Tuesday, January 15, 2013
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Tue, 1/15/2013
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!
A GAMBLER’S TALE, Lesson 18a
In our last glimpse into Samson’s life, we saw a man who little respect for the will of God for his life. He goes to Timnath, which was in Philistine territory, and there he sees a woman that he wants to marry, (v. 1). He demands that his parents get her for him, (v. 2). They try their best to discourage Samson from marrying this forbidden, Gentile woman, but Samson will settle for no one else, (v. 3).
His parents give into Samson’s demands and make the arrangements for the marriage. On their first trip to Timnath, Samson kills a lion in a vineyard, (v. 6). Samson revealed his low esteem for the things of God by being in a vineyard in the first place. On their second trip, Samson goes to look at the carcass of the lion, (v. 8). He finds bee hive in the carcass and he eats some of the honey and gives some to his parents, (v. 9).
Not only did Samson show little regard for his Nazarite vow, he actually violated that vow, and told no one about what he had done. Samson is a man headed for trouble. He is a warning to all those who like to skate near the edge. He is a warning to those who love to see what they can get away with.
I would remind you that our vows to God are sacred! He expects us to fulfill them. He expects us to live for Him at all times, (1 Pet. 1:16). He expects us, not only to not flirt with evil,( 2 Cor. 6:17), but to actively pursue that which is righteous, (1 Pet. 3:8-12).
In this passage we will look at the events that occurred when Samson and his family arrived in Timnath for the wedding. We will see that this wedding was not the joyous event everyone expected. We will see that it was a time of arguments, threats, crying and killing.
I want to teach the events mentioned in these verses. I want you to see that there is a price to pay when we wander from the path of righteousness and gamble with our testimonies. Let’s notice these events together as we look at “A Gambler’s Tale”.
v. 10-11 SAMSON’S WEDDING
The Tradition Involved – Verse 10 tells us that Samson and his family provided a wedding feast. This indicates that they were wealthy people. To be able to provide a feast for all those in attendance that last some 7 days would have been very expensive.
Our text also says that “for so used the young men to do”. This tells us that the events surrounding this wedding were carried out according to the customs of the day. Let me mention a few of those traditions.
The groom and his family were responsible for the expense of the feast. The lavishness of the feast was to be a reflection of their wealth.
The wedding was to be arranged by the groom’s family. Part of this involved the giving of a dowry to the Bride’s parents to compensate them for the loss of their daughter and for their loss of a worker in the home.
A period of time would begin then called the betrothal period. This usually lasted about 1 year.
During that time, the bridegroom would prepare a place for the couple to live. The bride would take this time to prepare her wedding wardrobe and to get ready for the arrival of the groom.
At an unannounced hour, usually at night, the bridegroom would come for his bride. He would arrange for a feast to be ready. He would take his friends and go after his bride. He would come at an unexpected hour, and his arrival would be preceded by shouting and trumpet blasts. The bridegroom would then take his bride home, where the marriage would be consummated.
That’s how things usually went. Samson’s wedding was a little different. Since he was a Jew marrying a Gentile, he brought no guests with him. It appears that the “thirty companions” mentioned in verse 11 were provided for him by the bride’s family. Also, he did not come to take the bride back for the wedding feast; the feast would be prepared at her home. Other than that, this wedding was to be a traditional wedding.
The Typology Involved – While I could never see Samson as a type of Jesus Christ, I cannot think about a wedding and the ancient traditions surrounding weddings, without thinking of the Lord Jesus and His bride, the CHURCH. Let me take just a moment to reflect on what the Lord Jesus will do one day.
He made the first trip and arranged the marriage. He cancelled the debts of His Bride, purchased her unto Himself, gave her His boundless love along with many other amazing gifts, the Spirit indwelling, the church, spiritual gifts, His presence, His providence, etc.
He returned to His house to prepare a place for His Bride, (John 14:1).
When the time is right, He will return to claim His bride. His coming will be preceded by shouting and trumpet blasts, (1 Thes. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51). He will come in the clouds above the earth, call up His Bride, and take her to His home in Heaven.
When she arrives there, she will be cleansed from her journey at the Judgment Seat of Christ; she will be clothed in fine linen garments; she will be treated to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and she will spend eternity with the Lord Who loved her, saved her and rescued her, (Rev. 19:7-9)!
Thank God, that is what is waiting on us!
