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A Superhero Loses His Cape - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2023 6:00 am

A Superhero Loses His Cape - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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October 6, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Skip wraps up his message, A Superhero Loses His Cape, and shows you how true friends can keep you in check when you’re headed for trouble.

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Your good friends who know you will say, I see you walking down a bad road. I know you. I know your background.

And I love you enough to get in your grill and tell you, not good. You may want to check another option, another road. Today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Pastor Skip wraps up his message, a superhero loses his cape, and shows you how true friends can help keep you in check when you're headed for trouble. But first, we'd like to tell you about a resource that'll help you have clear spiritual vision right now. What is the purpose that God created man for? Listen to this from Skip Heitzig about God's ultimate purpose. God's creation of man was so that his reflection would be in man. But the ultimate purpose is that God might interact with man and woman.

Fellowship, intimacy, to be conversant with, at ease with, to interact with. Fulfilling purpose requires clarity of vision. You'll want to order our vision resource package for this month, which also includes a full color magazine about the vision that drives Skip's ministry. You'll also receive an audio copy of Skip clearly outlining his philosophy of ministry in the past, present, and future. Receive your vision package when you make a donation of $50 or more to Connect with Skip. Give your gift by calling 1-800-922-1888 or online at connectwithskip.com.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or online at connectwithskip.com. Now, we're turning to Judges 14 as we go to Skip for his lesson today. So he disrespects his parents.

That's the first step downward. The second is he disregarded his God, verse 5. So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother.

They're going to make the marriage plans now. And they came to the vineyards of Timnah. Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him, and the Spirit of the Lord came mildly upon him. And he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman.

First record that he's even talking to this gal he's in love with. And she pleased Samson well. After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. He took some of it in his hands, and he went along eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion. So he's traveling down to Timnah with mom and dad. And evidently, he leaves the main road and goes through a vineyard without them. A lion attacks him, and you know the story. Here's the question. What's a Nazarite doing in a vineyard?

Now I want to refresh your memory. A Nazarite vow, which Samson took, involved three things. Number one, you don't cut your hair, you let it grow. So they were like the original hippies. But with the purpose, the idea of the long hair was a sign of humiliation.

That's number one. Number two, a Nazarite wasn't allowed to touch a corpse because they would become defiled. So even if a relative died, they couldn't be around a corpse, which means they wouldn't have participation in the funeral of even a parent.

So it was quite a vow to take, quite a sacrifice to make. Third, a Nazarite could drink no intoxicating drink at all. No wine, no intoxicating drink, could eat no grapes, could eat no raisins at all.

Nothing from the fruit of the vine. It's just interesting to note that he is walking through a vineyard. It's dangerous for Nazarites to even walk through the vineyard because you're just kind of placing yourself in a temptable position to break your vow and eat some grapes. Maybe not a big deal, but to a Nazarite it is.

Now the principle I find is one that I see. Some Christians will ask questions like, hey, can I do that and still be a Christian? Is it okay if I get involved in this and still be a Christian? It's like, wrong line of questioning. It's not like how far up to the edge can I get. But some believers will sail their ships so close to the lake of fire that their sails get singed. You don't want to live that way. Samson is living that way. According to verse nine, on his way back he takes honey from a lion's corpse. Now again, I remind you of the vow that he's taken. He is a Nazarite, and one of the things Nazarites can do is touch a corpse. So reaching in and grabbing honey from a corpse of a lion is something that will break his vow. He's becoming defiled. Now he's ceremonially defiled. He's already relationally defiled, disrespecting his parents. He's already morally defiled because all he's thinking about is what he can see with his eyes and looking at a Philistine chick because she's pretty.

Now he's ceremonially unclean. All of that to say, here's a Nazarite who is not taking his vows very seriously, and there's a good reason for that. It's because they're not important to him. They're just not that important to him.

Maybe at one time they were, but they're not now. I meet people all the time who will say, oh, I used to go to your church. In fact, you dedicated me when I was a baby, and I always ask, did it work?

What do you mean, did it work? I mean, are you still dedicated to the Lord? Are you following? Well, you know, I've had a few setbacks. I go to church twice a year, Easter and Christmas.

