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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 2/3/2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, SUN, 2/3/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:21-31
THE RESTORATION OF A FALLEN HERO, Lesson 24B

v. 23-25 IT WAS A TIME OF REPROACH
God’s Man Was Degraded – Samson was brought into the temple of Dagon. Dagon was the god of the Philistines. He was portrayed as half man and half fish. From his navel down he was depicted as a fish, from the navel up, he was portrayed as a man. The Philistines were fishermen and they worshipped Dagon believing that he would bless their efforts to catch more fish.

Verse 25 tells us that they brought Samson to this temple “to…make sport for them.” The word “sport” comes from a word that refers to “a dance or a jig.” In other words, they brought Samson in as entertainment. They brought him in to mock him. They are drunk, (v. 25), and they are looking for a good time. They force Samson to perform like some kind of circus freak. They no longer fear him as the mighty, undefeatable judge of Israel. They no longer see him as a threat to their way of life. They view Samson only as an object of mockery and derision. They bring him in so they can laugh at him. He is diminished in their eyes and they force him to do tricks while they laugh.

Don’t you know that Samson felt humiliated? He surely feels as though he is worthless. When he was engaged in his sins, he could not see the danger that lurked nearby. Now, he sees it clearly, but it is too late. Sin has humiliated the once proud Judge of the Hebrews. Sin has turned the mighty, fearsome warrior into a clown. Sin has transformed from the stuff of legends into a punch line for the enemies of God.

That is what sin will do in our lives if we allow it to reign in our hearts. Sin has the power to turn our lives into grist for the rumor mills. It has the power to bring us low so that people point at us and whisper about our failures behind our backs. Sin has the power to defeat us, to degrade us, to diminish us and to demoralize us. “Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity,”( Psa. 106:43).

God’s Glory Was Diminished – Not only was Samson degraded; God’s glory was diminished. Because Samson was defeated, the Philistines glorified Dagon and gave him the credit for their victory, (v. 24). Samson probably believed that he would have his fun, and then he would go right back to serving the Lord and helping the people. He never imagined that he would be captured. He never imagined that he would be humiliated. He never believed that his sin would allow the enemies of Israel to mock God. Samson learned the hard way that not only does sin bring about terrible consequences in the life of the sinner; he also learned that sin in the lives of God’s people always reflects badly on the Lord.

We must remember that the things we do either glorify God or they dishonor Him. When David sinned with Bathsheba and was confronted by Nathan the prophet, Nathan said, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme…” (2 Sam. 12:14). Nothing has changed. We must ever remember that, if we are saved, we belong to the Lord and we must never do anything in our lives that brings dishonor to His name or that allows the enemies of truth to mock Him.

“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed,” (1 Tim. 6:1).
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed,” (Titus 2:3-5).

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully,” (1 Tim. 5:14).
“Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written,” (Rom. 2:22-24).
We, who know the Lord, should live lives that speak well of Him. We should ever strive to bring Him glory and do nothing that causes Him to be reproached by the enemies of truth. Here is His desire for us:

“Be ye holy; for I am holy,” (1 Pet. 1:16).

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,” (Phil. 1:27).

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain,” (Phil. 2:12-16).

What does your life say about Him? Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ…,”(Phil. 1 :21). He also said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” (Gal. 2:20). We should be able to echo those words, and see to it that God is never reproached for our sins.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Psalm 6:9 (New King James Version (NKJV)
9 The Lord has heard my supplication;
The Lord will receive my prayer.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Sweet Will of God” By: Mrs. C. H. Morris (1900)
1. My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done.
Refrain:
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

2. I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown;
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.
Refrain:

3. Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird set free.
Refrain:

4. Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, God of Pardon, Peace, Perfection, and Prosperity! We know You never tempt us, and that temptation comes from our enemy, the devil. Make us continually aware of everything that presents itself as a temptation. Help us to separate ourselves from whatever tempts us to be or do something that is in opposition to Your will and way. Show us our weaknesses and tendencies to give in to our sins. Enable us to turn to You in our weaknesses so that we may be strengthened by the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Help us not to stray when tempted, but rather to lean upon and trust The Lord to stand firm in the way of righteousness. Teach us to acknowledge You in all our ways to direct our path. These things we ask and pray in Jesus’ wonderful name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAM_HIS2 2/4/2013 7:40AM

    Vic, thank you for this blog...it made me realize how much every thought, action and word spoken is an opportunity to love God.

Thank you so much!! God bless!

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KALLIE1958AR 2/3/2013 7:44PM

    emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/3/2013 4:13PM

    Amen! A daily necessity.

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RSSSLHB 2/3/2013 1:57PM

    Amen on that prayer Vic God bless

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ANHELIC 2/3/2013 1:11PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson, hymn and prayer. Seeing how Samson's life was at the end makes me really understand being honest with everything God provides us with. We must follow God's way and not be tempted to stray from His goodness. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you Vic.

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TONYVAND1 2/3/2013 12:53PM

  Be Holy as He is holy.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/3/2013 11:35AM

    This makes me think of the saying "How the mighty have fallen". So sad! Like so many of us Samson had to hit rock bottom before his eyes were opened to his total need of God. What a merciful and patient Creator we serve!

Comment edited on: 2/3/2013 11:37:49 AM

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/3/2013 9:41AM

    thank you Vic! Jesus is always in my heart!