The Temptation Involved – The word “feast” in verse 10 refers to a “feast involving wine”. This feast is held in enemy territory and it involves at least 30 wicked men. In other words, Samson had no business being at this feast. As a Nazarite, He was to be separated “unto” the Lord all the days he lived, (Jud. 13:3-5). Samson seemed to enjoy gambling with his testimony. He was a poor witness to the Lord he claimed to serve.
Sadly, it is not a stretch to think of Samson drinking wine with the enemy. After all, he journeyed through a vineyard on the way to Timnath, (v. 5). He defiled himself by touching a dead body and eating honey that came from the carcass of a lion, (v. 8-9). He is about to go through with a God-forbidden marriage.
The whole point of that is this: once you cross the line and get friendly with sin, it will not be many days until you begin to indulge your desires in ways you never believed you would. Sin has a way of spreading in your life. It is like leprosy in the Old Testament, (Lev. 13:8). Sin will spread and it will grow.
Unforgiveness will turn into a root of bitterness that will consume you, an evil act that is allowed to exist in your life will become a habit you will find hard to break. A little slackness tolerated here and there in your spiritual life will cause you to become unfaithful to the church, the Lord and the Word. Once that line is crossed, it becomes easier and easier to go ever deeper into evil.
Romans 10:15 (New International Version (NIV)
15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
“How Shall The Young Secure Their Hearts?” By Isaac Watts (1719)
How shall the young secure their hearts
And guard their lives from sin?
Thy Word the choicest rules imparts
To keep the conscience clean.
2. When once it enters to the mind,
It spreads such light abroad
The meanest souls instruction find
And raise their thoughts to God.
3. Tis like the sun, a heavenly light,
That guides us all the day,
And through the dangers of the night
A lamp to lead our way.
4. The men that keep Thy Law with care
And meditate Thy Word
Grow wiser than their teachers are
And better know the Lord.
5. Thy precepts make me truly wise:
I hate the sinner's road;
I hate my own vain thoughts that rise,
But love Thy Law, my God.
6. The starry heavens Thy rule obey,
The earth maintains her place;
And these Thy servants, night and day,
Thy skill and power express.
7. But still Thy Law and Gospel, Lord,
Have lessons more divine;
Not earth stands firmer than Thy Word,
Nor stars so nobly shine.
8. Thy Word is everlasting truth;
How pure is every page!
That holy Book shall guide our youth
And well support our age.
Sovereign Father, God of Help, Holiness, and Heaven! Help us to hear Your voice speaking to us when we read Your Word and when You speak to our hearts through Your Word, so we can recognize your voice when it speaks to us at other times. Enable us to understand when You give us specific direction so we may move on what You are leading us to do. Grant us the tongue of the learned so we may speak to others that know not Jesus. Teach us to hear Your voice and to follow Your leading in our lives. This we ask and pray in Jesus’ marvelous name. Amen!
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Monday, January 14, 2013
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Mon, 1/14/2013
A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!
ALL THE SIGNS POINT TO DANGER, Lesson 17d
vv. 6, 9 SAMSON’S DECEPTION
Honey in a carcass was not as strange as it sounds. The dry arid conditions of Palestine would often prevent the outward decay of a corpse. It would be mummified. Bees’ looking for moisture, would move into the mummified remains of dead animals and build a hive there.
v. 9 The Ruthlessness Of His Deception – Samson is so filled with pride, that he never considers the consequences of his actions. By eating the honey from the lion, he defiled himself. By giving it to his parents, he caused them to be defiled as well, ( Num. 19:11-13). He deceived his parents and caused them problems too!
When we willfully disregard God’s will for our lives we always pull others down with us. You see it in families all the time. One member will get out of God’s will and they will pull the rest of the family away from God with them.
It is sad, but true, most of us never stop to think about the impact our decisions have on the lives of others. Wickedness in our lives always impacts the people around us. That is part of the deceptiveness of sin. It blinds our eyes to the true consequences of our actions. All we see is the pleasure, we can never see the pain.
vv. 6, 9 The Reason For His Deception – Samson hid his sin because he did not want his parents to know that he had defiled himself. Had they known, they would have demanded that he fulfill the requirements of the Law of God. He hid his sins because he didn’t want others to think less of him. He knew that he wasn’t right with God and he probably felt a little smug and prideful that he had a secret no one knew about but him.
Sinful men do not like to sin alone. They love the way of the world. The world tries its best to make sin and sinful products glamorous and appealing. In the same way, sinful people love to pull others into their wickedness. They will do this by tempting and pressuring others to join them in their sin. They do it by gossiping and turning others against the people they want to hurt. Wicked people are never content to enjoy their wickedness all alone. Misery loves company, and so do miserable sinners!
