Series: Here Comes the Judge!
Key Scripture Verses of the book:
Judges 2:16: “Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.”
Question: “Who raised up the Judges of Israel to deliver them?”
Answer: The Lord God Almighty, the Great “I AM.”
JUDGES 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25: “IN THOSE DAYS THERE WAS NO KING IN ISRAEL; EVERY MAN DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES.”
Question: “What was the main problem in this 400 years of Israel’s life?”
Answer: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes!”
Illustration: What is right in a person’s own eyes is usually very deceiving and many times very disturbing!
In the first week of January 2006, Sharon Tendler, a British citizen in her forties, married Cindy the dolphin. She said there was nothing perverted about it; she just loves the animal and wants it to have a happy life. The wedding ceremony was simple. Sharon just wore white and gave her love a kiss and a herring (http://hubpages.com/hub/Animal-human-Marriages).
On September 27, 2006: A Seattle man was found dead after attempting to have sex with a horse. You think that’s strange? Well yeah it is. But the even stranger thing is that in the state of Washington having sex with animals is completely legal. Sergeant John Urquhart commenting on the event stated, "Deputies don’t believe a crime occurred because bestiality is not illegal in Washington state and the horse was uninjured" (1). Urquhart went on to state that, "because investigators found chickens, goats and sheep on the property, they are looking into whether animal cruelty — which is a crime — was committed by having sex with these smaller, weaker animals" (1). So essentially Washington state laws allow for people to have sex with animals, as long as the animal goes uninjured. After the incident Bob Reder of the Seattle Humane Society noted that only thirty three states ban sex with animals, meaning seventeen states in our country allow sex with animals (http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/004251.html).
By Captain Obvious on August 27, 2010
Dawn Brantley of Thomaston, Georgia was arrested Wednesday after the GBI executed a search warrant of her home related to an investigation in which alleged child pornography was downloaded to a computer in her home using peer to peer software.
Brantley, the mother of three children and a licensed nurse and former substitute teacher was lodged in the Upson County Jail and her three children turned over to DFACS.
By Captain Obvious on August 6, 2010
Police in Woodstock, Georgia have arrested two “men” they say allegedly raped two 14-year-old girls that they met through a youth group at His Hands Church in Woodstock. 19-year-olds Jonathan Marshall Carrier (MySpace) and Yancey Tanner (MySpace) have been arrested and charged with Statutory Rape and Child Molestation.
According to law enforcement the two took the girls back to an apartment off of Highway 91 and sexually assaulted the girls at the same time back on August 6th.
Crazy, Sick Crime - March 24th, 2008
Living in the basement, the 29-year-old mother with a child-like mind and another baby on the way had little more than a thin rug and a mattress to call her own on the chilly concrete floor. Dorothy Dixon ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin. They torched what few clothes she had, so she walked around naked. They often pummeled her with an aluminum bat or metal handle.
Dixon — six months pregnant — died after weeks of abuse. Police have charged two adults, three teenagers and a 12-year-old boy with murder in the case that has repulsed many in this Mississippi River town. Investigators put much of the blame on Michelle Riley, 35, who they said befriended Dixon but pocketed monthly Social Security checks she got because of her developmental delays (http://allweirdnews.com/crazy-sick-crime/).
Adolf Hitler, who ruled Germany for 12 years, which resulted in millions of deaths in World War II, including the holocaust, is regarded as one of the most despicable men in history, with his name becoming synonymous with evil. But for years many embraced him as a national hero!
There is disregard for doing that which is right in the sight of God today. Our primary goal in life as a Christian should be to please God, not self or others. Jesus is our model to imitate for not doing our will but God’s will. John 4:34; 8:28-29; 12:49. The apostles Peter and John provide an excellent example of how we should please God not men in Acts 4:19-20.We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways. Isa.55:8-9; Luke 16:15. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. 1 Cor.3:19-21. Hence, we cannot do that which is right in our own eyes and that which is right in the sight of God at the same time. God forewarns us all through the Bible that following one’s own sight will not work. There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Prov. 16:25. Walking in the sight of our own eyes is the sin of presumption according to Psalm 19:13.
