Bob's Blog

Samson: The Accidental Witness
Part 6 0f 6
Written by Bob Dudley on Apr. 8, 2021
Instead of looking at the comic book version of Samson, let's look at the real man and see what we can learn. This will be a long blog. So, I am going to break it up into several installments.
How does this relate to us? Turn to Acts 1:8

Now, why did we go over the whole story of Samson's life? It wasn't to show he is not the hero we were taught that he was. However, he is NOT a very good role model. So, how DOES this relate to us?

Look at Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

What does Acts 1:8 tell us about our supernatural power and our mission?

Samson was given the filling of the Holy Spirit. We were given the Holy Spirit when we got saved and the ability to call on that Spirit for power whenever we want to. Samson had a specific mission for God - he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (Judges 13:5).

Acts 1:8 tells us our mission for God. And let me just say right here, that mission IS NOT being a pastor, teacher, deacon, Sunday school teacher, song leader or any other important job in the church. Our Mission is WINNING THE LOST FOR JESUS - PERIOD!!!!

Samson had gifts (his strength) to accomplish God’s plan. We are given gifts (the gifts of the Holy Spirit – intellect, money, talent, strength, teaching) to accomplish God’s mission for us. Sampson did not use the gifts God gave him for God’s purpose.

Are we doing the same? If someone walked up to you and said, "how did you use the gifts you were given and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit yesterday?" Would you be able to say you used it to talk to someone about the love of God and that Jesus paid the price so they can go to heaven?

Final Thoughts

I’m challenging you to recognize that God gave you a promise. The promise that the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and is there to help you do God’s mission of saving the lost.

Sampson (and other saints of the Old Testament) could not depend on being filled with the Holy Spirit continuously. But, we can depend on the Holy Spirit 24/7. An aside about the filling of the Holy Spirit, it is not a special feeling. Sampson did not realize it was gone. Thus, there is no special feeling when we are filled with the Spirit. This means you must simply have faith that, as you step out of your comfort zone to tell someone about Jesus, that the Spirit will be there to give you utterance and boldness to tell the gospel.

Realize you have the promise of the Holy Spirit to be God's witness today. Are you being a Sampson and being focused on yourself? I want to challenge you to have enough faith that if you do the work that God has assigned you (fulfilling the Great Commission) the Holy Spirit which resides in you will fill you and give you the supernatural power you need to do great things for God.

Are you going to be an accidental witness or are you going to do it on purpose?
Bob's Blog
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Samson: The Accidental Witness
Part 5 0f 6
Written by Bob Dudley on Apr. 1, 2021
Instead of looking at the comic book version of Samson, let's look at the real man and see what we can learn. This will be a long blog. So, I am going to break it up into several installments.
J. Samson wants Another (strange) Woman – Delilah (Judges 16:1-21)

Now we get to the most famous part of the Samson story: Samson and Delilah. First thing I’d like to notice is where Delilah lived – the Valley of Sorek. Sorek has the idea of red or vine. It’s thought that this valley was another area full of grapes and vineyards. So, he’s living (doesn’t really say anything about a wedding) with a Philistine woman in an area known for its grape vines. He IS a Nazarite, separated and holy.

Delilah is bribed to find the “secret” of Samson’s strength. He gives her 4 different sources of his "weakness": 7 green bow strings (16:8), new ropes (16:12), weave hair into a web (16:13), shave his head (16:17)

The thing to notice is: each time he told Delilah, each time she did what he said then got the Philistines, each time he went out to defeat them. this is important: even though the Spirit of the Lord left him, HE DIDN’T NOTICE (16:20)

Whether Samson believed his hair was the source of his strength when he told Delilah, he didn’t believe it when he went out to stop the Philistines. He was ready to defeat them again. But, here’s the part I want you to focus on, HE DIDN’T NOTICE when the Spirit of the Lord left him. Think about it. If you can’t tell when the filling of the Holy Spirit is gone does that mean you can’t tell when it’s there, either?