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JOANIE69 2/3/2013 8:01AM

    Amen and emoticon once again. I don't know what I would do if there was no devotional here each day, now that I have discovered them. Your devotionals are so in depth, thought-provoking, pertinent, honest and helpful. I really appreciate them and share the thoughts with my husband. God bless you as you continue to teach and share His word. Bless you. emoticon

"I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word". Psalm 119: 16

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 2/2/2013

Saturday, February 02, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 2/2/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:21-31
THE RESTORATION OF A FALLEN HERO, Lesson 24a

In our study of the life of Samson, we have encountered a man who was far less than he should have been. He came into this world born of a promise from God that he would be a Nazarite set apart for the glory of God, and that he would be the deliverer of the nation of Israel, (Jud. 13:1-14). There can be little doubt that the Lord used Samson in his life, but his service to the Lord was hampered by the sins that marred his life.

Samson was a man characterized by weakness in his flesh. He had a weakness for wicked women. That desire for illicit sexual relationships continually hindered his usefulness to the Lord and eventually it cost him his freedom, his ministry and his life.

In our last glimpse into the life of this man, we saw a man who had been deceived by an ungodly woman he had come to love, (Jud. 16:4). This woman’s name was Delilah and she tricked Samson into revealing the source of his strength to her. His strength was not his own; it came from the Lord. Samson’s power was related to his Nazarite vows. His hair symbolized that vow. When he allowed Delilah to cut his hair, Samson showed contempt for his vows to the Lord. As a result, the Lord removed His hand from Samson’s life and God allowed him to be captured by his enemies. The Philistines tied Samson, put out his eyes and took him to the prison, where he was forced to grind. The mighty judge of Israel was reduced to doing the work of a female slave.

Thankfully the story of Samson does not conclude with him bound by his enemies. This passage records The Restoration Of A Fallen Hero. These verses remind us that no matter how far we may fall, we too can be restored if we repent and turn back to the Lord.

That should be encouraging news to every child of God. We all fail, and sometimes like Samson we fail in a big way. We are like the fellow who said, “I do not what the Lord stays often, but when I do, it’s a beauty.” We all fail the Lord from time to time, and sometimes we fail in a spectacular fashion. Of course, we see this in the lives of all the heroes of faith mentioned in the Bible. “The Hall of the Faithful” in Hebrews 11 could also be labeled “The Hall Of The Failures”, because all the members of that illustrious organization failed God, and they failed Him big.

Abraham lacked the faith to believe God’s promises to take care of him and he went down to Egypt where he lied about his wife.

Sarah laughed at God and mocked His promises.

Isaac lied about his wife.

Moses committed murder and tried to cover it up.

Joshua was full of pride and failed to pray before he attacked Ai where the nation of Israel was defeated.

Rahab was a prostitute.

The successful Christian is not the person who never fails, but it is the person who when they fail, gets back up and goes on for the Lord. The successful Christian is the person who accepts God’s remedy for sin and reaches up to God for cleansing and forgiveness when he does fail.

That is what these verses are about. Let’s look into these verses and notice the lessons they have to teach us about “The Restoration Of A Fallen Hero”.

v. 22 IT WAS A TIME OF RESTORATION
The Power In The Restoration – “The hair of his head began to grow again.” After a time, Samson’s began to grow back. If you will remember, his hair was the symbol of his vows to God as a Nazarite. Samson’s power did not come from his hair, but it came from his relationship with the Lord. The regrowth of his hair was symbolic of the restoration of that special relationship Samson had enjoyed with the Lord.

The Picture In The Restoration – The regrowth of Samson’s hair was a picture of the truth that God was not through with Samson yet. The grace of God allowed Samson to live long enough for his hair to grow back and this lets us know that God has plans for Samson.

The Problem In The Restoration – Samson’s hair grew back, but it was a slow process. The average growth rate of human hair is about 1/8th inch per week. That translates to about 6 inches per year. To grow hair to the waist takes about 6 years. All that means is that Samson was in the process of restoration for a very long time. His return did not come over night.

There are a few observations that we need to notice concerning this restoration process.

If you have sinned and failed the Lord, especially in a very grievous and public way, restoration is possible, but it will be gradual. You cannot expect to be restored to service overnight.

You can be forgiven of sin in an instant, but restoration may take a lot of time. It takes time to earn back the trust of others. Sin takes a tremendous toll on all the people within its orbit. It takes time for the pain, distrust and effects of sin to ease.
Huge failures in our lives are not the result of a sudden fall into sin. They are the culmination of a long period of disobedience. It takes time to replace bad habits with good ones. It takes time to change the way the mind thinks, thus it takes time to change the way we live our lives. It takes time to earn back the trust of the people who have been wounded by our failures.

While sin might be forgiven and the sinner made right with God, forgiveness does not cancel out the consequences of our sins. Samson’s hair grew back, but he was still bound; he was still blind and he was still in the prison grinding grain. Sin leaves a terrible mark on the lives of the guilty. The scars of sin may be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. The scars sin leaves behind may never be fully healed. While relationships with God and others may be restored, the reminders of sin may haunt you for the rest of your life. Regret, guilt, and a loss of peace may stalk the guilty party until they leave this world. We must ever remember that sin brings consequences, and those consequences may follow us to the grave, Gal. 6:7; Pro. 13:15. We may be forced to live our lives ever asking, “What was I thinking? Why did I do that?”

While there was restoration, there was a limitation of Samson’s service. It is possible to commit sins that will disqualify us from holding certain positions in the church. It is not that we do not forgive, or that the Lord does not forgive; the issue is that people will not follow a leader in whom they no confidence.

This passage challenges us to avoid sin in our lives at all costs. Whatever steps are necessary to avoid committing sin must be utilized. God will help us to be the people He saved us to be. He will help us in the hour of temptation, 1 Cor. 10:13. He will help us protect our testimonies and our reputations so that He is glorified and we remain useful to Him.