T. S. - Let’s remember that one of Samson’s problems was doing what was right in his own eyes too.
Samson pt 2
Summary from last week:
7 THINGS THAT LEAD TO BLINDNESS JUDGES 14
1. Go to the wrong place - Judges 14:1a
2. Look at the wrong person for fulfillment – Judges 14: 1b-2
3. Blow off Godly counsel - Judges 14:3,4
4. Be un-teachable and still pursue the wrong thing. Judges 14:5
5. Compromise a vow to God – Judges 14:5-10
6. Live in denial to your weaknesses - Judges 14:11-15
7. Embrace the Spirit of Offense and go for revenge - Judges 14: 16-20
Brian Bill from sermoncentral.com says this about our hero of the faith, “Sometimes we read the stories of Hannah or Gideon or Ruth and we think, “I could never be like them.” Not so with Samson. He’s a lot like us. Most of us know what it means to be tempted. All of us struggle at times with the desire for revenge. We’ve been there, we understand, and when we see Samson struggling and falling, we have an idea of what he’s going through. The truth of the matter is that there’s a little bit of Samson in all of us, and a whole lot of Samson in most of us. One of the things we learn from Samson’s life is that sin will always take us further than we want to go.”
Last week we looked at Samson’s early life as a young adult most likely in his early twenties. Today we will once again get a synopsis of what he did about 20 years later in his forties. It seems that Samson repeats the same mistakes, makes the same wrong choices again in his forty’s that he did in his early twenties. He once again follows the path of the 7 choices which will lead to blindness.
John Maxwell wrote a great book called “Failing Forward” the premise of the book is that if we learn from our mistakes then we actually improve in life. He states, “Everybody fails, errs, and makes mistakes. You’ve heard the saying ‘To err is human, to forgive is divine.’ Alexander Pope wrote that more than 250 years ago. And he was only paraphrasing a saying that was common 2,000 years ago, during the time of the Romans. Things today are the same as they were then: If you’re a human being, you’re going to make mistakes” (Page 13).
He adds this thought about mistakes, “Errors become mistakes when we perceive them and respond to them incorrectly. Mistakes become failures when we continually respond to them incorrectly” (Page 18).
In other words we should learn from our mistakes and not go back and make them again!
Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines
1Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.
2“I was so sure you thoroughly hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your friend. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”
3Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.”
4So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails,
5lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.
6When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” They were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his friend.”So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.
7Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.”
8He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.
9The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi.
10The men of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”“We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”
11Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”
12They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”
13“Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.
14As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.
15Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.
16Then Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.”
17When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.
18Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the LORD, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
19Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi.
20Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
I. WHEN YOU ARE GOING BLIND YOU CANNOT SEE THINGS CLEARLY
a. SAMSON RETURNS TO HIS WIFE AFTER LEAVING HER AT THE ALTAR.
i. HE WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH HER BUT THE FATHER INFORMS HIM THAT HE IS NO LONGER HER HUSBAND HE GAVE HER TO ANOTHER.
ii. THE SPIRIT OF OFFENSE AND ANGER TAKES OVER AGAIN AND HE GOES AFTER THE PHILISTINES A SECOND TIME.
1. HE NEVER EVEN CONSIDERS WHAT HE DID TO HER! HE BLAMES EVERYONE ELSE BUT HIMSELF.
a. HE LEFT HER AT THE ALTAR!
b. HE DESERTED HER AND RAINED DOWN DEATH ON HER KIN.
c. HE MUST HAVE ACTED LIKE HE HATED HER BECAUSE THE FATHER EXPRESSES THIS TO HIM.
i. TERM HATRED: INTENSE HOSTILITY: A FEELING OF INTENSE HOSTILITY TOWARDS SOMEBODY OR SOMETHING (ENCARTA WORLD ENGLISH DICTIONARY).
iii. HIS RAGING ANGER
1. HE BURNS DOWN THEIR CROPS AND HEAPS DAMAGE ON HIS ENEMY AGAIN.
a. LIGHTING THE TAILS OF THE FOXES
b. I DON’T READ THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD COMES ON HIM HERE!
2. HE ONCE AGAIN HAS NO REGARD FOR HIS EX OR HIS EX’S FAMILY.
a. IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM!
