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Summary: Sampson pictures the deadly effect of sin in the life of the believer.

SAMSON?S STEPS ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF SPIRITUAL DEFEAT

JUDGES 14-16

(Numbers 6:2-7) "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: {3} He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. {4} All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. {5} All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. {6} All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. {7} He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head."

I. He defied his parents (14:1-3) ? Violated his heritage

A. (2 Corinthians 6:14) "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

B. Time magazine reported (1/22/95) that the earthquake in Kobe, Japan, occurred when two plates on a fault line fifteen miles offshore suddenly shifted against each other, violently lurching six to ten feet in opposite directions. The result was the worst Japanese earthquake since 1923. Thousands died. More than 46,000 buildings lay in ruins. One-fifth of the city’s population was left instantly homeless. The destruction unleashed by those two tectonic plates depicts what happens when a Christian bonds unequally with a non-Christian. Two people committed to each other but going in different directions can only lead to trouble.

II. He defiled his body (14:6-9) ? Violated his separation

A. (Leviticus 7:21) "Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people."

B. (Leviticus 11:27) "And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even."

C. (2 Corinthians 6:16-17) "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. {17} Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

D. The standard of practical holy living has been so low among Christians that very often the person who tries to practice spiritual disciplines in everyday life is looked upon with disapproval by a large portion of the Church. And for the most part, the followers of Jesus Christ are satisfied with a life so conformed to the world, and so like it in almost every respect, that to a casual observer, there is no difference between the Christian and the pagan.

IV. He destroyed himself (16:1-3) ? Violated his heart

A. (James 1:14-15) "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

B. (Proverbs 6:32) "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul."

C. When Magic Johnson announced he had AIDS, he vowed to use that tragedy to promote AIDS awareness. He is to be commended for using that illness for a creative, positive purpose. But don’t you think it would be better if he informed young people of the real cause of disease: promiscuity. The real cure is abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage. We don’t need information nearly so much as we need discipline and positive examples.

V. He deceived himself (16:15-20) ? Violated his Mind

A. (Galatians 6:7) "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap."

B. When John Belushi died in the spring of 1983 of an overdose of cocaine and heroin, a variety of articles appeared, including one in U.S. News and World Report, on the seductive dangers of cocaine: "It can do you no harm and it can drive you insane; it can give you status in society and it can wreck your career; it can make you the life of the party and it can turn you into a loner; it can be an elixir for high living and a potion for death." Like all sin, there’s a difference between the appearance and the reality, between the momentary feeling and the lasting effect.

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