Wednesday, January 16, 2013
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Wed 1/16/2013
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!
A GAMBLER’S TALE, Lesson 18b
v. 12-18 SAMSON’S WAGER
Samson’s Gall – We have no indication as to what prompted Samson to give the Philistines the riddle in verse 14. It may have been pride. He may have been trying to prove that he was smarter than they were. He may have done it to break the tension at the wedding. These 30 so-called “friends of the bridegroom” were most likely there to guard the people from Samson. Or, it may have simply been a diversion to entertain them during the days of the feast. Apparently, riddles and hard questions were very popular in the ancient world. When the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon, she “came to prove him with hard questions,”(1 Kings 10:1).
Regardless of Samson’s reasons, what strikes me is the callous attitude Samson holds toward his sin. He looks back on an event in his life that showcases his sin and he makes a joke out of it. He looks back at an event that caused him to break his Nazarite vows, and disrespect and defile his parents, and he uses is as the basis for a riddle. That is a window into the heart of Samson!
A person has real spiritual problems when they cease to be affected by their sins. We all sin, (1 John 1:8, 10), but when we sin as believers, there is chastisement and conviction. There is the sense that we have dishonored the Lord and damaged our fellowship with Him. When we sin, we look for a place of repentance. That is absent from Samson’s life.
When that sense of sin is missing, it is an indication that the heart has grown hard toward the Lord. It is an indication that the conscience has been seared. It is an indication that sin has planted deep roots within a life. God help us to maintain a tender heart toward sin. It ought to break our hearts when we sin against the Lord and dishonor His name, His House, His Word or His people! ( Josiah – 2 Kings 22:19, “…thine heart was tender…”). God will judge those with this attitude, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD,” (Jer. 8:12).
Samson’s Greed – Samson’s wager is simple. If the Philistines cannot solve his riddle by the end of the week, they owe him 30 sheets and 30 changes of clothing. If they solve the riddle, Samson owes them the same thing.
The items called “sheets” were soft, expensive linen wraps that were used as underwear. The items called “garments” were outer clothes worn by the wealthy. This was a very expensive bet. It seems that Samson is trying to make a lot of money without having to work for it.
Samson’s wager has all the hallmarks of gambling. He is trying to make a lot with a minimal investment. He is like the thousands who go into the store and spend a few dollars hoping to strike it rich. Gambling is a sin, whether it is a million dollars on a Las Vegas poker table or whether it is a dollar a hole among friends at the golf course.
There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt not gamble”. However, the Bible does warn us against the love of money, (1 Tim. 6:10), and it warns us against covetousness, (Heb. 13:5). The Scriptures also warn us to avoid so-called “get rich quick” schemes, (Pro. 13:11; 23:5; Eccl. 5:10). How much better it is to trust the Lord to take care of you than to rest your faith in, and throw your money away on, some gamble.
J.E. Bedenbaugh said this, “My grandmother, a staunch Southern Baptist, had marched me off to Sunday school and church regularly. So when I switched to the Episcopal church after marriage, she challenged me:
‘What's wrong with the Baptist Church, son?’
‘Well,’ I explained, ‘Carole and I flipped a coin to see if we would go to her church or mine, and I lost.’
‘Serves you right,’ said my grandmother. ‘Good Baptists don't gamble."
Mark Twain said, “There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.”
Samson’s Gamble – Samson never thought he would lose the bet. He had is weighted in his favor. He just knew those men would be bringing him 30 new suits of clothes. He did not count on the fact that they might not play by his rules.
When they had been unable to solve the riddle after three days, they came to Samson’s bride and forced her to find out the answer to the riddle. They threatened to burn her and her whole family to death if she doesn’t help them. They even accuse her of inviting them there so she could let Samson rob them blind.
Out of fear, the bride does her best to get the answer out of Samson. She accuses him of not loving her because he hasn’t told her the solution to his riddle, (v. 16). When that doesn’t work, she cries, pleads and pouts for the duration of the feast, (v. 17).
This gets on Samson’s nerves. The phrase “lay sore” means “to put in straits; to oppress”. In other words, she wore him down and nearly worried him to death. Not to mention the fact that she was ruining the party.
There’s only so much a man can take, even if he is the strongest man in the world. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon talked about the problem of a whining spouse,(Pro. 27:15; 21:19; 25:24), and Solomon would have known! Anyway, Samson tells her the solution and she runs to tell his enemies. They come to him at the last moment and give him the answer. He immediately knows how they found out, because he told no one but his wife. I love his response in verse 18. He calls her a “heifer” because she has proven to be unpredictable and stubborn.
Had Samson been more discerning, he could have avoided this problem altogether. He should not have been involved with a Philistine woman. He should not have been playing games with the enemy. Because he refused to keep his distance, he paid a high price.
Samson is like a lot of people in our world today. They are so smart and discerning when it comes to so many things in life, yet they seem so dumb when it comes to their sins. The perils they face are obvious, but they seem oblivious to them. It is a form of willful ignorance, and it will be their ultimate destruction.
1 Samuel 16:7 (New International Version (NIV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
“Years I Spent In Vanity” By: William H. Newell (1893)
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.
Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!
Almighty Father, God of Adoration, Atonement, and Assurance. Help us to always walk so closely with You that we never fail to recognize the prompting of Your Spirit to our souls. Enable us not only to identify it, but also to never ignore it. Help us to trust and act upon Your encouragements about the details of our lives. Grant us peace in our spirit so we can hear Your instructions to our hearts above all the noises of life. Keep us from becoming dull of hearing and hardness of heart so we can stay attuned to You and in the way. Teach us to be HEARERS and DOERS of the Word. This we ask in Jesus’ precious name. Amen!
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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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