3. THE PHILISTINES RESPOND IN REVENGE AND KILL THIS WHOLE FAMILY.
4. SAMSON RESPONDS BACK WITH MORE KILLINGS AND ACTS HATRED.
a. TEXTS ON REVENGE
i. LEV. 19:18: “‘DO NOT SEEK REVENGE OR BEAR A GRUDGE AGAINST ONE OF YOUR PEOPLE, BUT LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. I AM THE LORD.”
ii. RO. 12:19: “DO NOT TAKE REVENGE, MY FRIENDS, BUT LEAVE ROOM FOR GOD’S WRATH, FOR IT IS WRITTEN: “IT IS MINE TO AVENGE; I WILL REPAY,” SAYS THE LORD.”
b. TEXTS ON ANGER
i. PROVERBS 15:1: “A GENTLE ANSWER TURNS AWAY WRATH, BUT A HARSH WORD STIRS UP ANGER.”
ii. PROVERBS 29:11: “A FOOL GIVES FULL VENT TO HIS ANGER, BUT A WISE MAN KEEPS HIMSELF UNDER CONTROL.”
iii. PROVERBS 30:33: “FOR AS CHURNING THE MILK PRODUCES BUTTER, AND AS TWISTING THE NOSE PRODUCES BLOOD, SO STIRRING UP ANGER PRODUCES STRIFE.”
iv. JAMES 1:19,20: “MY DEAR BROTHERS, TAKE NOTE OF THIS: EVERYONE SHOULD BE QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK AND SLOW TO BECOME ANGRY, FOR MAN’S ANGER DOES NOT BRING ABOUT THE RIGHTEOUS LIFE THAT GOD DESIRES.”
b. THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD COMING ON HIM.
i. DESCRIBE AND DEFINE ANSWER THE QUESTION, “WHY DID THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD COME ON SAMSON WHEN HE WAS IN THE WRONG PLACE DOING THE WRONG THING?”
1. TO PRESERVE HIS LIFE!
2. DISCOVERY STUDY BIBLE EXPLAINS IT THIS WAY:
a. CALLS IT “EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT.”
3. QUEST STUDY BIBLE:
a. WHY WOULD GOD’S SPIRIT CAUSE HIM TO KILL PEOPLE? (14:19)
i. GOD UNDOUBTEDLY GAVE SAMSON SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH. BUT WHILE SAMSON USED IT TO KILL 30 PHILISTINES FOR HIS OWN REASONS (TO PAY HIS BET). GOD HAD OTHER THINGS IN MIND. HE USED SAMSON’S UNHOLY MOTIVES TO PUNISH THE PHILISTINE’S, A GODLESS NATION THAT HELD HIS PEOPLE HOSTAGE” (PAGE 341).
c. HE THEN GOES AND HIDES OUT FOR A REST FROM HIS REIGN OF TERROR AND REVENGE ON HIS ENEMIES.
i. THE PHILISTINES THEN HEAD TO JUDAH TO MAKE WAR, OR TO GET SAMSON AS THEIR PRISONER. SAMSON’S KIN TURN HIM OVER TIED UP.
1. REMEMBER YOUR CHOICE OF SIN WILL IMPACT EVERYONE AROUND YOU.
ii. THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD COMES ON HIM AND HE KILLS 1,000 WITH THE JAWBONE OF A DONKEY.
iii. HE THEN LEADS ISRAEL FOR 20 YEARS AS THEIR LEADER.
d. DURING THIS TIME HIS BLINDNESS SEEMS TO FADE AWAY BECAUSE HE KEEPS HIMSELF OUT OF TROUBLE.
i. BUT AFTER 20 YEARS MIDDLE AGE SETS IN AND HE GOES INTO A MID-LIFE CRISIS WHICH SETS IN MOTION HIS INEVITABLE BLINDNESS.
1. WATCH OUT FOR THAT MID-LIFE-CRISIS!
2. SAMSON SEEKS OUT ANOTHER SINFUL WOMEN FROM SIN CITY. HE OBVIOUSLY HAS FORGOTTEN HIS EARLIER MISTAKES AND THE SPIRITUAL LESSON ATTACHED TO THEM.
a. HE ONCE AGAIN - REPEATS THE 7 CHOICES OR STEPS THAT LEAD TO BLINDNESS .
Samson and Delilah
1One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.
2The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and 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.”
3But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.
5The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels£ of silver.”
6So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
7Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh thongs that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh thongs that had not been dried, and she tied him with them.
9With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the thongs as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”
11He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
13Delilah then said to Samson, “Until now, you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric ‹on the loom› and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric
14and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”
16With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.
17So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.
19Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.
20Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
The Death of Samson
23Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
25While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,
26Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”
27Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.
28Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
29Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,
30Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.
T.S. - Let’s read about Samson and how he did not learn this lesson and 20 years later repeats the same 7 mistakes again which for him literally lead to his eyes being plucked out and to blindness.
II. MID-LIFE CRISIS OF SAMSON
a. LOOKING FOR THE WRONG THING IN THE WRONG PLACE AGAIN. RETURNING TO SIN CITY!
i. HE REPEATS HIS 7 STEPS TO BLINDNESS AGAIN! SUMMARY:
1. GO TO THE WRONG PLACE – GAZA IS IN THE HEART OF PHILISTINE TERRITORY.
a. HIS ENEMIES – HE GOES TO HANG OUT WITH HIS ENEMIES!
b. HE IS PLAYING WITH SIN RATHER THAN PURSUING HOLINESS IN JERUSALEM.
i. HE DID THIS ONCE BEFORE AND IT LED TO WHOLE LOT OF GRIEF AND BLOODSHED!
2. LOOK AT THE WRONG PERSON FOR FULFILLMENT – THE PROSTITUTE THEN DELILAH A WOMAN WHO IS NOT GODLY BUT DOES EVIL IN THE EYES OF THE LORD.
a. WRONG PEOPLE IN THE WRONG PLACE WILL NEVER BRING ABOUT A RIGHT CHOICE.
b. THEY ALWAYS LEAD YOU INTO SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.
3. BLOW OFF GODLY COUNSEL –
a. WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAID ABOUT PLAYING WITH SINNERS
i. JOSHUA 23:5-13
1. JOSHUA’S LAST WORDS TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL.
2. WARNING: DRIVE THESE SINNERS OUT OF THE LAND.
a. DON’T WORSHIP THEIR GODS
b. DO NOT INTERMARRY WITH THEM
c. DO NOT ALIGN WITH THEM
d. IF YOU DO THEN THEY WILL BECOME SNARES AND TRAPS FOR YOU AND THORNS IN YOUR EYES AND WHIPS ON YOUR BACKS.
i. THEN YOU WILL PERISH FROM THIS LAND!
b. THE LACK OF WISDOM IN DEALING WITH DECEPTION
4. BE UN-TEACHABLE AND STILL PURSUE THE WRONG THING.
a. NOT LEARN FROM HER LIES
i. HE REPEATEDLY MAKES THE SAME MISTAKE WITH HER.
ii. HE TELLS HER HIS SECRET
b. MAXWELL’S STATES IN HIS BOOK FAILING FORWARD:
i. EVANGELIST D.L. MOODY WAS ONCE ASKED WHICH PEOPLE GAVE HIM THE MOST TROUBLE. HIS RESPONSE WAS, ‘I’VE HAD MORE TROUBLE WITH DWIGHT L. MOODY THAN ANY OTHER MAN ALIVE.’ TELEVISION HOST JACK PAAR ECHOED THAT SAME THOUGHT: ‘LOOKING BACK, MY LIFE SEEMS LIKE ONE LONG OBSTACLE RACE, WITH ME AS THE CHIEF OBSTACLE.’ IF YOU CONTINUALLY EXPERIENCING TROUBLE OR FACING OBSTACLES, THEN YOU SHOULD CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM” (PAGE 90,91).
1. IN THE STORY OF OUR HERO OF THE FAITH IT APPEARS THAT SAMSON WAS HIS OWN WORST ENEMY!
ii. HE NEVER LEARNED THE LESSON THAT HE NEEDED TO CHANGE –TO LEARN FROM HIS MISTAKES.
1. PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO ADMIT THEY NEED TO CHANGE. AND IF THEY ARE WILLING TO ALTER THINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES, THEY USUALLY FOCUS ON COSMETIC CHANGES. PERHAPS THAT’S WHY EMERSON SAID, ‘PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS GETTING READY TO LIVE BUT NEVER LIVING.’ YET ANYONE WHO WANTS TO LIVE IN A BETTER WORLD NEEDS TO BE WILLING TO CHANGE HIMSELF. PSYCHIATRIST RUDOLF DREIKURS, DIRECTOR OF THE ALFRED ADLER INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, OBSERVED, ‘WE CAN CHANGE OUR WHOLE LIFE AND THE ATTITUDE OF PEOPLE AROUND US SIMPLY BY CHANGING OURSELVES.’ (PAGE 91).
