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Summary: Too often we pay too great a price for something that looks so good and promises so much. Fish are hooked because they are attracted to something that looks like food and would make a good meal only to become food themselves. Do not be fooled, the world o

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The High Cost of Low Living

Text: Judges 16:20-31

Introduction: As a 7 year old, Benjamin Franklin was given some small change. He saw another boy playing with a whistle. Benjamin gave the boy all his money for it. He played and played that whistle all over the house. He really enjoyed it until he discovered that he had given four times as much as the whistle was worth. Immediately, the whistle lost its charm. As he grew older, he continued to remember this event in his life and eventually, he developed a principle from that outcome. Whenever he saw a man neglecting his family or business for political popularity, or a miser giving up friendship for the sake of accumulating wealth, he would say, He pays too much for his whistle.

This story has an excellent lesson in it: Too often we pay too great a price for something that looks so good and promises so much. Fish are hooked because they are attracted to something that looks like food and would make a good meal only to become food themselves. Do not be fooled, the world offers you whistles that are not worth the price.

In our text, we are given the tragic end of a man who paid too much for his whistle. Samson lost his power, his position and his testimony because he valued the sin in his life more than he valued the God of his life. As we take a closer look at the life of this man and see where he failed, my hope is that we can learn to avoid the same kind of trouble in our lives. It’s all about Living Low and Paying High. As we look at Samson more in depth and consider the High Cost of Low Living, may we turn inwards and examine our own principles, motives and lifestyles and understand that low living is not worth the high price tag attached to it.

Let’s begin by considering:

I. Samson’s Potential

*God births us into this world with amazing potential - the ability to go far, accomplish much, do great things - but what we do with that potential is up to us.

*Consider Samson’s God-given potential:

A. His conception was extraordinary -

1. Jg 13:3 - "The Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, It is true that you are barren and have no children, but you will conceive and give birth to a son."

2. Samson’s birth was announced by the Lord Himself.

B. His rearing up was extraordinary -

1. Jg 13:5 - "You must never cut his hair, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines."

2. God’s call to ministry on his life came before he was born.

C. His accomplishments were extraordinary -

1. Jg 14:5-6 - "a young lion came roaring at him, the Spirit of the LORD took control of him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat."

2. Jg 14:19 - "The Spirit of the LORD took control of him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed 30 of their men."

3. Jg 15:4-5 - "he went out and caught 300 foxes. He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the piles of grain and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves."

4. Jg 15:14-15 - "When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD took control of him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like burnt flax and his bonds fell off his wrists. He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed 1,000 men with it."

5. Jg 16:3 - "Samson stayed in bed until midnight at which time he got up, took hold of the doors of the city gate along with the two gateposts, and pulled them out, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and took them to the top of the mountain overlooking Hebron."

D. His power was extraordinary -

1. Jg 13:25 - "the Spirit of the LORD began to direct him"

2. Jg 14:19 - "The Spirit of the LORD took control of him"

3. Jg 15:14 - "The Spirit of the LORD took control of him"

4. There’s a pattern here - reliance upon the Spirit of God.

Application: Just like Samson, the child of God is an extraordinary individual. We can look at Samson and wish we had the potential and abilities he had or we can arrive at the place in our life where we understand we do have the potential he had if we will only receive. On Pentecost, the Spirit was given to all believers. As we learn to live in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, and to assimilate the power of God’s Spirit into our daily lives, we will learn that we have even more power available to us than Samson had.

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