Thursday, January 31, 2013
SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/31/2013
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).
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.
“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.
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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