Summary: Samson was a mighty man of God, but he took small steps that finally leads to his destruction, so it is with us. Small subtle steps can bring the strongest Christian down.
One Small step to destruction.
We have been examining the Life of Samson. We have been seeing steps to bring down even the strongest of people. Samson was set apart by God at birth, he was the son of the Promise, a deliverer of the people, taking a Nazirite vow; yet he was physically strong he was morally weak. Let us review some of the steps toward that weakness.
1. Lust (Gotta have it)
2. Entitlement (I deserve it)
3. Pride (I can handle it)
4. Led by his emotions
Then we saw good news. He drank from a stream miraculously supplied by the Lord, his strength returned and He led Israel for 20 years. That was 20 good years; imagine if you would 20 years of prosperity and righteous leadership in our country? But in one day, one very bad day what could happen.
One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.
After 20 good years, Samson has a very bad day. After many years of great leadership and righteous living one day, a day when David should have been out to war, he saw Bathsheba and it led him down a dangerous path. After 20 years of righteous leadership, Samson sees a prostitute and it leads him down a dangerous path. Proverbs tells us about that path. In Proverbs 5 it is about the path of an adulterous woman.
1. Her voice (flirting) may be as smooth as honey but she is full of gall (bitterness) (v4)
2. Her feet lead down to the grave (v5)
3. Keep off her path or you will give of your best strength to strangers (8,9)
Solomon learned this after being led astray by foreign women, David learned this with Bathsheba, Samson will learn this with Delilah. Will we before it is too late?
How this infiltrates the Church.
1. Unsound doctrine that sounds very Biblical
2. Charles Russell, Judge Rutherford, Fred Franz, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, David Koresh, Jim Jones and others made unsound doctrine sound so Biblical.
3. When we try to make the Bible fit culture rather than change culture to the Bible.
Samson is back to Pride and Entitlement. I can handle it, I deserve this break, but it will lead to destruction.
Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
During that night, the people of Gaza learned that Samson was there. How dangerous is that? That is like learning where George Washington was during the Revolutionary War, or General MacArthur spending the night in North Korea. Here is the leader of the Jews in enemy territory cohabitating with a prostitute.
They were told, "Samson is here!" So they surrounded the place and they lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, "At dawn we'll kill him."
Now, what's the significance of this? Well, Gaza was the headquarters of the Philistines. So, our idiot here, Samson, goes into Philistine territory, right into leadership square to get a prostitute. He travels 25 miles to go and risk 20 years of faithfulness.
Now, that raises the question: Who would be so stupid to risk so much for so little? And the answer is, men do it every single day, don't they? All of the time; I mean, good marriage, good integrity, good ministry, good career. All of these good things and they'll risk it for a quick sexual hit, for a quick high, for a quick experience. Who would risk so much for something so little? Well the problem is, men do it all of the time.
Now think about this: Since I'm a pastor, I only work one day a week! Actually I work two, I work Saturdays and Sundays! I'm just joking! But because I don't have anything to do in the week except for watch my Bible hover above the desk, I ask myself, how many steps would a person have to take to walk 25 miles? Well being on this Move program with the VA I learned that 10 thousand steps averages out to 5 miles. I learned that it was about 25 miles from where he was to Gaza. So on the average it took about 50 thousand steps to get to Gaza. That's what I do during the week! Okay, so think about this, it would take 50 thousand steps. How do most men ruin their life? Not all at once, but they do it one of these at a time.
The other thing to think about, which is pretty amazing, is to realize that Samson also had 50 thousand opportunities to say, "This is stupid! What are you doing?" And yet, he didn't do it!