This passage also reminds us that there is restoration for the fallen, 1 John 1:9; Pro. 28:13. There is forgiveness with the Lord, Jer. 33:8.

TODAY’S VERSE!
1 Corinthians 13:13 (New King James Version (NKJV)
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Greatest Command” By: Traditional (1993)

Alto:
Love one another, for love is of God.
He who loves is born of God;
And knows God.
He who does not love, does not know God,
For God is love, God is love, God is love.

Bass:
Love bears all things,
Believes all things,
Love hopes all things,
Endures all things.

Tenor:
God is love, God is love, God is love.
God is love, God is love, God is love.
God is love, God is love, God is love,
God is love, God is love, God is love.

Soprano:
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
With all thy soul, all thy strength,
All thy mind.
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
For God is love, God is love, God is love.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God of Opportunity, Obedience and Oneness! Your Word changes our hearts, enriches our souls, and makes us wise. Your commandments are true, right, pure, dependable, edifying, and life giving. Instruct us in Your Word that we may find Your Great Peace. Help us to hold fast to Your Word so that we may rejoice in Your glory and in the Works of Christ. We thank You for Your loving-kindness and Your truth which set us free. We thank You for magnifying Your Word which will stand the test of time and stand forever. We thank You for Jesus who is the Living Word. It is in His blessed name that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 2/2/2013 9:52PM

    Thank you for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. Samson was a real example of how our lives are when we sin. God will forgive us, and I am grateful to know that He will never leave us or forsake us. We really learned what Samson went through until the end and it is something we have to be careful of and try to walk down God's straight and narrow path. Praying daily for His guidance to do right for His glory. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. God bless you and have a blessed Sunday.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/2/2013 7:14PM

    Very good lesson. Even though we may repent over sin, I like how it is pointed out that the consequences may always be there. Why should I not resist sin from the very first promptings? Lord, help me recognize and shun sin by hiding your Word in my heart!

Comment edited on: 2/2/2013 7:16:14 PM

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TONYVAND1 2/2/2013 5:11PM

  Avoiding sin and resting in His faithfulness.

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MNABOY 2/2/2013 1:52PM

    Thanks for witnessing

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FALLENSHORT 2/2/2013 12:46PM

    Thank you MJRVIC; you have no idea what this lesson means to me! First of all I had no idea the story of Samson was so complicated, and second, I always thought once God forgave us the guilt would go away immediately. Your story proves that's not true!

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JOANIE69 2/2/2013 10:08AM

    What a great lesson..I can't even pick my favorite part in it...it is ALL emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/2/2013 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RSSSLHB 2/2/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon God bless

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 2//1/2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 2/1/2013

Judges 16:4-21
THE STORIES OF SAMSON AND DELILAH, Lesson 23c

v. 15-21 THEIRS IS A STORY OF LOSS

Verse 17-20a – Delilah wore Samson down and he told her the truth. He told her about his hair being a symbol of his Nazarite vow before God. Apparently, Samson trusted Delilah and believed that his secret was safe with her. How foolish! No sooner is he asleep that she has a man cut off his hair. She began to “afflict him”. This phrase means that she “humiliated him, or she began to mistreat him.” The former strong man has become weak in the hands of this woman. He cannot even defend himself against her because “his strength went from him.” Let’s examine the losses incurred on both sides of this relationship.

Delilah’s Losses Were Considerable – In the end, Delilah really lost everything. She was a sinner before this event and she remained one after this event. The real tragedy is that Samson was supposed to be a man of God. As a Jew he was supposed to take the light of God’s law and the grace of God’s love and share it with the lost Gentiles so that they might come to know the God he was supposed to have been serving. Because he allowed his passions to govern his life, he destroyed his testimony in front of Delilah.

The aftermath of this story is easy to reconstruct. Delilah enjoyed the fruits of her deception. She instantly became a very wealthy woman. Financially, she was set for life. However, in the end, she lost everything. Eventually she dies, and when she did, she died in her sins and went to Hell. She gained nothing of lasting value while losing the things that’s valued the most, her own soul. In the end, she lost everything!
Mark 8:36-37, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Delilah stands as an example for all those who would put sin ahead of a relationship with God. You might enjoy the pleasures of this world for a while, but in the end, there is nothing in front of you but the judgment of God and an eternity in Hell. If you are not saved, I challenge you to come to Jesus Christ today for the only hope of salvation that can deliver you from the wrath of God!

Samson’s Losses Were Complete – While Delilah lost little in her day-to-day life because of their encounter, Samson lost everything of value, and he lost it immediately. Consider the high price Samson paid for indulging his sin.

He Lost Much Physically – Samson paid a high physical price for his sin with Delilah.

v. 21 He Lost His Freedom – The Bible says that the Philistines “took him” and “bound him”. No more could Samson go out and do as he pleased. His sin had robbed him of his freedom and he was the prisoner of his enemies!

v. 21 He Lost His Vision – The Philistines “put out his eyes”. They took away from him the faculty of sight. They blinded him to make him easier to control.

v. 21 He Lost His Dignity – The first time Samson came to Gaza it was for the purpose of finding pleasure, (v. 1). This time he returns as the prisoner of the Philistines.

They take him to their prison and they force him to “grind”. Grinding was the work of women or of the lowest slaves. This shows the disdain the Philistines had for Samson. They humiliated the mighty Judge of Israel by forcing him to labor as a slave.