K. Samson gets Revenge (Judges 16:22-31)

Samson wanted revenge for the loss of his eyes because the Philistines had insulted him (not God). Notice, Samson did not want revenge for what the Philistines did and said about the Lord, he wanted revenge for what they did to him.

Here’s my point:

Samson was given supernatural power, a gift from God. Samson was given the filling of the Holy Spirit. Samson was given a mission in accomplishing God’s supernatural plan. Samson was given gifts to enable him to accomplish the mission God set before him. Was he saved? Yes (Hebrews 11) Was he using the gift’s God gave him for God’s purpose? No.

Samson: The Accidental Witness
Part 4 of 6
Written by Bob Dudley on Mar. 25, 2021
Instead of looking at the comic book version of Samson, let's look at the real man and see what we can learn. This will be a long blog. So, I am going to break it up into several installments.
G. Samson Slays Them Hip and Thigh (Judges 15:1-5)

The Philistines kill the father and the “wife” in revenge for Samson burning their fields. They may or may not have been justified. So, Samson kills a great slaughter (hip and thigh). I don’t mean to get bloody, but you need to know what this means. To “slaughter hip and thigh” means to tear them limb from limb. He ripped their dead bodies into pieces. Nazarites can never touch something that is dead. If there was any doubt before that he broke his vows, there is none now. Again, he is NOT supposed to get near (let alone touch) anything that is dead (this would put a real damper on actually killing anyone or anything and then ripping it to pieces). Very weird.

H. Samson Slays 1,000 with a jawbone (Judges 15:9-17)

After this last slaughter he returns to Israel territory and sits on top of a rock (Etam). Philistines come to collect Samson for his crimes. Samson lies and says “they hit me first.” He claimed he was only doing what they did. They tied him up with ropes. But , the ropes were like flax (candle wick after it burns) to him. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He kills 1,000 men. Very, very weird

I. Samson (after the Harlot) the Gate Crasher (Judges 16:1-3)

Now, besides murder, arson and lying, we has consorting with a prostitute. He is sleeping with a woman not his wife, she’s a prostitute, and she’s not Jewish. And, of all places, he picked up the prostitute in Gaza (Philistine territory). The Philistines get wind of it and lay in wait at the city gate. Samson gets up at midnight, rips the gate (posts and all) and walks 37 miles (uphill). Toting the gate away is not necessarily bad (except for the destruction of government property and grand theft) but it is weird.
Samson: The Accidental Witness
Part 3 of 6
Written by Bob Dudley on Mar. 18, 2021
Instead of looking at the comic book version of Samson, let's look at the real man and see what we can learn. This will be a long blog. So, I am going to break it up into several installments.
D. Samson Throws a Party (Judges 14:10-17)

There are two words translated feast in the Old Ttestament, this one means PAR-TY!!!! Te one used her is the Hebrew word you would use for “frat party” or some of the parties they throw on cruise ships. Samson is throwing one big bachelor party (heavy drinking). I’m thinking there’s going to be a little bit of the grape at this party. Then, he makes a bet with a riddle (14:12-17)

E. Samson gets Revenge for the Riddle (Judges 14:18-19)

Samson loses his bet so he owes these guys about 30 sports coats. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Him and he Kills 30 men and takes their clothes. Today we would call this multiple homicides, lock him up and throw away the key. He had the power of the Holy Spirit and he used it to do something contrary to God. How do I know it was contrary to God? Well, you could argue that they were Philistines and deserved God’s judgment. BUT, Samson was a Nazarite (by God's command) – he’s not supposed to touch dead people. I’m not an expert, but I’d guess it’s really hard to kill someone and not touch them. IF God wanted Samson to kill, then God would not have made him a Nazarite. This is getting really weird

F. Samson Plays with Foxes (Judges 15:1-5)

Now, he goes to his father-in-laws’s house only to find out his “wife” has been given to another man. And, Samson should have known this was going to happen. At the end of the week-long party he was supposed to go in to his new wife. Instead, he took off in a huff because she told the answer to his riddle. It was a big insult to the wife’s family that he didn’t consumate the wedding. The father-in-law was well within tradition to marry his daughter to someone else. He had to save face for her and for the family. Samson was wrong

