (Genesis 6:2) This is something we need to look into as Christians who profess to have dedicated ourselves wholly to God. Are we also too much consumed and occupied by the things of the world? Are we not spending enough time with God due to the fun and glamorous things of the world? Do we belong to the secular world? Are we where we should be as Christians?

 We know that Samson lost his strength, was captured, and his eyes gauged out because of his continued intermingling with heathen women, the most infamous being Delilah.

 Had Samson chosen to leave that place where those Philistines dwelled, the consequences could have been different. But because of Samson’s choice to stay there and to give in, it gave the women opportunity to pressure him. Secular temptations will press you and cling unto you if you choose to compromise. Keep out of it! Just as Samson didn’t belong with the Philistines, we don’t belong to the world.

 Now this is why I always choose Samson as my favorite Bible character of the Bible - not because of his weakness, not because of his strength - but because of God’s grace and faithfulness. Despite the mistakes and wrongdoings of Samson, God still used Samson as a judge and a leader for 20 years (Judges 15:20). And whenever Samson had faith in God, God came upon him and gave him the strength (Judges 16:22).  Even after his downfall, as Samson’s hair grew again, Samson’s faith in God grew as well. Samson chose to fight for God one last time, and God honored his faith.

 If we have also mingled with the world, it is not too late.  Remember that we do not belong to this world, but God.  He is faithful to strengthen us when we return to Him.  Let us not repeat Samson’s mistake but to keep out of anything that may entangle us.

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Pastor Myoung Kwon is currently the Associate Pastor for Rosemead Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church in California.  He is married to Hyemi Park and loves scuba diving and traveling.


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