All these things are pictures of sin’s power in our lives. Those who allow themselves to be taken in the trap of sin will find that sin has the power to bind, blind and grind. Sin binds men by enslaving them in habits that are hard to break. Sin blinds them into believing that there is nothing wrong with their lives or with the sins they are committing. Sin grinds them into powder and uses up their lives until they are just a shell of what they used to be. The truth is, sin will bind you, blind you and grind you. It will wear you out and waste your life. A life that could have been productive and useful to the Lord will become a proverb on the dangers of sin. You may not believe a word I am saying to you today, but sin will ruin your life.

He Lost More Spiritually –
This is the most expensive haircut in history! Did you know that the average woman spends over $50,000.00 on her hair in her lifetime? Did you know that the average woman spends two years of her life washing, styling and setting her hair? Did you know that the average woman spends 41 minutes per day working on her hair? Did you know that a recent survey found that during the last month, 54% of the women surveyed, got madder at their hair than they did at their husbands? Did you know that Americans spend over 7 billion dollars per year on hair care products? That figure does not include the billions spent by Americans every year having their hair cut, colored, permed, set, and styled. It seems to me that our hair is important to us.

If our hair is that important to us, think of how important it should have been to Samson. His hair had never been cut. He was a Nazarite, and part of the vow he was required to take stipulated that Samson could not cut his hair, (Num. 6:5). Samson’s hair was the external symbol of his commitment to God. It identified him as a man set apart for God’s glory and God’s use. As long as Samson’s hair was left to grow, it set him apart as a man of God. When his hair was cut, he lost God’s power in his life.

As long as Samson allowed the Lord to control his hair he was fine, but when he allowed Delilah to take control of his hair, he lost his power with God. This passage describes what is easily the most expensive haircut in the history of the world. When Samson demoted God in his heart, he lost the only thing that set him apart: He lost the power of God! Notice what this haircut cost Samson.

He Lost His Fellowship With God – “the Lord was departed from him” – When Samson allowed his hair to be cut, he lost his strength. Now, there was no power in Samson’s hair. His hair was the visible symbol of his commitment to God. Samson was a Nazarite, and one part of the Nazarite Vow was that the Nazarite was never to cut his hair, (Num. 6:1-4).

All through his life, Samson had treated his vows as a Nazarite with disregard. He had played fast and loose with his vows. He had touched a dead body, (Jud. 14:9), which was forbidden. He attended “wine feasts”,( Jud. 14:10), and he spent time in vineyards, (Jud. 14:5); all of these put him in danger of breaking his vows to God.
When Samson allowed his hair to be cut, he crossed the final line with God. In that moment, Samson was declaring that he loved Delilah more than he loved God. He was saying that he loved his life of sin more than he loved his life as a servant of God.

Samson’s power did not derive from his hair. It derived from his relationship with God. His hair was symbolic of that relationship. When his hair was cut, his fellowship with God was broken and he paid a terrible price.

God left him, and when He did, God took Samson’s power away as well. He paid a high price for his sin!

So will we! If we want power with God in prayer and in our daily lives, we must live clean and close. We must address our sins and put God first in our lives. There can be no room for sin in the lives of those who want power with God. In Jesus Christ, our relationship is secure, (John 10:28), but our fellowship is fragile. When we want our sins more than we want Him, it will cause Him to withdraw His power from our lives. As a result, our prayer lives will be hindered. Our worship will be hindered. Our walk with God will be hindered. Sin drives a wedge between the saint of God and God. We cannot have both! (Eph. 4:21-32).

He Lost His Spiritual Discernment – The saddest statement in these verses might be the words “wist not” in verse 20. When Samson awake from sleep, he did not even know that God had left him. Sin’s grip on his life was so great that he did not know the power of God had been removed from his life. He assumed that God would be on him like He always had been. This time he was wrong. Sin had robbed Samson of all his spiritual discernment. Samson had gotten so used to living life under his own strength that he did not realize that God had removed His strength from him. He had taken God for granted for so long that he wasn’t even aware when God left him. That was an expensive haircut!

There is nothing sadder than someone who claims to know the Lord, thinking they are living in the will God, when God is nowhere around them. That is a tragedy, but such is the result of sin. There is nothing sadder than the husk of a Christian! How tragic it is when people allow sin to strip of them of all the things that matter. When they do, they are merely going through the motions of serving God. Without His presence and His power, anything we do is in vain!

My question is, how could Samson not know? Sin has a way of blinding us to the truth of our condition. Sin will make you think you are right and that everyone else, including God is wrong. Sin will cause you to believe that you are always right, regardless of what you do, or whom you hurt. Sin is a deceiver!

Sin will rob you of spiritual discernment. Because of sin, most church members have little or no discernment. They cannot recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in a service. Thus, they do not know how to respond appropriately when He does show up. Because of sin, most people don’t know if a sermon is good or bad, sound or unsound, true or false, filled with biblical truth or hot air. Sin is killing us in these days because it destroys our ability to recognize God, His presence and His power.

Even Isaac, as he traveled with his father to Mt. Moriah, had enough wisdom and discernment to know that something was missing, (Gen. 22:7). We need to repent of our sins, ask the Lord to forgive us and cleanse us, so that we might have His power and be wise enough to know when He is on us or when He isn’t.

He Lost His Ministry – Because of his sin, the Lord put Samson on the shelf. He was removed as the Judge over Israel. He was no longer a vessel fit for God’s use. His ministry was over.

That same can happen to us. It was Paul’s fear, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” (1 Cor. 9:27). The word “castaway” refers to that which is “unfit, reprobate, not standing the test”. It was used of coins that were tested and not found to be struck from real gold. In other words, they were worthless. Paul’s fear was that he would become worthless to the Lord. So, Paul took the necessary steps to overcome his flesh. The phrase “keep under” means to “beat black and blue”. The word “subjection” means, “to enslave.” Paul took the initiative. He mastered his flesh instead of allowing the flesh to master him.