The father-in-law was justified – Samson left after the party (father thought Samson hated his daughter). Anyway, now we can add arson and cruelty to animals to his list of crimes. After he finds out his wife is given away, he takes 300 foxes and ties them, tail to tail, with fire brands. He burns fields by tying these animals together – he has serious anger management problems. Again, very weird.
Samson: The Accidental Witness
Part 2 of 6
Written by Bob Dudley on Mar. 11, 2021
Instead of looking at the comic book version of Samson, let's look at the real man and see what we can learn. This will be a long blog. So, I am going to break it up into several installments.
A Quick Look at Samson's Life

A. Samson wants a (strange) wife (Judges 14:1-4)

Samson wants to marry a Philistine. (Judges 14:1). Recall, the job of a Nazarite was to teach Israel about separation. And the very first thing we see is Samson going after a non-Jewish girl. It’s extremely telling that the very first action God records about Samson is him being LESS separated than most Israelites rather than MORE separated. Why did he do it? Because it “pleaseth me well” (Judges 14:3) In other words, Samson is saying, “It’s all about me!” But here’s the strange part, the Lord helped Samson:

(Judges 14:4) But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

This DOES NOT mean God guided Samson to break God’s laws (Judges 14:4). It DOES mean that God planned to use Samson’s actions to further God’s plans. Samson is supposed to be separated unto the Lord. This is just a little weird

B. Samson fights a Lion in the Vineyard (Judges 14:5-7)

He was in a vineyard (grapes) when a lion shows up (14:5). Remember what he is specifically commanded NOT to eat as a Nazarite? Grapes! I’m not saying he ate grapes but what is he doing in a vineyard? Jump down to the last part of verse 6 – he went to the vineyard alone and didn’t tell his folks where he was.

The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him (14:6). He kills a lion with his bare hands – but doesn’t tell his folks (16:6). He’s supposed to be separated but he’s going down to get a Philistine girl. He’s not supposed to eat grapes but he’s in a vineyard. He’s not supposed to get near any dead creature but he kills a lion.

He is headed down to talk to the future Mrs. Samson (14:7). So far, so good. He gets strength from the Spirit of the Lord (Holy Spirit) to kill the lion. So, maybe this is a little weird.

C. Samson gets Honey out of the Carcass of the Lion (Judges 14:8-9)

Going back to his fiancé, he stops to look at the carcass (weird) (14:8). Samson sees bees IN the carcass of the dead lion (14:8). He reaches in and takes some honey out and eats. (14:9) Should he do this?

He’s not supposed to go near anything that is dead.
He killed the lion (so he touched it)
He put his hand inside a dead lion.
Then he ate something that was inside the dead lion.

Again, he doesn’t tell his parents where he got the honey he gave them (14:9). His parents know he should not get near something that is dead. This is getting a little weirder all the time.
Samson: The Accidental Witness
Part 1 of 6
Written by Bob Dudley on Mar. 4, 2021
Instead of looking at the comic book version of Samson, let's look at the real man and see what we can learn. This will be a long blog. So, I am going to break it up into several installments.
As you study the Book of Judges it isn’t long before you start to realize that the judges were men and women just like you and I. They had their strengths and, boy, they had their weaknesses. The judges were men and women chosen by God to deliver Israel every time Israel repented and cried out to God. You’ll also notice that, as you go from the first judge to the last, their strengths start to diminish and their weaknesses (in particular, their moral weaknesses) begin to flourish. The Book of Judges consists of 21 chapters and the last chapters (18-21) are kind of an appendix to the book. They cover what some scholars think is the life of Moses’ grandson. If this is the case, then Samson is the last of the judges listed in the Bible – the 13th judge of Israel.

Samson the Nazarite

Angel of the Lord visits Samson’s parents (Judges 13:1-25)

Jesus appears to Samson’s parents and tells them Samson is to be a Nazarite. There are 2 things here worth noting. First, Samson is to be a Nazarite. Second, Samson’s commission is to start to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. We’ll spend some our time looking at how Samson begins to deliver Israel. But first, I want to look at the restrictions on Nazarites. It will be important in our understanding of the type of person Samson was.