I'm there, count on me. And you see, whatever past experience you had, whatever past expression of faith you have made, it's all invalid unless it's translated into the present experience. Jesus said, many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? Have we not cast out demons in your name? Have we not done wonderful things in your name?

And I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness. The problem that Samson had with women was really a problem Samson had with God. God wasn't first in his life. God wasn't supreme in his life. The Bible has a word for that. It's called idolatry.

Anything or anyone that replaces supreme devotion to God is an idol. So I know that God is your God by creation. You're here.

You're alive. He created you. I know that for many of you, God is your God by redemption.

He saved you. My question is, is God your God by devotion? Are you devoted to him? Well, I've been dedicated to God.

Great. Are you devoted to him now? Samson was not. He disregarded his God. Let's look at the third step he takes.

He's going downhill with every step. He distanced his friends. He distanced his friends. In verse 10, now we're going to look at two verses, and as we read them, I want you to notice what is there and what's not there. Verse 10, so his father went down to the woman, and Samson gave a feast there for young men used to do so. And it happened when they saw him that they brought 30 companions to be with him.

Now notice what's there. First of all, there's a feast. And the word for feast, the Hebrew word in the text for feast is a drinking feast. Okay, so once again he's taking the vow of a, a vow of a Nazarite. Nazarites don't drink intoxicating drink. This dude's having a beer bash. It's a bachelor party. Yes, young men used to do so, but not Nazarite young men.

Not this young man. So this Nazarite has a drinking party. So this Nazarite has a drinking party.

Intoxicating beverages would certainly be a part of that. And notice his dad is with him. Now I don't know why his dad is with him, but I notice it is, it is in the text, so I deal with it. One commentator says perhaps his father was there to reach out to his son in one sort of last attempt to stop a marriage that he couldn't sanction. This is just a way to say, please son, don't, don't do this. So that's what's there.

What I want you to see is what's not there. There are 30 Philistine men in the groom's party that he doesn't even know. They give him 30 dudes off the street to be part of the wedding party. If he doesn't know her, he certainly doesn't know them, but they just bring them in.

Here's my question. Where are his friends? Where are Samson's friends? Why didn't he bring his own?

Now listen carefully. In Jewish weddings, there was a group of men called the friends of the bridegroom. Jesus even mentions it in Matthew 9, the friends of the bridegroom. Where are the friends of this bridegroom? It suggests to me that Samson didn't bring any of his friends.

They had to round up 30 Philistines to be his new best friends for his own wedding. So why didn't he bring his friends? Well, either he didn't have any or they didn't want to come with him and be a part of this wedding.

It's one of those two options. Either he didn't have any or they didn't want to come and be a part or he just didn't tell anybody. So he didn't bring his own friends. One thing we know for sure about Samson, whether you read it in chapter 13, 14, 15, or 16, is this guy was a loner.

Nobody know anybody like that? I mean, a pure loner. There's no record of him marching with an army or working with a band of soldiers.

We never read of him strategizing with other leaders. We never see him surrounded by good friends. He always acts alone. Always alone. And that is not good.

That is not healthy. Proverbs 18 verse 1, a man who isolates himself seeks his own desire. He rages against all wise judgment.

That is Samson. He's isolated himself. He rages against wise judgment. His parents, his God, his vows.

He's acting alone. And a person like that is just easy pickins, easy pray for the enemy. You know, one of the things I love about computers is this thing called spell check. On one hand, it drives me nuts, especially with my smartphone, because it's like thinking it's smarter than I am. And I write a word down, it corrects it, and it sends it. It's like, no, I didn't mean to say that. You have to then correct the correction, right? But when I work in a word document, like on my computer, I love spell check, because I'm not always the best speller.

I try to be, but I forget how things are spelled. And so it kind of stops and goes, no, you're wrong. And there's three options you can pick from. These three words.

Would any of these words be good for you? I go, yeah, actually, I like that one. Okay, good. And now it's spelled it right.