Paul’s fear should be our fear as well. I don’t want to lose my usefulness to the Lord! But, it could happen in any of our lives, if we do not take the necessary steps to defeat our sin and control our passions. Samson lost his ministry, and we could lose ours, if we are not careful.

He Lost His Testimony – Samson, the strong man, the mighty Judge, was taken to a Philistine prison and made to do the work of a woman. He was made to do the work of the lowest kind of slave. In other words, he was humiliated in the eyes of the enemy. Did you ever stop to consider that God was humiliated right along with Samson? When they laughed at Samson, (v. 23-24), they were mocking his God as well. A victory over Samson was considered to be a victory over God.

My friends, when we fail in the flesh; when the traps of the devil ensnare us; when we fall into sin, we bring reproach on the name of the Lord. When a child of God sins it always harms the cause of Christ. God is so closely identified with His people that our shame in the eyes of the world and the devil translates into His shame as well.
2 Sam. 12:14, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”

1 Pet. 4:14-15, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.”

Titus 2:5, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

1Tim. 6:1, “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”

1Tim. 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

The lesson from this ought to be crystal clear. What we do matters. What we do reflects back on God. Let us resolve that we will do nothing that will be an evil reflection against the glory of God. He deserves our best; let’s give it to Him! There is nothing more shameful and harmful to the cause of Christ than a damaged testimony. When we allow sin to rule in these bodies, it will always tarnish our testimonies and bring dishonor to the name of our God. May it never be!

Conc: What are we to do with this sad, tragic story? We are to take it to heart! We must come before the Lord and deal with our sins and our temptations. We must get honest about weaknesses and realize that God alone is our strength.

If we are to stand against sin in this world, we must have His help. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing,” (John 15:5).

If we have already committed sin, He will forgive us and restore us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).

If we are struggling against sin, He will help us achieve the victory. (1 Cor. 10:13), “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

How will your story be written? The time to change the ending is now. The time to deal with sin is now. The time to come to Jesus is now. The time to make a break with your Delilah is now.

TODAY’S VERSE! (New King James Version (NKJV)
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Throw Out The Life-Line” By: Edward S. Ufford (1886)

1. Throw out the lifeline across the dark wave;
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother! Oh, who then will dare
To throw out the lifeline, his peril to share?
Refrain:
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.

2. Throw out the lifeline with hand quick and strong:
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
See! he is sinking; oh, hasten today
And out with the life boat! Away, then, away!
Refrain:

3. Throw out the lifeline to danger-fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow.
Refrain:

4. Soon will the season of rescue be o’er,
Soon will they drift to eternity’s shore;
Haste, then, my brother, no time for delay,
But throw out the lifeline and save them today.
Refrain:

5. This is the lifeline, oh, tempest-tossed men,
Baffled by waves of temptation and sin;
Wild winds of passion, your strength cannot brave,
But Jesus is mighty, and Jesus can save.
Refrain:

6. Jesus is able! To you who are driv’n
Farther and farther from God and from Heav’n,
Helpless and hopeless, o’erwhelmed by the wave,
We throw out the lifeline—’tis, “Jesus can save.”
Refrain:

7. This is the lifeline, oh, grasp it today!
See, you are recklessly drifting away;
Voices in warning, shout over the wave,
Oh, grasp the strong lifeline, for Jesus can save.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Divine Father, Needful and Noble God of Newness of Life! We worship You, praise You, adore You and thank You for giving the Holy Spirit to us. We thank You, Jesus, for sending the Comforter and Helper to teach and guide us every day. We praise You Spirit, for the wisdom, revelation, and knowledge You impart to us daily. We love You and appreciate the joy You bring into our lives. Thank You for being the seal to the promise of our inheritance. We cannot understand the things of God in our flesh, but we can discern them in our spirit because of You dwelling in us. Enable us to turn all control of our lives over into Your capable hands that we may be the light we ought to be to those in darkness. These things we ask and pray in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/1/2013 1:58PM

    May the Lord bless the reading of His Word. Thank you, Vic.

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JOANIE69 2/1/2013 1:39PM

    emoticon again today, Vic.
I get so much out of these devotionals, and I especially love your prayers...it is exciting to read the wonderful attributes of our loving God in your descriptions of Him, such as : 'Needful and Noble God of Newness of Life!'

Praise and glory be to our magnificent, merciful Lord. Blessings, Joanie

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SANDRALEET 2/1/2013 12:18PM

    Slaves How bad the poor were treated That is not treating others as our self Sin the good life at the expenses of others Money partying brought so many down at there hands by sin.I was brought up on a farm I now how you felt after working in the garden all day or making hay or trashing wheat I can understand his lot. I can feel the hardship of so many who were not sinners but like all who loved God.Sin in this world then as now destroys life even those who did not do it The drunk driver Rage of a man using a gun to kill his wife The company who takes away even the pension as they go fake bankrupt to make money Lies cheating hate murder robberies and so much Then as now people do not change

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SAINTBETH 2/1/2013 11:48AM

    Amen

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63KEEPONGOING 2/1/2013 8:57AM

  Thanks for being a faithful servant.

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RSSSLHB 2/1/2013 8:41AM

    emoticon for posting Vic God bless

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ANHELIC 2/1/2013 8:38AM

    Thank you for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. We must keep our eyes and life focused on God and not on the pleasures of the world. Sin can destroy our life with God. Satan knows how to tempt us to feel what he is offering is great. But greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. We must constantly keep focused on God. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note.

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/1/2013 8:36AM

    Amen! May I be a light in darkness which closes in.