Three Requirements of a Nazarite (Numbers 6:1-9)

Let’s look at the actual requirements: (1) No wine or anything to do with grapes (not even a raisin or grape skin). (2) No razor on his hair (this one most everyone knows). (3) NEVER touch anything dead – not even his folks (If he touches anyone or anything suddenly dead near him he was to start over with making himself pure).

The whole emphasis in being a Nazarite was SEPERATION (Numbers 6:2). Israel was supposed to be an example to the world to be separate FROM the world. The Nazarites were an example to Israel for the same thing. They were to remain holier than the average Hebrew. So, to recap (keep these in mind – this is important in understanding what Samson does), a Nazarite is to:

1. Not touch anything made with grapes
2. Never cut their hair
3. Never go near anything that is dead

Note: the hair is just a symbol of what he is. Most of us never even thought about the other 2 requirements. The Nazarite is super-separated to teach other Israelites God’s requirements. Now that we’ve looked at the requirements of a Nazarite, let’s look at how Samson began to deliver Israel and how well he kept his vows to be a Nazarite.
Some Really Bad Entrepreneur Advice.
Written by Bob Dudley on Feb. 24, 2021
HAve you ever read a meme on Facebook and thought, "Wow, that's deep. I need to remember that."? Then, after you think about it a bit, you say, "Wait a minute - that's not true." We HAve one of thise here.
There is a quote floating around the web lately that goes like this: “If you need words of encouragement, don’t become an entrepreneur.” I don’t know who really started this quote, but it is being attributed to Elon Musk. And there are several gurus, mentors, and success coaches that are puffing out there chests and saying, “Yeah,” “right on,” “this is truth” and other such stuff.

Here’s the thing, the guys (and, yes, its mostly men I see sharing this) quoting this, in my humble opinion, are engaging in macho chest pounding.

In my book, “7 PERFECT Steps to Success,” I talk about something I call the Success Curve. There is a place on that curve (called Educated Pessimism) where every entrepreneur on the planet experiences Entrepreneurial Depression. This is a place where you start to find out everything you don’t know out running your particular business and it can be crushing. Some entrepreneurs feel this so intense they actually contemplate suicide.

So, yeah, it is totally ok to seek encouragement. As a matter of fact, as a Christian, it is expected. God is infinitely relational and He absolutely expects us to do this as a team and not as a lone wolf.

So, What is it About Fear, Anyway?
Written by Bob Dudley on Feb. 12, 2021
Have you ever gone to a motivational speaker and they told you that you must face your fears in order to be successful? Well, I'd like to talk about that for a minute or two. 
There's an old saying that goes, "Every problem looks like a nail when all you have is a hammer." I see this play out a lot with the current crop of motivational speakers. You may have heard some of these speaker say things like:

     You have to overcome your biggest fear to succeed.
     Success is on the other side of your fears.
     To succeed, you MUST get out of your comfort zone.

Sure, there are times you have to face a fear to get to where you want to be. But, that is so not the case every  time. There is certainly no requirement to conquer ALL your fears to be a success. As a matter of fact, I think fears can be placed in three categories.

Fears you want to keep. If you have a fear of placing your hand into a roaring fire, yeah, I'd hold on to that fear. 

Fears that don't matter. If you live in Colorado and you have a fear of sharks eating you when you get in the ocean, well, so what. It just doesn't matter.

Fears you have to deal with. Now, there are a few fears you might have to content with. If your sales process requires a strategy session on the phone and you have a phobia about talking on the phone, you'll have to deal with this fear. But, even here, you may not have to "overcome" the dear. Off the top of my head I can think of three options:

     1. You can actually overcome your fear of talking on the phone.

     2. You can hire someone else to d the strategy sessions (even Batman had Robin).

     3. You can change your sales funnel to eliminate talking on the phone.

Bottom line, sure, you may have to deal with a fear or two as you pursue the dream God laid on your heart. But, don't fight fears just for the sake of fighting them. There will be enough obstacles in your way without creating your own.
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