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Summary: Loss of moral integrity brings an end to the powerful potential of the child of God.

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I¡¦M JUST TALK¡¦IN ABOUT TONIGHT

JUDGES 16: 1-21

NOVEMBER 25, 2001 LAST SUNDAY BEFORE ADVENT

INTRODUCTION: Toby Keith ¡§I¡¦m just talk¡¦in about tonight¡¨ Song lyrics

TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this morning has a lot in common with the song. We live in a culture that is obsessed with pleasure and obsessed with self -gratification. The story has been the same for thousands of years, so don¡¦t think this is something new. Samson is just a shining example of what not to do. And the waters get real muddy when you think about the Judge of Israel. Maybe he fits in the category of ¡§he who is without sin cast the first stone.¡¨ Have you ever wondered about this fellow? Is he a saint or a sinner? Did he die and go to heaven or did he go south, way down south for eternity? Just what did he do wrong and how might we learn from his ¡§Example¡¨ that we might do different?

THESIS SENTENCE: Loss of moral integrity brings an end to the powerful potential of the child of God.

What can we learn in the win/loss category concerning Samson?

I. SAMSON LOST HIS VIRTUE (VV. 1-4)

A. What virtue is:

1. Virtue can be defined as morality, integrity, chastity, goodness, and uprightness. 2. Virtue for Samson was also his responsibility as a Nazirite.

3. The vow of a Nazirite (NUMBERS CHAPTER 6) consisted of abstinence from all fermented beverages and the eating or touching of anything unclean. One other stipulation is that the person¡¦s hair may not be cut.

4. Samson had a huge list of responsibilities, he was also born in to a great promise, ¡§He will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines (13:5)¡¨ as announced by an angel of the Lord!

5. Even his birth was a gift of God to a woman sterile and childless.

6. Virtue for Samson was going God¡¦s way for God¡¦s will and God¡¦s purpose of Deliverance!

B. What virtue is not:

1. Samson had a few problems.

2. Samson wanted what Samson wanted.

3. There are at least three women that caught Samson¡¦s eye and not one of them was what God had in mind.

a. Samson saw a Philistine woman when he went down in the VALLEY. Though his parents did not want this, he married a foreigner anyway. NOTICE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO BELOW YOU RAISING (14:1). Also note the number of deaths that occurred because of this disobedience (14:19-15:16) b. Our text begins with a sexual impropriety by Samson that seems to confirm that he had a problem with Lust. When he saw a woman, he wanted her and not later, but now (16:1-2)!

c. Verse 4 of our text tells of the same old song and dance now, Samson sees another woman, and guess what, he was bewitched and they did not marry, but lived outside of God¡¦s plan and desire.

4. The point to all of this is that God had a plan for Samson, But Samson had a plan for Samson and Selfish ambition and desire robbed him of his virtue. NO Long was Samson the Man that God intended him to be.

5. The Story only gets worse!

WHAT MORE CAN SAMSON TEACH US NOT TO DO?

II. SAMSON LOST HIS VISION

A. WHEN VISION IS PRESENT.

1. When vision is present, we see the possibilities.

2. When vision is present, we know where we are going and where we have been. 3. When vision is present, God¡¦s kingdom advances.

4.When vision is present, we walk with the Lord.

B. WHEN VISION FADES.

1. When Samson was first controlled by his lust, he did the right thing. He married and followed some degree of morality.

2. After the demise of his first wife, Samson lusted again, and this time he directed his passion to a prostitute.

3. The third time Samson was consumed with lust, he ends up living with a woman whose sole goal is to bring about his demise (16:4-15)!

4. Did you follow the conversations between Samson and Delilah in these verses? How stupid or arrogant can a man be? At least Delilah was an honest woman, she told him up front what she wanted to know and each time he toyed with her she called in the Philistines and revealed the desired Goal to him.

5. Can I tell you that this is the way sin works! The more you dabble, the duller you are. The more you try to rely on your own strength, the weaker you become. In the end, you vision is all but gone and you are willing to say and do anything THE ENEMY WANTS YOU TO DO!

C. WHEN VISION IS LOST.

1. Verse Seventeen is one of the saddest notes in our text. In this verse, we see Samson, now completely blind to the reality around him. What person in their right mind would betray himself to the enemy?

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