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TONYVAND1 2/1/2013 8:21AM

  Sin does blind us and we loose all of our discernment. Pray that we might stand up against the tricks of the evil one and that we keep our hearts and eyes on Christ Jesus

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FOLLOWING IIN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/31/2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/31/2013

Judges 16:4-21
THE STORIES OF SAMSON AND DELILAH, Lesson 23b

v. 6-14 THEIRS IS A STORY OF LIES
Neither Samson nor Delilah was honest in their relationship with the other. The only way any relationship can survive and thrive is for it to be built upon truth and honesty. Let’s notice their lies.

Samson’s Lies Were Senseless – When Delilah begins to ask Samson about the source of his strength, he plays with her thinking that he is far smarter than she will ever be. After all, he is the strong Judge of Israel, and she is just a weak woman. By the way, the name “Delilah” means, “feeble, or the pining one.” He thinks it will be fun to toy with her, to have her try and trap him. He is confident in the notion that he is stronger than anything and anyone. He believes there is no way that she can harm him. Notice how he tries to deceive her.

v. 7-10 – “Bind me with seven green withs” – This refers to animal intestines that have not been dried. These strips of animal intestines, when dried, were used to make bowstrings. When they were dried, they were incredibly strong. When they were green, they were very weak, and easily broken. This lie shows the contempt Samson had for the Philistines. So, Delilah binds him and tells him the Philistines are there. He breaks the “withs” as if they were a thread touched to fire. In verse 10, Delilah confronts Samson with his lies and begs him to tell her the truth.

v. 11-13a – “Bind me fast with new ropes” – Green ropes are very strong. An ordinary man could not break them. But, again, Samson shows his disregard for his enemies. They had already seen what he could do with ropes. In Jud. 15:12-15, his own people had bound him with ropes and delivered him to the Philistines. Samson had broken the ropes then as if they were nothing and using the jawbone of a donkey, he had killed 1,000 men. He is toying with Delilah and with the Philistines. Delilah binds him with the ropes, and he breaks them as a man would break a piece of thread. Again, Delilah confronts Samson and demands that he tell her the truth.

v. 13b-14 – “Weavest the seven locks of my head with the web” – Samson tells Delilah to take a loom and to weave his hair into it. If she does, he will lose his strength. Notice that he is getting closer to revealing the real secret of his power. Samson is playing a dangerous game and he is about to get burned! Delilah does as he says and Samson simply gets up and walks away as if he was carrying nothing at all.

What we should note from this passage is the fact that Samson was guilty of playing with sin. He knew the source of his strength, and he entered into a deadly game with Delilah. By the time he gets to the third deception, he is getting dangerously close to the truth. This is the problem with sin. People play with it. They go as far as they can without actually crossing the line into the forbidden. At least, that is what they think they are doing. Jesus made is very clear that sin in the heart is sin already, even it is never carried out in the flesh, (Matt. 12:34-35; Matt. 5:28).

Most people think they can control their sin. In truth, but for the grace of God, sin controls us, and it will be our master if we allow it a foothold in our lives. Rom. 6:11-14 says, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Notice what the Bible says about this matter.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death,”( James 1:14-15).

The words “drawn away” mean, “to lure like game is lured from its hiding place.” The word “enticed” means, “to lure by bait.” Each of us has natural lusts and cravings for sin. There is a fleshly appetite within each of us that will control us if we allow it to. Satan focuses on these sinful desires. He will entice us to sin by dangling his bait in front of us. When we bite, he springs the trap and we find ourselves ensnared in his web.

The Bible teaches us that within our hearts dwells the root of all our sinfulness, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man,”( Mark 7:21-23).

Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin. “First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night.
So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more--until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!”

It is a fearful thing that people can be “consumed by their own lusts.” Only God's grace keeps us from the wolf's fate.

Instead of playing with sin, we should be like Joseph and put as much distance as we can between our temptation and ourselves, (Gen. 39:7-12). Too often we play around with sin, thinking we can control it, the reality is, it will control us if we give in to its deception.

Consider Eve in the Garden of Eden, (Gen. 3:1-6). She listened to the serpent and fell into his trap. Adam followed Eve and the world fell into sin. When we play with sin, we are always headed to a fall.

Delilah’s Lies Were Sinister – While Samson was toying with Delilah, she was playing him like a cheap fiddle. She was setting him up for a fall. Samson lied to her because he thought he was smarter than she was. She lied to him because she was far smarter than he was. Delilah played her part well and she lured Samson unto her trap just as surely as a spider lures a fly into its web.

Delilah uses the same tactic used by the woman in Timnath, (Jud. 4:16-17). She played the “if you loved me you would” card. The Bible implies that she begged, pleaded, whined and cried day after day, all day long. After a short while, her persistence wore Samson down.

Again, this is a picture of how sin works in us. If we allow ourselves to be placed under the constant pressure of temptation, we too will be worn down. Like Delilah, sin is relentless, aggressive and persistent. It will hammer away at our resistance until we give in to its advances. When we do, like Samson, we always lose. The best advice is to put as much distance as you can between yourself and the sources of sin and temptation in your life. Ask the girl who lost her purity to the boy who said, “If you love me you will.” Ask the man who traded his family for a woman who said, “If you love me you will.”

Playing with sin is like playing with fire; you will eventually be burned! “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”( Pro. 6:27-28). The answer is no! You play with sin and you will always pay a price! You might not face the same thing Samson did, but you will pay a price for indulging sin in your life, (Gal. 6:7). You will sacrifice your intimacy with God. You will sacrifice His power. You will endanger the relationships that matter most in your life. Sin always costs, and that cost is never cheap!

