Don’t follow today’s culture; instead, be willing to take a stand for and be set apart for
God and be willing to seek God’s plan for your life.
In your experience, either yourself or something you have witnessed, do women appreciate or reject gentlemanly gestures, like opening doors and letting her go first? Men, do you habitually open doors for ladies? How do the ladies react?
When we were children and later as teens, we wanted so badly to be included, to just be just like everyone else. Nothing else was so important. The world came crashing down if we had to do anything different, even the tiniest thing. But when we reached full maturity, usually around 23 or 24, we began to understand it was OK to be, to think, to live differently. Standing up for an ideal became the right thing to do even if it meant standing alone. In today’s world cultural pressures are put on everyone, including adults, to conform. It seems that society wants all of us to continue our adolescent attitudes to be just like everyone around us.
Since Old Testament times God has been looking for strong men who are not afraid to be set apart, to be counted as Christ-followers. When a man chooses to stand for God, he is not alone. The Holy Spirit is continually alongside him. He can ask his Christian friends to pray with him and for him. His Bible study small group is on call for encouragement. God does not intend for us to be alone in our Christian walk; He gives us the Holy Spirit and Christian brothers and sisters to help us withstand the cultural pressures.
ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:
1. How many men were willing to stand in the gap to defend the city in Ezekiel 22:30? Can you count any men today who stand for God?
2. In Judges 13:3-5, what kind of life did the angel tell the woman she must live? Why was this expected of her?
3. Who set Samson apart for the Lord?
4. In Judges 13:8 what does Manoah ask the angel?
5. What was Samson’s potential? Read Judges 14:1-2. What is Samson’s attitude? So, who sabotaged Samson?
6. According to Numbers 6:2 who can be a Nazirite? Did this seem usual in the Old Testament?
7. What were the 3 requirements to which a Nazirite must adhere?
8. Would a Nazirite fit in today’s culture?
9. Who decided which person would be a Nazirite?
10. What does Romans 12:2 say about how to deal with the challenge of today’s culture?
11. How does someone renew his mind?
1. Not even one. Hopefully, group members know some men who are strong Christians.
2. That of a Nazirite: no alcohol, no razor, no touching anything dead. Her son was to be set apart from the womb.
3. God chose him.
4. What they should do as parents of a Nazirite. They asked advice on how to rear him.
5. He had the potential to lead Israel to freedom from their Philistine oppressors. His attitude toward his parents (and God) was one of disrespect. Samson sabotaged Samson. Why did he do it? He was self-centered and he probably did not even think about consequences. Do you think he set out to sabotage himself? Probably not.
6. Any man or woman.
7. No alcohol, no razor, no touching any dead.
8. Probably not. Many drink alcohol; most are expected to drink. Discuss ways Christians should live using I Corinthians 10:32; Romans 14:13, 21; II Corinthians 6:3. How can a Christian be a stumbling block? By doing/living how he wants to instead of following Paul’s instruction. Selfish Christians do not consider their impact on non-Christians.
9. The person himself/ herself. Whoever decided to take the vow. Today that would be nuns, priest, monks, etc.
10. Do not conform (pressed down into a mold) but be transformed (altered, converted, transmuted, changed) by the renewing if your mind. Don’t let culture around you drag you down to its level of immaturity.
11. Through prayer, transformative Bible study, praise and worship, doing life with other believers who are trying to do the same.