There is another issue here that needs to be mentioned. There is a perverseness in sin that makes the sinner feel superior to others because he has a secret life that others are not aware of. The sinner forgets, however, that God knows all about it!
One final thought from this passage is in order. The believer would do well to take inventory of the company he keeps. (1 Cor. 15:33). There is a great danger in having the wrong kind of people as close friends.
Evil people may appear to be friendly, but they are not your friends when they entice you to go places and do things that defile. Even a professing Christian, if he or she is living a worldly life, is a dangerous person to have as a close friend. They will try to pull you into their worldly activities. It helps them to quiet the cry of the conscience if they can find other Christians who are doing what they do. Perhaps that is why Paul said, “withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly,”( 2 Thes. 3:6).
Conc: Imagine for a moment how Samson’s life would have been different if he had recognized the warning signs and turned his life toward God. Imagine now what God could do with us if we would simply recognize the warning signs that present themselves in our lives.
Can you see any warning signs in your life today? If so, will you continue down the road to ruin, or will you make the necessary changes to get your life on God’s path? If you can see evil desires, open disrespect for authority, disobedience to God’s will and deception in your life, the time to change is now. It may not be too late to avoid catastrophe in your life.
1 Peter 1:22-23 (New International Version (NIV)
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
“Instruments of Your Peace” By Kirk and Deby Dearman (1993)
Lord make us instruments of Your peace
Where there is hatred let Your love increase
Lord make us instruments of Your peace
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are Your instruments of peace
Where there is hatred
We will show His love
Where there is injury
We will never judge
Where there is striving
We will speak His peace
To the people crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace
Where there is blindness
We will pray for sight
Where there is darkness
We will shine His light
Where there is sadness
We will bear their grief
To the millions crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace
Father of Love. Light and Life, God of Mercy, Miracles and Might! We worship You and thank You that You are the God of Love. Thank You for loving us even before we knew You. We praise You especially for sacrificing Your only Son, Jesus Christ. Your love brings healing and salvation to us no matter what is happening in our life or what may happen in our life. The love and healing and salvation is there, and we must take ownership of it through Jesus. Grant us the right dreams about heaven, the right goal on how to get there, the right training so we may share it, the right desire to work to glorify You, the right attitude to Keep on working, and the right spirit to kneel before you in prayer. Your love for us will never end, and may our love for You never end. This we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!
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Sunday, January 13, 2013
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Sun, 1/13/2013
A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!
ALL THE SIGNS POINT TO DANGER, Lesson 17c
v. 5-9 SAMSON’S DISOBEDIENCE
Samson’s parents relent and give in to his demands. They sacrificed their convictions to make him happy. By the way, that is never right! You should stand for what is right even if the whole world walks out on you! There are too many parents who live for nothing but to make their children happy. What about the Lord?
As they go to Timnath to see this woman, Samson apparently wanders off to himself. He is passing through a vineyard when he is attacked by a lion. He kills the lion with his bare hands, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This seems like the first of many great feats of strength, and it is. But, this event is also a window into Samson’s soul. A glimpse through that window reveals a heart that is filled with disobedience. This is another warning sign that Samson should have heeded.
v. 5 The Place Of His Disobedience – Samson is attacked in a vineyard. What is a Nazarite doing in a vineyard? According to Num. 6:3-4, he could not eat anything that came from a vine. He could not drink wine. He had no business being around a vineyard. This simply reveals the disobedient nature of Samson’s heart.
Perhaps he thought he was immune to temptation. Perhaps he thought that the prohibition against the fruit of the vine was for everyone but him. Who knows what he thought, but his disobedience is revealed by his placing himself in a place where he could be tempted to break his vows to the Lord.
The same is true with us. When we continually place ourselves in situations where we can be tempted, we are revealing the fact that we have a disobedient spirit. It is almost like we are daring temptation to come. It is almost like we are courting sin. I would remind you that God commands us to separate from sin, not court it, (2 Cor. 6:17).
v. 7 The Proof Of His Disobedience – Samson’s disobedience manifested itself in his ignoring all the warning signs and in his following his own way.