2. SHELDON KOPP SAID, “ALL OF THE SIGNIFICANT BATTLES ARE WAGED WITHIN THE SELF.” (MAXWELL PAGE 92).
5. COMPROMISE A VOW TO GOD – HIS HAIR
a. HE HAD ALREADY BROKEN THE 1ST PART OF HIS NAZIRITE VOW
i. THE VINEYARD REFERENCES, THE BACHELOR PARTY, THE DRINKING OF FERMENTED WINE!
b. THE TOUCHING OF SOMETHING UNCLEAN AND EATING SOMETHING UNCLEAN WAS THE 2ND PART.
1. THE HONEY IN THE DEAD LION.
2. THE SEXUAL ACTS WITH PROSTITUTES, AND DELILAH.
c. THE ONLY PART OF THE VOW LEFT WAS HIS HAIR. THE OLD SAYING 3 STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT IS APPLICABLE HERE.
i. HE TELLS HER HIS SECRET!
1. SAMSON SEEMS TO HAVE GREAT STRENGTH AND NO WISDOM!
2. SHE HAS IT CUT OFF FOR THE MONEY.
3. SHE DOES NOT LOVE SAMSON, SHE USES HIM FOR FINANCIAL GAIN, SO SHE IS A PROSTITUTE IN A SENSE.
4. THE AMOUNT OF MONEY OFFERED HER IF WE USE WAS TODAY’S MARKET PRICES WOULD BE $28,800.
a. LET’S SAY FOR HER IT WAS A LOT OF MONEY!
6. LIVE IN DENIAL TO YOUR WEAKNESSES –
a. THINK NOTHING CAN BRING YOU DOWN
i. ARROGANCE AND PRIDE AGAIN IN ACTION
b. MAXWELL’S THOUGHTS ON FAILING TO DEAL WITH YOUR WEAKNESSES:
i. MAXWELL NOTES, “TO HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO REACH YOUR POTENTIAL, YOU MUST KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND FACE YOUR FLAWS. ALLOW ME TO HELP YOU DO THAT. GO THROUGH THE FOLLOWING PROCESS:
1. SEE YOURSELF CLEARLY
2. ADMIT YOUR FLAWS HONESTLY
3. DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTH JOYFULLY
4. BUILD ON THOSE STRENGTH PASSIONATELY (PAGE 92-93)
7. EMBRACE THE SPIRIT OF OFFENSE AND GO FOR REVENGE
a. SET HIS HEART ON A PATH AWAY FROM GOD AND HIS WORD
b. THE COST OF A SINFUL MID-LIFE CRISIS IS BLINDNESS AND CAPTIVITY.
i. BUT WORSE IS – THE SPIRIT OF LORD DEPARTING FROM US BECAUSE OF REPEATED SINFUL CHOICES. GOD LEAVING US IS THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE!
ii. BLINDNESS IS MILD TO BEING LEFT IN THIS WORLD WITHOUT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD AND FUTURE HOPE!
iii. THE DAILY GRIND OF SIN ON A PERSON’S LIFE IS REVEALED IN HOW SAMSON SPENT THE LAST MOMENTS OF HIS LIFE!
1. BUT HIS HAIR STARTED TO GROW BACK – A REMINDER OF HIS ORIGINAL VOW TO GOD AND DIVINE PURPOSE. AS HE PLACED HIS FINGERS IN HIS HAIR HE IS REMINDED OF HIS ORIGIN AND CALL.
2. HE CALLS OUT TO GOD – HE PRAYS FOR MERCY – THE DAILY GRINDING AWAY IN THE PRISON ONCE AGAIN STARTED TO OPEN HIS SPIRITUAL EYES TO THE TRUTH.
a. HARDSHIP HAS A WAY OF OPENING OUR EYES TO THE WAYS OF THE LORD.
c. THE LORD’S RESTORATION OF SAMSON
i. BUT EVEN HERE THE LORD CAN GROW ON US AND USE US IN THE END IF WE CRY OUT TO HIM.
ii. IT ALSO DID NOT HELP THAT THE PHILISTINES WERE TAUNTING GOD EITHER!
iii. QUESTION DID SAMSON COMMIT SUICIDE 16:30?
