FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 1/29/2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 1/29/2013
SAMSON AND THE SHADY LADY, Lesson 22c
v. 3 SAMSON AND HIS DELIVERANCE
The Philistines have laid their trap for Samson. They are determined to capture him and kill him. If it were not for the intervention of the Lord, he would have been killed that night. Notice how the Lord delivered him from his enemies.
The Power Of His Deliverance – When Samson awoke, he got up, went out and took the gates of the city and carried them away to “the top of the hill that is before Hebron.” That is an astounding feat of strength.
Other men have turned in some amazing feats of strength over the years.
In 1798 William Carr carried a 1,120 lb. anchor one half mile.
In 1895 Joseph Blatt lifted 3,564 lbs.
In 1900 William Pagel carried a 1,000 lb. horse up a set of 12’ ladders.
In 1902 Lionel Strongfort became a human bridge supporting a 3,200 lb. carload of people on a platform.
In 1920 Frank Richards had a 104 lb. cannon ball fired into his chest from a 12’ cannon at close range.
In 1957 Paul Anderson lifted a table of lead loaded with auto parts that weighed 6,270 lbs.
Those feats of strength pale in comparison to what Samson did here. Samson ripped up the gates, the posts and the whole gate assembly out of the ground and carried them 38 miles to Hebron, a journey that was mostly uphill! The weight of all this would have been in the thousands of pounds. Yet, Samson carried it away as if it weighed nothing at all! While his amazing display of strength is impressive, it does not make up for the weakness of his morals.
Regardless of how we appear on the outside, it is the content of our heart that matters. Samson did not sin because he was physically strong. He sinned because he was morally weak. He sinned because sin was in his heart. He cherished it and allowed it to dominate his life. The same thing can happen to us. Remember, even the best among us are still sinners. Remember that even the best among us are still capable of the vilest sins imaginable. Our hearts can become fountains of evil that will poison the whole of our lives, (Matt. 12:34-35; Matt. 15:17-20).
The Pardon Of His Deliverance – Samson’s deliverance was the grace of God in action in Samson’s life. Samson deserved to be caught by his enemies. He deserved the judgment and chastisement that was coming his way for his actions. It was the grace of God that allowed him to become aware of their plot, to escape before they could spring their trap and allowed him to carry off the gates of the city. It was the grace of God that allowed him to get away from that sinful situation alive and in one piece.
This wasn’t the first time God had spared the strong man in a time of wickedness. God is merciful and allows the opportunity us to repent and to turn from our sins.
Often, He will give us chance after chance to turn back to Him for forgiveness and restoration. Thank God for His enduring mercy, His patient grace and for the turning away of His wrath! However, with Samson, as is also often true of us, the grace of God was not seen as a warning to turn away from sin once for all, but the grace of God was seen as an encouragement for future sin. Having been spared so often in the past, Samson may have come to believe that he could live as he pleased, and that there would be no consequences for his actions. He was guilty of what Jude 4 calls “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.”
God is merciful to us. He allows us to turn back to Him time and time again, but there will be a limit to His leniency with His children. Samson is about to find out that God will not always rescue him from the consequences of his sin. He is about to find out that chastisement will come and will bring with it cruel suffering and hardship.
When we treat God like a doormat; when we live like we please, thinking that He will never judge us, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. When we come to the place where we say, “Well, I’ve done it before and God let me repent and nothing happened. So, why can’t I do it again?” we are headed for trouble! When we start to think that we are getting away with sin with no consequences, we had better look out because chastisement is not far behind! We must not think that just because the hammer did not fall today, it will never fall. There will come a day when God’s patience will be exhausted and the full force of your choices will fall on your own head. There are always consequences attached sin, and do not for a minute think that God will not allow those consequences to be brought to pass in your life! (Heb. 12:6-11; Rev. 3:19).
Conc: If Samson teaches us anything, he teaches us the truth that we must guard our hearts. We must shield our lives from all the evil influences that would lead us away from God. Watch the places you go. Watch the things you give you attention to. Watch the people you associate with. If sin is allowed to sink its fangs in your life, it will coil itself around you until it has choked the life right out of you. It will not stop until it has destroyed you and everything you love. The time to kill the serpent of sin is right now. If the Lord has touched you about the way you have been living your life, or if you just need to come and pray for help and protection, the time to mind Him is now.
Romans 1:17 (New King James Version (NKJV)
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
“Living By Faith” By: James Wells (1918)
1. I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
2. Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
3. I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
4. Our Lord will return for His loved ones some day,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.
Abba Father, God and Creator of everything in this universe, both that which is visible and that which is not visible; that which has been revealed and that which is secret. We pray that we may not fall into sin but rather be strengthened to avoid it by the power of Your Word, our Savior and Your Spirit. Father we pray for lost souls, especially for those who are seeking You and calling on the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Save and bless them according to Your will and their need. Father, we pray for all the sick, whether it be, physical, mental, spiritual, social or financial. Heal and bless each one according to Your will and their need. Father, we pray for those who are bereaved. Comfort and bless them with Your peace according to Your will and their need. Father, we pray for those that are suffering with life’s issues and life’s storms. Deliver and bless them from their suffering according to Your will and their need. Father, since we all sin and fall short of the glory of our God, forgive us for those sins of commission and omission, and bless us also. Help us to walk the straight and narrow way by faith in our Lord. It is in His precious name that we pray. Amen!
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