The disobedient heart always shows itself through disobedient actions. It does as it pleases without regard for God or for the consequences. When you do as you please, even though you know God is against it, it is a huge, red, flashing warning sign that you are headed for trouble, (James 4:17).
v. 8-9 The Power Of His Disobedience – Samson placed his Nazarite vow in jeopardy just by being near a dead body, (Num. 6:6). Samson was so full of his own will and so filled with his own ways that the things of God held no power over him. Again, Samson did not care what God wanted, he only cared about what he wanted! Samson was completely under the spell of his sinful lusts.
Such is the power of our own sinful condition, we can reach the place where we no longer care what God wants from us. We can reach the place where all that matters is what we want and how we feel. That is a dangerous place to be!
v. 8-9 The Price Of His Disobedience – When Samson touched that dead lion, he violated his vow to the Lord, (Num. 6:9-12). He was supposed to go to the priest and offer sacrifices. He was supposed to shave his head. He was supposed to begin again as a Nazarite, because his sin destroyed everything in his life up to that point, (Num. 6:12). The price should have been forfeiture of all he had worked for.
For His Own purposes, God does not judge Samson here. We are told in verse 4 that these events were “of the Lord”. This does not mean that God planned the sin of Samson. It does mean that God allowed that sin to happen. It also means that God intended to use Samson’s sin to accomplish God’s will.
That is an amazing thing, isn’t it? God works exactly the same way in your life and mine. He does not make us sin, and He does not condone our sins, but he uses our sins to accomplish His own purposes in people, in the world, and in us!
God used Judah’s sin with Tamar to further the line of Christ. God used David’s sin with Bathsheba to bring Solomon into the world. He used the betrayal of Judas to get Christ to Calvary. I can’t explain these things, but I can rest in the sovereignty of God and know that even our sins will not thwart His plans.
For Samson, the price of his disobedience was that he was emboldened in his sin. When he broke his vow to God and nothing happened to him, he must have thought he got away with it. This misunderstanding of his sins caused him to travel even farther down the road to ruin.
We don’t get away with sin, my friend. It may appear that you have, but you don’t. There is a reckoning day! You may face the consequences of your sins in this life, (Gal. 6:7). You will surely face God with them someday, (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10). Disobedience always carries a high price. When we identify a disobedient heart within, we should deal with it immediately. It is a warning sign from God that trouble is ahead.
Proverbs 25:11 (New International Version (NIV)
11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
“I Stand Amazed” By Charles H. Gabriel (1905)
1. I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me,
a sinner, condemned, unclean.
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful
is my Savior's love for me!
2. For me it was in the garden
he prayed: "Not my will, but thine."
He had no tears for his own griefs,
but sweat-drops of blood for mine.
3. In pity angels beheld him,
and came from the world of light
to comfort him in the sorrows
he bore for my soul that night.
4. He took my sins and my sorrows,
he made them his very own;
he bore the burden to Calvary,
and suffered and died alone.
5. When with the ransomed in glory
his face I at last shall see,
'twill be my joy through the ages
to sing of his love for me.
Father of Light, God of Glory! We ask that Your Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing of the scriptures, will bring Your Word alive into our hearts every time we read or hear it. Enable us to retain it so we may learn about Your will and do what it says in obedience to Your will. Prepare us with Your Word so we may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good works. Make Your Word a fabric of our daily being; weave it into our hearts and souls so that it forms who and what we are, and to whom we belong, to Your praise, glory and honor. Do not let us neglect Your word and cause our prayers to become an abomination to You. Help us to live in the peace You have for those who love and obey Your way. These things we pray in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Lord. Amen!
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Saturday, January 12, 2013
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Sat, 1/12/2013
A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!
ALL THE SIGNS POINT TO DANGER, Lesson 17b
v. 3 SAMSON’S DISRESPECT
His Parent’s Charge – When Samson’s parents hear what he wants to do, they immediately warn against following this course of action. They know that what Samson had planned is not the Lord’s will, and they try to change his mind by encouraging him to marry a good Israelite girl.
What they do is what any loving, caring parent would do if they saw their child about to make a serious mistake. It is exactly what Paul told parents to do in Eph. 6:4b, “…bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Parent’s, your children my not appreciate it, but you have a responsibility to warn them when they are about to do something harmful in their lives. Sometimes the Lord uses parents to hold up the stop sign in front of our child.
Samson’s Choice – Despite the pleas from his parents, Samson is settled in his heart. The phrase “she pleaseth me well,” literally means “this is right in my eyes.” Samson doesn’t care what his parents think. He doesn’t care about what God thinks. He doesn’t care about what’s right or wrong. All he cares about is what he thinks, what he wants and what he feels. All he cares about is pleasing himself. So, he disrespects his parent’s wishes and he disrespects God will. This should have been a warning sign to Samson.