1. QUEST STUDY BIBLE STATES, “SAMSON’S DEATH WAS A CASUALTY OF WAR, NOT A SUICIDE. HIS PLEA LET ME DIE WITH THE PHILISTINES (V.30) DEMONSTRATES HIS WILLINGNESS TO SEE THE BATTLE THROUGH TO THE END, EVEN UNTO DEATH. SAMSON’S PRAYER WAS A REQUEST TO HELP HIM IN THE ONGOING FIGHT AGAINST HIS ENEMIES. LIKE A SOLDIER FACING OVERWHELMING ODDS, SAMSON ACCEPTED HIS IMPENDING DEATH. IN SAMSON’S DEATH THE PURPOSE PROPHESIED FOR HIS LIFE WAS REALIZED (SEE13:5). GOD HAD RAISED SAMSON UP TO PUNISH THE SINFUL PHILISTINES AND TO BEGIN ISRAEL’S DELIVERANCE FROM THEM. EVEN ON OCCASION-IN THE TEMPLE OF THEIR GOD DAGON-THE PHILISTINES SAW SAMSON’S IMPRISONMENT AS A SIGN OF DAGON’S VICTORY OVER THE GOD OF ISRAEL(VV 23-24). BUT WHILE THE PHILISTINES WERE CELEBRATING. GOD WAS WORKING THROUGH SAMSON TO HALT SUCH BLASPHEMY, PUNISH THE PHILISTINES AND DESTROY THE TEMPLE OF THE FALSE GOD (PAGE 344).
iv. HEBREW’S REMINDS US: HE IS STILL LISTED IN HEBREWS 11:32 WITH HEROES OF THE FAITH BUT NOTICE VERSE 34 “…WHOSE WEAKNESS WAS TURNED TO STRENGTH…”
1. HIGHLIGHT MORE OF THE TEXT
a. HEBREWS 11:38-40: “THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY OF THEM. THEY WANDERED IN DESERTS AND MOUNTAINS, AND IN CAVES AND HOLES IN THE GROUND. THESE WERE ALL COMMENDED FOR THEIR FAITH, YET NONE OF THEM RECEIVED WHAT HAD BEEN PROMISED. GOD HAD PLANNED SOMETHING BETTER FOR US SO THAT ONLY TOGETHER WITH US WOULD THEY BE MADE PERFECT.”
Summary of Samson (13-16)
a. Born to a barren woman by promise
b. He was called to be a Nazarite, but broke his vows
c. He aas a womanizer and a drunk
d. God helped him bring relief from the Philistines
e. His fatal attraction to Delilah led to blindness
The Following thoughts from - The High Cost of Low Living by Jerry Shirley
What did he look like? Like Schwarzenegger? No. Probably just average. How do we know? Because Delilah asked him the secret of his strength. It wasn’t obvious...It was a supernatural strength. Judges 14:5-6, 15:14-15 In each case the ’Spirit of the Lord came upon him’.
He was not only strong in body, but in mind and spirit. He was sharp witted. He loved riddles and had a great sense of humor. No wonder his name was sunshine...he was a bundle of potential. And yet this is not a happy story, it is a tragedy. He went from hero to zero, from victor to victim. Disobedience, defeat, disgrace, and destruction were his describers.
He was bold before men, but weak before women. He had the Spirit of God upon him, but lived for the appetites of the flesh. He was called upon to declare war upon the enemies of God, but many times we find him fraternizing w/ the enemies of God. He fought the Lord’s battles by day, and broke the Lord’s commandments by night.
Sunshine was his name, which speaks of light, yet he ended his life in darkness having had his eyes poked out. At times he soared to incredible heights, but also sunk to incredible depths.
If you had told Samson at the beginning of his life what he would do in the end, he would not have thought himself capable of going that far (sermoncentral.com).
The rest of the book of Judges (17-21) describes a situation deteriorating on two fronts, the breakdown of religious sensitivity (17-18) and finally the breakdown of social concerns that led to civil war among the tribes (19-21) in which the tribe of Benjamin was nearly annihilated. The recurring comment that "there was no king" anticipates the rise of the monarchy that, while not the best religious move, brought some stability to a bad situation (from. http://www.crivoice.org/judges.html).
Our message today reminds us that if we follow the path of Samson, make the wrong choices like him then we will become blind spiritually to the Lord!
This reminds us that there are 3 people in your seat right now.
The person you are now, the one you could be for God, and the one you could be for the devil.