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