When there is rebellion in a heart, that rebellion will manifest itself through disrespect for others and for the things of God.
When you find yourself doing as you please with no regard for how your actions impact others, you are headed for trouble. When you could care less about what God says in His Word; when you could care less about how your actions could hurt others; when you show no regard of people’s feelings, you are headed for trouble.
The desire to live for self; what I think, what I want; and what I feel; is a manifestation of a rebel’s heart. It is a warning sign that should be heeded.
Life is bigger than you. What you do affect everyone around you. Your actions impact your family, your acquaintances and your church. Disrespect for others, their feelings and their needs, is a warning sign!
John 10:14 (New International Version (NIV)
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—
“I Am A Sheep” By Dennis L. Jernigan (1988)
I am a sheep and the Lord is my shepherd
Watching over my soul.
My soul to keep guarding over me ever,
Watching wherever I go.
And when the winds blow He is my shelter!
And when I'm lost and alone He rescues me!
And when the Lion comes He is my victory!
Constantly watching over me!
He is constantly watching over me!
We are his children and he is our Father
Watching over our souls.
Great is His love for His sons and His daughters,
Watching wherever we go.
Faithful Father, God of Love and Hope! Thank You for Your Spirit of love dwelling in our hearts and minds, so that we may be filled with Your hope for us. Help us to comprehend the width, length, depth, and height of Your love. Enable us to continuously receive the love of Christ in our hearts which passes all understanding, so we may be filled with His fullness. Teach us to love others the way You do: teach us to love just like You; to care just like Jesus; and to share just like the Spirit. We know that even if we speak like an angel, but have not love, we are just making noises; even if we can move mountains, but have not loved, we are nothing. Spirit of love and hope, flow powerfully through us today and always, to the glory, praise and honor of our Loving God. This we pray in His Loving name. Amen!
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Friday, January 11, 2013
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Fri, 1/11/2013
A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!
ALL THE SIGNS POINT TO DANGER, Lesson 17a
Everywhere you go in life there are warning signs. There are signs along the roadway that point to dangers that lie ahead. Only a fool ignores those signs. To do so can lead to injury or death.
There are warning signs that our bodies give us from time to time. Pain, tenderness and fatigue are all indications that there are problems in the body. To ignore those signs can lead to serious illness or death.
There are warning signs that our minds send out when there is a problem. Feelings of sadness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of anxiety and other unwarranted feelings are sign that there may be depression. To ignore those warning signs can lead to far worse mental issues and even death.
Then, there are spiritual warning signs. There are times when we slack up in our commitment to the Lord. We don’t attend church regularly, we don’t pray and we don’t give as we should. There are times when we harbor bitterness and un-forgiveness. We hold onto hurts and have hard feelings toward others. There are times when we flirt with sin. We mess around in areas where we have no business being. When we ignore these warning signs, and there are many more we could mention, we are headed for spiritual shipwreck and spiritual death.
In our text, Samson manifests all the signs of a man who is headed for trouble in his life. Yet, he ignored every one of those signs and traveled ever farther down a road that would lead to dishonor, defeat and death. As Samson took these first steps down the road to ruin, he had no idea where his path would ultimately lead him. He had no idea how bad things would be at the end of the way. Had he heeded the signs, Samson could have avoided many of the problems he faced later in life.
I want us to notice the signs that should have stopped Samson in his tracks and sent him in a new direction. As we look at these signs, I want you to know that you can see the signs that point to danger ahead. By heeding the signs that should have served to warn Samson, we can see the signs that signal danger in our own lives. I want to point out these signs and teach on “All The Signs Point To Danger”.
The desires that gripped Samson’s heart, and that motivated his life, should have been warning flags that problems were just around the corner.
v. 1-3 He Desires A Woman – He tells his parents that he has been to Timnath. Timnath was a village that belonged to the tribe of Dan. Apparently, it was occupied by the Philistines. On his trip to Timnath, Samson “saw” a Philistine woman. She captured his eye, and he tells his parents to get her for him to be his wife.
The word “her” in verses 2 and 3 is an emphatic personal pronoun. It has the idea that his parents are to “get her and no one else but her.” His mind is made up and he will not consider marrying any other woman.
