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!
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).
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.
“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!
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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