Friends, Satan will not stop until he has ruined your life. He will not back down until sin has taken everything of value from you. He will not stop until you are broken, your life wasted and you are of no use to God! Like Delilah, the lies of Satan and sin are sinister and destructive.

Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day.” That’s the trouble with sin; we never stop to think about the consequences of our actions. One day, we will have to answer for the things we do, (Num. 32:23).

TODAY’S VERSE!
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (New King James Version (NKJV)

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Beneath The Cross of Jesus” By: Elizabeth Clephane (1872)

1.Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty rock
within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness,
a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat,
and the burden of the day.

2.Upon that cross of Jesus
mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One
who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears
two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love
and my unworthiness.

3.I take, O cross, thy shadow
for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by,
to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame,
my glory all the cross.


TODAY’S PRAYER!

Most Loving Father, Most High God! Lead us away from anything that presents even the most removed possibility of getting us off the path You have for us and for which our Savior Jesus Christ died. Help us to have the mind of Christ so we may be protected from the things we see, watch, read, spend time with and find ourselves preoccupied by that are not holy and righteous. If these are not Your best for us; these we do not want them in our lives. Keep us from trusting in our own hearts for that is foolishness, but teach us to walk wisely so we may be delivered from all evil and danger. We choose this day to trust in You from now on and not ourselves. Enable us to stay separated from all things that tempts us away from the high mark and calling of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Lead us far from all temptations, O Lord. These things we pray and ask in Jesus’ Gracious name. Amen!


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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/3/2013 11:59AM

    Amen! We need to learn to trust God and remember there is no good thing withheld from those that love Him and no reason to follow a path other than His!

Comment edited on: 2/3/2013 12:03:54 PM

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ANHELIC 1/31/2013 9:07PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. When we try to face temptations ourselves, sin will overtake us. Stay on the path that God intends us to be on and walk closely with Him. We should not flirt with sin, as satan will take control of us in the end. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you.

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GOOZLEBEAR 1/31/2013 7:57PM

    Always love reading your blogs and this was a wonderful one. I don't always get around to reading them all but sure love the ones that I do! Thank you for the Flame Spark Goodie and for your encouragement to me.

Blessings

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TONYVAND1 1/31/2013 12:22PM

  So true Vic we need to know that there are consegeunces to our sins.

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SAINTBETH 1/31/2013 10:56AM

    amen

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RSSSLHB 1/31/2013 9:01AM

    God bless you for posting emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/31/2013 7:38AM

    Thank you for todays lesson and hymn!

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JOANIE69 1/31/2013 7:16AM

    emoticon for another great devotional and hymn and prayer today.

To put distance between ourselves and temptation is the best advice ever, in relation to junk/unhealthy food for one example, and of course regarding more sinister temptations.

Vic, I'm sure you must know of this Bible verse, but I stumbled upon it today, so I will share it: emoticon
Romans 4:12 New English Translation (NET)
And he is also the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised, but who also WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF (the) FAITH that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised.
emoticon emoticon emoticon God bless.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 1/30/2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 1/30/2013

Gooooooooooooood Morning Everyone!

Judges 16:4-21
THE STORIES OF SAMSON AND DELILAH, Lesson 23a

This passage presents us with a whole host of characters. Of course, there is Samson and Delilah; they are the stars of the show. The supporting characters include the “lords of the Philistines,” (v. 5), of which there were five, (Judges 3:3), and the men who hid in Delilah’s home waiting to capture Samson, (vv. 9, 12, 19-20). So, quite a few people figure into this sordid little tale.

The stars of this story, as I said, are Samson and Delilah. Their story is one of love, lies and loss. It is a tale for the ages. It is a story that should be read, studied and taken to heart. I want to spend some time here today because their story has much to teach us. Their story does not teach us lessons about genuine love and romance, but about the dangers of getting too close to the enemy. Their story is a story of deception, greed, lust and destruction.

Their story stands as a constant warning to those who would trifle with sin. Their story is a reminder to us all that sin is deceptive and that it is deadly. There may be “pleasure in sin for a season,” but the end of sin is never worth the pleasure it provides. Let’s take another dip in the cesspool of Samson’s life and consider “The Stories Of Samson And Delilah”.

v. 4-5 THEIRS IS A STORY OF LOVE
Samson Loved a Woman – We are told that Samson “loved a woman.” Over the course of his life, this is the third woman we have a record of Samson being with. First, there was the “woman of Timnath,” (Judges 14:1-2); then there was the “harlot” in Gaza, (Judges 16:1); now there is “Delilah”. There may have been others, but these are the ones the Bible mentions.

From the texts that mention these women, it seems that all three of them were Philistines. It appears that Samson has an attraction to women who should have been off limits to him as a man of God. It also appears that he had a problem with lust, which as a man of God, he should have fought against. It seems that Samson’s life was characterized by a series of illicit sexual relationships. There can be no doubt that this was a sin and a snare in his life, and that it hindered his ministry as a judge in Israel.

By the way, the same is true for people in our day. The Lord gave us our sexual desires, and they are good when they are exercised in the proper context. That is, within the framework of marriage. However, when we step outside the boundary of marriage and engage in any sexual expression, it crosses the line into sin. God wants His people to be sexually pure.

1 Cor. 6:18 – “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

Matt. 5:27-28 – “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Heb. 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

1 Thes. 4:3-8, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”

In this text, we are told that Samson “loved” Delilah. This was not said about the woman he took as his wife, nor was it said about the harlot from Gaza. In this case Delilah seems to have touched the heart of Samson and it appears that he truly loved her, and as the text suggests in verse 17, he trusted her with his most valuable secrets.