It is worth noting here that Samson’s life can be summed up in the events surrounding three women. Those women were “the woman of Timnath”,( Jud. 14:1-4); “the harlot of Gath”,( Jud. 16:1-3); and “Delilah”,( Jud. 16:4-20).
If these women had not been a part of Samson’s life, we would know nothing about him but the circumstances surrounding his birth, (Jud. 13:24-25). It is not a stretch to say that Judges chapter 14, 15, and 16 would be eliminated from the Bible if we removed all the events having to do with those three women. Those three ungodly women limited Samson’s service to the Lord, and they shortened his life.
Samson may have been strong physically, but he was weak spiritually. He had no self-control. True strength is not measured in how much you can lift. True strength is measured in how well you can control your actions, your attitudes and your appetites. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city,” (Pro. 16:32).
It would do us well to remember that our problems in the spiritual realm begin in the same place that Samson’s problems began. They begin within our own hearts as we seek to fulfill our own selfish, sinful desires. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed,” (James 1:14).
The problem of sin is an internal problem. It doesn’t begin with someone else. It doesn’t even begin with the devil. Our sin problem begins with us, and with our own twisted, depraved desires.
This should be a warning sign to us. When we begin to long for things that God forbids, it is a sign that we are headed for trouble. The desire to gratify the lusts of the flesh is a sign that we are headed for danger down the road.
v. 1-3 He Desired His Own Way – There are two statements made by Samson that stand out. These two statements give us a glimpse into his heart. He says “get her for me” and “she pleased me well”. Samson’s focus is on what he thinks, feels and wants. Notice that he went to Timnath and “saw a woman”. When he saw her, he wanted her, and nothing would prevent him from having her. Not the objections of his parents; not what anyone else thought about the issue; not what was in the best interest of the nation of Israel; and not even what God said would stop Samson from having his own way in this matter.
It was against God’s will for an Israelite to marry a Philistine, (Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3; Josh. 23:12). He only cared about what made him happy, and he lived his life to please himself.
Desires that stood in opposition to the will of God should have been a warning flag to Samson. After all, he was to live out his entire life “a Nazarite to God”,( Jud. 13:7). That is, we was to be “separated unto the Lord” for his entire lifetime. His life was not his to do with as he pleased. His life was the Lord’s to use as God alone saw fit.
There is an application to us in the verses as well. When the Lord saved us, He redeemed us “unto Himself”. He purchased us, (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We are His possession, (Titus 2:14). That verses says, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” The word “peculiar” does not mean weird or strange. It refers to “that which is one's own, belonging to one's possessions; a people selected by God from the other nations for his own possession.”
All this simply means that God owns us. He owns us by right of creation, and He owns us by right of redemption. As a result, we should desire His will above our own. When we don’t, it is a clear warning sign that we are headed for trouble.
There is a word in the New Testament that sums up Samson’s attitude, along with the attitudes of many in the modern church. It is the word “lasciviousness”. This word speaks of “unbridled lust; shamelessness”. It speaks of an attitude that says, “I will do as I please and I don’t care what anyone thinks about or says about it.” It is a “me first” attitude. It is a mindset that says, “All that matters to me is getting my way.” Lasciviousness in a life is a warning sign. It is a sign that danger lies ahead for the person afflicted by it.
Isaiah 65:24 (New International Version (NIV)
24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
“Lord Speak To Me” By Frances R, Havergal (1872)
Lord, speak to me that I may speak
In living echoes of Thy tone;
As Thou has sought, so let me seek
Thine erring children lost and lone.
O lead me, Lord, that I may lead
The wandering and the wavering feet;
O feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Thy hungering ones with manna sweet.
O strengthen me, that while I stand
Firm on the rock, and strong in Thee,
I may stretch out a loving hand
To wrestlers with the troubled sea.
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.
O give Thine own sweet rest to me,
That I may speak with soothing power
A word in season, as from Thee,
To weary ones in needful hour.
O fill me with Thy fullness, Lord,
Until my very heart overflow
In kindling thought and glowing word,
Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show.
O use me, Lord, use even me,
Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where,
Until Thy blessèd face I see,
Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share.
Loving Father, Beloved God! It is amazing to us that You love us so, even though we have done nothing to deserve it. What are we that You should exalt us and fill our lives with Your love? Thank You that You see our ways and count our steps and still offer us your love, Your mercy and Your grace. Because Your loving kindness is better than life, we praise You; we praise Your Holy name. We will bless You while we live and lift our hearts to You in Jesus’ precious name. This we pray in His blessed name. Amen!
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