Judges 13: 7, 24, 25
"Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death."
"And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol."
And then again in the next chapter and the sixth verse, "The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand."
And yet again in the nineteenth verse, "And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil."
In the dark days of the Judges, God brings out this striking object lesson of divine life for the body. Just as He had linked the principle of sickness with sin in the case of the leper, so here he links purity and strength, physical power with right living and separation to God. The first principle brought out here is that the foundation of strength is separation unto God. He was a Nazarite from his mother's womb. And so, in order to be separated from every unclean thing, his mother must not even eat anything unclean. Then she must, and he must also, abstain from wine and strong drink. This seems to have special reference to earthly passion and desire. The spirit of true restraint and moderation is closely connected with a sound and healthy condition. Therefore, it was not only a life of purity, but a life of true victory over self-the crucified life, the life that died to earthly things. God wants you to be pure, and God wants you to be subdued, to be self-restrained, not that there is any gospel of asceticism, but the true principle of life is, "All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." I will not allow myself unduly to care for any thing, for as soon as it gets the mastery over me then it becomes wrong. The thing that might be right for you at one time is not best at another time. And so before the strong physical life of Samson could be developed he had to be a Nazarite in the true sense of the word. Then the simplicity of his life appears in the fact that no razor was to touch him; he was not to think of personal adornment.
Next we find in Samson, not only the principle of purity, but the principle of supernatural strength, the physical life that simply comes from a source outside of his physical organism. Men look for evolution by natural laws; they do not expect any more to come out of a thing than they see go in. Here is a kind of strength that is unaccountable, that has no philosophy back of it; there is no reason why it should exist. Whence does it come? We are told again and again in these Old Testament records, that there may be no mistake, "the Spirit of the Lord," the breath of God, came upon this man. This ought not to be entirely new, for that was the way it was in the beginning:
"God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life." The Spirit of God began to move him. There came manifestations, paroxysms of supernatural energy, and he would do things that were even a wonder to himself, and after a while the consciousness settled down upon him, and he knew that he had in him a strange secret of physical energy that others did not possess, and when the lion came upon him, he just rent him asunder as if he were a kid; he took the gates of Gaza and bore them off on his shoulders; and before his life was over, he tore down the colossal temple of the Philistines upon the heads of his enemies. There was nothing in bone or muscle that could explain it, it was just a paroxysm of force that swept into him from a divine source.
What God once did He can do again. He does not do these things for play. He does not bring out a character like Samson so that we may gaze at him like a star. God's highest method of working still is to put into human bodies a kind of physical energy for which there is no way of accounting apart from the Holy Ghost. It is God's normal idea for us that the Spirit of God should move upon us and stir us with physical forces that take away the disease and give us powers of endurance that even we cannot understand. This is why Samson lived this strange supernatural life. God raised him up to show you that if a man will clear the way for God by keeping out of unwholesome influences, by getting on the ground of purity, God will just pour through him celestial dynamite. It is not so much better machinery that you want as more power to run it.
The other day we found our office in a state of collapse, and everything suspended because downstairs in a dark cellar an engine had gone to pieces and the power that turned the printing presses was all still; the machinery would not go, the engine had refused to work. Power, power, power was all we wanted. Then everything went all right.
And so in your life and mine. Do not try to fix up your heart and your joints, and your indigestion, but get power, get the engine going. Let the heavenly current charge you and everything will go; you want a supernatural addition to the force you have. You have natural power when things are all regular, but when they begin to get irregular you must have twice as much power. Get God into the machinery, and even if it is a little rusty and a little stiff, it will become sufficient if the power is there.
That is the idea of Samson. I do not want to exaggerate the picture, but there it looms, a great gigantic figure in the darkest ages of history, God's example of a body charged with the life of the Holy Ghost by a divine battery.
Beloved, have you received a physical baptism of the Holy Ghost? Your mind has been baptized with the Spirit; your affections have been baptized with the Spirit. Do you know what it is for your physical consciousness just to breathe in the rest and quietness of this divine inspiration? Have you received the Holy Ghost into your body? You have been in the third chapter of I Corinthians; have you ever definitely entered into the sixth chapter of I Corinthians? Take it to your hearts; ask God to make it real to you, and, oh, when it comes to pass, you can understand the mystery of Samson's life; it will not be a mystery any more. You will say a hundred times a day, is it not wonderful, is it not blessed to have something inside of you that you cannot explain; but it moves you, it makes you run for God and almost fly for God.
That is the second principle then in the history of Samson. First, it means a separated life from every evil thing that could hurt you, and then it means a strong life deriving energy from a source outside and above.
We might show this through the natural world; that force and power, even in the universe, is not in matter, but it is in a principle behind matter. You cannot see it; you cannot feel it. Take the subject of gravitation. I need not tell you that the law of gravitation is the greatest force we know; but you cannot see it, you cannot take it in your hand. You can take electricity and bottle it up; you cannot do this with gravitation, but it is the greatest force there is. Those particles of granite cling together by an unseen force, a kind of spiritual or ethereal force. Well, the most advanced science is unable to tell anything about it; nobody knows what gravitation is. It is a power you cannot see, but it is the greatest power of nature. And so we might follow all through the natural world, and find it is not the visible things, but the invisible things that are strong. God has just given us parables all through nature to show us that He wants to raise us above the material, He wants us to see the thing behind the thing we see; He wants us to get to God Himself. Perhaps when they find out the secret of nature, they will find that it is the living God, "for by Him all things consist," or, as it is better translated, all things "hang together." He is wanting us to learn that in our bodies, He wants us to glorify these earthly temples by filling them with something grander and better.
NOT IT, BUT HIM
So many people are wanting the "thing" to go; wanting "it," whatever that "it" is, inside or outside. There are all sorts of "its." You want something that will make you feel better. I do not believe that is what God wants. God wants you to get your eye off of these things and place it on Him; and soon you will have so much of Him you will not have time to watch "it." And if God wants you to live a year with something hurting you, and all that time be so strong that nobody will understand it, all right, let it stay. Just get your thoughts centered on the Holy Ghost, on God Himself, and let things go, let the devil fight, let all be upside down; never mind, if you and God are right.
What does this lesson mean? It means, first, clear the way for God. If you had a wire overhead that was partly wire and partly hemp, you would not get any electricity; it must be all wire. So if you let your body be partly God's and partly the flesh's, partly the world's, why, it will hinder. The first thing is right of way for God.
USE HIS POWER
The second thing is, perhaps, to be fully persuaded, intelligently persuaded of the glorious ministry of the Holy Ghost for the body as well as the soul. And then the next thing is to do as the scientist does, as the intelligence of our modern age does with the hidden forces of nature. They used to let the lightning kill men, but now they take it and harness it and use it. Today men have found out that lightning is the most beneficent power of the universe and they use it. Now, get to work and study the laws of the Holy Ghost; find out all the modes of His operation, the things that help to bring Him, and then adjust yourself to Him, and you will find out that the Spirit of God will fit into your life as perfectly as the power fits into our machinery. Finally, do not get it all in theory, but go ahead and practice it, and the Holy Ghost will teach you how to use it, and after a while you will have it all in experience, and you will find what an all-round Friend He is. There is not a thing in your life-work to which He cannot adjust Himself--social life, brain work, everything; He will just be the God of your life. Study Him, find out the laws of His working, adjust yourself to Him, and then use His glorious resources.