Say thank you. Wouldn't it be great to have spell check in life? Like mistake check, you're going around doing your thing, and then every day something comes, I go, uh, you may not want to do that.

That's kind of a bad move. Let me give you three options to choose from. Wouldn't that be great? Let me tell you something. You have that. They're called friends. Real friends will do exactly that. They're your spell check. They're your mistake check. Your good friends who know you will say, I see you walking down a bad road. I know you.

I know your background, and I love you enough to get in your grill and tell you not good. You may want to check another option, another road. Samson had parents whom he disrespected, and he probably had friends whom he distanced, pushed away.

So you can see these downhill steps. He disrespected his parents. He disregarded his God. He distanced his friends. Let me give you a fourth step downward in this chapter.

He downplayed his failure. Let's pick it up in verse 12. This is now the wedding feast. Samson said to them, these 30 new best friends, let me pose a riddle to you. If you can correctly solve and explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, then I will give you 30 garments and 30 changes of clothing.

But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothing. And they said to him, pose your riddle that we may hear it. And he said to them, out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet. Now for three days they could not explain the riddle, but it came to pass on the seventh day that they said to Samson's wife, entice your husband that he may explain the riddle to us, or else we will burn you and your father's house with fire. Can I just say you don't want guys like this at your wedding?

Have you invited us in order to take what is ours? Is that not so? Then Samson's wife wept on him and said, you only hate me. You do not love me. You've posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me. And he said to her, look, I haven't explained it to my father or mother.

Should I explain it to you? And so she wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people. So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, what is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than a lion?

And he said to them, if you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have solved my riddle. Now this marriage is not off to a very good start. He's got a wife who's crying for their honeymoon. He's got 30 guys who want to kill his wife and father-in-law, and he calls his wife a cow, right?

So just not good stuff happening. Wedding feast lasted for seven days. During the seven-day feast, as a matter of protocol, it was standard practice to pose riddles, to have little word games, to have little conversations. That would be like a battle of the wits, a friendly battle of the wits.

It was very commonplace. But what I want you to notice is the subject of Samson's riddle. What is Samson's riddle? What I want you to notice is the subject of Samson's riddle.

What is the subject? It's the honey he took from the carcass of a lion. In other words, Samson constructed his riddle based on the experience of his own sin. He made a joke out of his sin. It's very light-hearted that it works its way into a riddle.

I mean, it's bad enough that he disobeyed God, but it takes a special kind of callousness to make a joke out of disobeying God. They can't figure it out. Coke's your husband.

She tells the riddle, and the wedding feast is about over. There is a human tendency to not deal with our issues. We all have our issues.

We all got our stuff. And one of the human protection devices that we have is to deflect. So if somebody gets a little too close to our issue and we feel uncomfortable, we deflect. We change the subject. And some are very good at deflecting. They're masters of it. Or they make jokes about it. They try to make light of it. And when you live that way, you just become more isolated and more alone.

It doesn't solve the problem. This is another step downward for Samson. He disrespected his parents. He disregarded his God. He distanced his friends.

And now he downplayed his failure. Look at the fifth and final one in this chapter. He decimated his enemies. I mean, he decimated his enemies. Look at verse 19. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily.

Okay, that sounds good, but watch what he does with that power. And he went down to Ashkelon, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed 30 of their men, and took their apparel and gave the changes of clothing to those who would explain the riddle. So his anger was roused.

Notice that phrase. His anger was aroused. And he went back to his father's house. And Samson's wife was given to his companion.

That's his best man who had been his best man. Samson is a man with a cold heart and a hot head. To pay his debt, he goes 23 miles away, 23 miles away to Ashkelon, kills 30 dudes, not even a part of the party. Nobody knows them. He doesn't know them.

The 30 companions don't know them. He kills them, steals their Armani suits, and brings them back to pay off his debt. Does this guy have an anger problem? He goes from DEFCON 4 to DEFCON 1. He goes nuclear. It's like, okay, I lost the bet.

