[CF Devotionals] 2011-01-07 - The Pull and Price of Sin on Samson's Life

Note: This series is based on a sermon originally preached 2004-09-15

I am thankful for the heroes of our faith listed in Hebrews 11. It is full of men who served God and were blessed by Him. Psalm 37:4 tells us "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." But there is a flip side to that, sometimes we delight in sin and we lose things we fail to receive the blessings of God or experience loss. Job who knows a bit about loss tells us, "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." (Job 4:8) The apostle Paul states, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7)

My own Bible study has taken me into the book of Judges so out of this book I want us to consider one man listed in that Hall of Faith, Samson. Let's look in particular at the pull and price of sin in Samson's life.

Read Judges 13:5

Before his birth Samson was given to God for His purpose. He was to be a Nazarite set aside to lead the people of Israel. So just what is a Nazarite? You can read all the laws concerning them in Numbers 6:1-21 but basically a Nazarite is a person especially committed to God. They abstained from wine or any form of the fruit of the vine – grapes, raisins, wine, anything grape related. They also were to avoid any and all dead bodies. And also, they let their hair grow without cutting it

Read Judges 13:24-25

Samson was blessed of God from his birth on. He was used of God until he habitually succumbed to sin - to the pull of sin's pleasure.

The Pull of Sin's Pleasure – Samson Succumbing to Sin

Samson didn’t just sin; he gave in to sin. He didn't just trip up he got tangled up in sin. He fell into a habit of sin. That is an important difference. None of us are perfect. Galatians 5:17 says, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." God knows that. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He just wants us to try and not give up trying. Samson gave in to sin and gave up on trying not to sin.

In just these few chapters from Judges 14-16 we find at least seven of Samson’s sins and can notice some disturbing patterns and habits. And those sinful habits started with a woman. Now wasn’t that Adam’s problem too? It’s easy to blame the women in Adam and Samson’s life but it isn’t their fault. No the men must take responsibility for their own actions as an individual and as spiritual leaders. In Judges 14:1-4 Samson falls in love at first sight with a Philistine. Now that went against the Jewish laws. Jews didn’t marry non-Jews. This was not a racial thing but a spiritual thing just as Christians shouldn’t date or marry non-Christians. You should marry someone who has the same priorities as you – someone who worships the same god as you and who will be walking in the same direction. This action resulted in a second sin as well for not only did he go against Jewish law, we see he also went against his parents. He dishonored them just as our bad actions dishonor our parents and reflects on them. One of the Ten Commandments says we are to honor or respect our parents. He is going against their wishes and bringing them shame.

In Judges 14:5 we find him in the vineyards of Timnah. What was he doing there?

By his vow he was to avoid fruit of the vine and here he is walking out in a field full of it. Here is another sin. In a later pass through that same vineyard he goes up to a dead lion in Judges 14:8,9 and reaches into the carcass. Remember by his vow to God he was to avoid all contact with the dead. He is breaking his vow again. A habit is forming. Judges 14:10 finds him at a feast. The Hebrew word there for feast is mishteh, a drinking party. He went to a typical bachelor party breaking the vow to God again. Maybe he figured that touching the fruit had done no harm so ingesting it couldn't hurt either. The habits are taking him further away.

Things don't work out with the first Philistine so Judges 16:1 finds him in the arms of another Philistine, a hooker in Gaza. He's gone from hanging with the wrong people to committing adultery with the wrong crowd. Having forsaken the rules of his unique Nazarite calling, his family, and his nation, Judges 16:4 finds him in the arms of a third Philistine woman. In Judges 16:4-15, Samson meets Delilah and falls in love. Three times she tries to uncover his weakness and three times she tries to exploit it.

Until next time...

IHFHBOH

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All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.