There are many things in this world that can become idols to us. Basically, an idol is anything that we put in place of God in our lives.
Some things that are healthy and beneficial, such as exercise, working hard, studying, or feeling confident, can become more valuable to us than they should. So we put more time and significance on those things then they deserve and shift our focus from God to those things. In other situations we find harmful things gaining control over our hearts and minds, such as drugs, sexual immorality, and concepts like revenge or power. All of these things, whether they began as harmful or harmless, are not qualified to be our god and when we place them in that position we often find ourselves wrapped in a world of isolation and pain. It is important to learn how to recognize what things in our life have a tendency to act as false gods and then going one step further with how to remove and resist those idols and instead firmly placing God always at the head of our lives.
The Story of Samson begins in Judges 13 and from the start it is full of God’s purpose for Samson’s life and Samson’s own idea of how his life shall go. The common theme in the story seems to be “God wanted this for Samson” and “Samson did that.” He basically went through his whole life saying “I want that so I take that and if you don’t give it to me—HULK SMASH!!!” One time he, quite literally, killed a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey; and another time he didn’t get what he wanted, he caught 300 foxes, tied torches to their tails, and loosed them across this guy’s entire land! So Samson obviously thought he was pretty invincible. He had never been bested and God gave him incredible strength; but, Samson kept the credit for all his deeds and never acknowledged until the end that his strength was a gift from the Lord. Clearly, his idol in life was himself (and his muscles) It wasn’t until the end, after years of placing his faith in himself alone, that Samson finally figured out the truth of the matter. Read about the last part of his life, when we find Samson alone in the company of people who do not value him, hated by others, and alienated from his nation by his refusal to serve the Lord.
Scripture: Judges 16:4–31
- What do you notice in the story that gives you a hint about what Samson’s idol(s) were?
- Why do you think Samson lost his strength and then later regained it?
- What do you observe about where his idolatry had led him in life?
- Looking at the supplemental Scripture verses, what are 3 promises made to those who follow God? What about 3 promises if they follow idols?
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I know I don’t always do the right thing and lots of time I use something else to make me feel better rather than spending time with you. Those things often “fix” the problem for right now but I know that they never really make anything change or go away. You are the only one with the power to do that. And I confess, I may even doubt that sometimes. I want to have faith in you. I want to believe that you are all I need and you will take care of me. Show me your power and peace, Father. Restore my heart and give me the strength and direction I need to carry on in this life. I trust that you are faithful to me at all times and I am so grateful that you, the Creator God, care about every detail of my life. Thank you for being there no matter what.