The fact that Samson loved Delilah does not excuse him in his sin. Samson sinned because he was guilty of fornication. Sadly, there is a lack of morality in our world, even among those who call themselves Christians. The rate of fornication and adultery in the church is at about the same level as it is in the world. That should not be! Those who know the Lord should be careful to keep themselves clean and unpolluted by this immoral, godless world. Young people, you can wait until you are married to become sexually active. Single adults, you can keep your bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Married couples, you can be faithful to your spouse both mentally and physically. May God help us to strive for that goal. If you have failed in this area, there is forgiveness and restoration. If you haven’t failed in this area, there is strength in the Lord to help you stay pure for the glory of God.

Delilah Loved Wealth – While Samson loved Delilah, she apparently did not love him. The “lords of the Philistines” come to Delilah and offer her 1,100 pieces of silver each to discover and tell them the secret to Samson’s power, (v. 5). They want her to “entice” him. The word “entice,” means “to be simple, or to be gullible.” It has the idea of “acting like an innocent person in order to deceive someone else.” These men want her to play dumb and do everything she can to extract from Samson the secret of his power.

The ancient Philistines were a very superstitious people. They probably assumed that Samson possessed some kind of amulet, or good luck charm, that gave him his power. They want to exploit his weakness for women to their advantage. They want to use her to find his secret.

Delilah is willing to go along with their plan because their offer of “1,100 pieces of silver each,” would make her a very wealthy woman. In today’s money it would be in the neighborhood of $750,000.00. She didn’t care about Samson; she only used him to get rich. He was her lottery ticket; her golden goose. All she had to do was play her part well and she would walk away with her reward.

What a picture of the ways of sin this woman turns out to be. She represents exactly how Satan works in our lives.

The Lord doesn’t want us falling into the traps laid by modern Delilah’s and by the devil. He will enable us to escape the devil’s traps, if we look to Him for deliverance. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry,” (1 Cor. 10:13-14).

TODAY’S VERSE!
Isaiah 54:14 (New King James Version (NKJV)

14 In righteousness you shall be established;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“Gracious Spirit, Dwell With Me” By: Thomas T. Lynch (1855)

Gracious Spirit, dwell with me!
I myself would gracious be;
And with words that help and heal
Would Thy life in mine reveal;
And with actions bold and meek
Would for Christ my Savior speak.

Truthful Spirit, dwell with me!
I myself would truthful be;
And with wisdom kind and clear
Let Thy life in mine appear;
And with actions brotherly
Speak my Lord’s sincerity.

Tender Spirit, dwell with me!
I myself would tender be;
Shut my heart up like a flower
In temptation’s darksome hour,
Open it when shines the sun,
And his love by fragrance own.

Mighty Spirit, dwell with me!
I myself would mighty be;
Mighty so as to prevail,
Where unaided man must fail;
Ever, by a mighty hope,
Pressing on and bearing up.

Holy Spirit, dwell with me!
I myself would holy be;
Separate from sin, I would
Choose and cherish all things good,
And whatever I can be
Give to Him Who gave me Thee!

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Mighty Father, God of Majesty, Mercy and Meekness! Help us to always recognize the ploys and tactics of the enemies of our soul so that we will not aid and abet him in his ways. Thank You that You are well able to deliver us from every evil work and keep us safe. Because he is under Your feet, wherever he tries to erect any strong hold in our life, You can reveal that to us so that we may separate ourselves far from his plans. Enable us from believing any lies of his. Fill us with Thy truth so we may stand on the truth of Your Word and be wise to our enemy’s tactics. Merge us fully in Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. These things we ask in His name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/3/2013 11:48AM

    Thank you, Vic. Good Biblical counsel.

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NADINEL 1/31/2013 1:01AM

    Thank you, Vic.

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POETLKNG2LOSE 1/30/2013 9:59PM

    Thanks Vic for this lesson. It is a hard thing to learn in this age of just do what feels good to you. Hard for us to ask help from God before we go ahead and do something foolish.

Comment edited on: 1/30/2013 9:59:54 PM

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63KEEPONGOING 1/30/2013 9:23PM

  Great lesson. There is peace when it is followed. emoticon

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ANHELIC 1/30/2013 9:14PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson again. Samson was definitely a sinner that God kept helping him until his end. We should remember what Samson's sins did to his life. We should always remember to seek God before we do anything if it does not seem right with Him. Look to Him and pray for His wisdom to direct us in the right direction. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you for your teachings.
Joan

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JOANIE69 1/30/2013 12:09PM

    emoticon Yes indeed, we must always turn our eyes upon Jesus, and walk towards him even before we think or speak or act. It is when we are caught up in something, that we are caught unawares by the enemy. We must always take a deep breath and a step back, say a silent prayer, and speak less, pray more. A tough thing to do at times, but there are fewer regrets in correlation to the fewer hasty words and deeds we do or say! I speak from experience here...don't mean to preach. emoticon
emoticon Blessings, Joanie

Comment edited on: 1/30/2013 12:10:23 PM

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/30/2013 11:55AM

    Amen, Lord, help us recognize the ploys of satan in leading us astray. Help me walk in your strength.

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RSSSLHB 1/30/2013 8:15AM

    emoticon God bless

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ANIHAKA 1/30/2013 7:17AM

    There's nothing new under the sun. Materialistic people who take advantage of others who at the time maybe vulnerable - this bible story is still true of todays society. I recently watched a modern movie from which I took a few quotes one that impressed me .... "We keep on making the same mistakes over & over".
Although we have guidelines such as the bible for living we keep giving in to temptation which is not meant for us.

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AZMOMXTWO 1/30/2013 6:48AM

  thank you

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/30/2013 6:48AM

    where is the did you know post?

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