I'm gonna go kill 30 people to pay off my debt who are unrelated. Why did he go so far away? It's pretty easy to figure out because he could travel back faster than the news would travel back of what he had done. Now, in order to get 30 pairs of garments, 30 sets of clothing from 30 dead men, you have to touch the corpse, which makes you defiled further, right? So he just keeps going down this path. We don't have time to look at it, but in the very next chapter, on another occasion, Samson, because he's angry, to get even, takes 30 foxes, ties their tails together, lights them on fire, so that's animal abuse, lets them go through a field, and the fire of the tails of the foxes gets the crops going, and it burns all of the Philistines' crops.

This dude has an anger issue. Okay, after he kills the 30 men, he doesn't even go to consummate the marriage. He goes back to his parents' home, we're told. And look at the last verse. Look what happens.

While he's away, his wife, Mary, is the best man. I mean, this sounds like a Jerry Springer show. It's been said, those who fly into a rage always make a bad landing. This is a very bad landing. This is bad choice after bad choice after bad choice. Do you ever wonder how people like this, with such potential, such empowerment by God's Spirit, such a godly family and godly upbringing, can end up like this?

You are seeing the high cost of low living. Now, since we're doing this series on crash and burn, and we want to learn from those who fell, and we want to learn to fly, let me give you three quick takeaway points for this message for your life. Number one, take God seriously. Take God seriously. His parents made a vow and committed their son to the Lord, but their son squandered that. Want to find something?

You want to hear something interesting? Never once will you find Samson praying until the end of his life, when he is chained to pillars, and he is chained to the Lord. He is chained to pillars, and he finally looks upward, and he prays to God, let me avenge my enemies, and he kills himself, and he kills them. It's the only time we find him praying. And I know people who are like that. They really don't care much about spiritual things until there's a death, until there's a crisis, until there's a loss, until there's a health issue. You know, it's like when September 11th happens, everybody's standing around singing Kumbaya and praying for one week, and that's it.

Then it fades away. Take your God seriously. Second takeaway truth, choose your friends wisely. Take your God seriously, but choose your friends wisely.

In the absence of Samson bringing good friends along, 30 bad friends were put in their place because there's a vacuum. Somebody once said, if you want to soar with the eagles, you can't run with the turkeys. My dad used to say things like that to me. You know, you eventually will become like the people you hang out with. That's who you become. And then third, make your choices cautiously.

You know, one of the things you understand in studying the life of Samson is how impulsive he was, how impetuous he was. I see a girl. I want her.

Yeah, but no, I want her. And then he loses a bet. I'm gonna go kill 30 people. I mean, he's just all over the map. He's so impulsive. He's not cautious. He didn't take his parents' advice.

He didn't take any time to pray about it at all. I want to close with a proverb. Proverb chapter eight, verse five. Let me read it to you.

It's just good practical stuff. It says, you who are simple gain prudence. You who are foolish gain understanding. He's saying, wise up.

You can do this. Wise up. Listen to it in the message translation. It says, listen, you idiots. Learn good sense.

You blockheads, shape up. How's that for straight talk from God's Word? Superpowers don't make superheroes.

What really makes a superhero is when a person is empowered by the Spirit of God in daily life to reach the potential that God has designed for each of you, each of us to fulfill. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, Crash and Burn. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip to tell you how you can connect others with the truth of God's Word with a gift to keep these messages you love going around the world through Connect with Skip Heitzig. You know, this ministry is really all about connecting you and others around the world with God's Word, and we do that so that you'll be equipped, equipped to live abundantly in Christ Jesus. Now, I want to personally invite you to join Skip Heitzig's in that life-changing work today.

Think of it as a partnership. Through your support, you can help others discover the unchanging truth of Scripture and keep these teachings available to you wherever you listen. With your generosity, you can make these messages available on more stations in more major cities in the United States. So please partner with us please partner with us through a generous gift today. Here's how you can give. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And did you know you can watch Skip Heitzig's teaching from the comfort of your couch on Apple TV or Roku? Simply download the Connect with Skip Heitzig app on your streaming device and you'll have tons of content at your fingertips. Join us next week as Skip begins a teaching about the dangers of pride. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-06 05:13:31 / 2023-10-06 05:23:28 / 10

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