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August 10, 2022 12:00 am
In this message Stephen takes us through the journey of Samson's life to warn us that spiritual potential doesn't always lead to spiritual success. It's not what you have that defines you . . . it's what you do with what you have.
Own life will mirrored the failure of Israel as a nation using the surviving what God was doing behind the scenes.
Sampson refused the authority of God's command, so that Israel there were idolatrous. They were intermarrying with the Philistine Sampson. Secondly, refuse the parameters of the Nazirite vow. See.
So did Israel reject its covenant.
Thirdly, Sampson refuse the Council of godly parents.
So the Jews refused counsel of their spiritual today on wisdom from the heart. Stephen begins looking at the life of Sampson Sampson certainly had a lot going for. But his life is a warning that spiritual potential doesn't always lead to spiritual success is not what you have that defines you. It's what you do with what you have this lesson from our vintage wisdom series in judges is called the man who had it made any grain was probably one of the most well-known visors. In fact, maybe the best miser who ever walked the face of American soil. She died in 1915, leaving an estate valued at over $1 million, which today would be at least $10 million. Interesting thing about this lady as though she was such a miser. She ate most of the time. Cold oatmeal oatmeal because it was cheap cold because she said it cost too much to heat it. The tragedy is that her own son however would lose his leg to an amputation because had he took so long in trying to find a free clinic that he was not seen early enough by doctors when you read the story of heady green you come to the conclusion that this woman had so much but yet she lived as if she had absolutely nothing. There is a story in the Bible as we continue through the book of Judges that you and I know it's the story of Samson and we finally get to the judge. We know a little bit about the more I studied this man, the more it became clear that this man was like that miser. He had so much, but he lived as if he had absolutely nothing you think of Sampson you think of a man who never cut his hair.
That's right. Nazirite you think of a man who who was brawny and strong. He was the Hercules of the Old Testament you think of a man was finally knocked flat by that featherweight named Delilah. That's what we know about Sampson but the more I studied this man's story was clear to me that this was a judge God. First of all gave more time in the book of Judges did in any other judge and also this is the only judge where God gives an entire chapter to tell us that his mother's father. So let's start at the beginning of the story.
Judges chapter 13 verse one.
Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord so that the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines for the backdrop of the story is Philistine domination. They are the worst nightmare in Israel's history, at least up to this point they will rule with such tyranny that no smithy was allowed to practice in Israel, lest they make swords and spears.
We also know from the book of first Samuel that an Israelite farmer had to gain permission to even sharpen his acts as a Philistines were so oppressive and so careful that they would not be conquered until King David comes along and wipes them. Finally out when you discover if you will read and study these chapters is that Israel is silent. They have become assimilated into the Philistine kingdom.
They have begun openly intermarrying with this pagan group, a violation of the Abraham a covenant and they have arrived at the place we think where they really don't care if they are delivered or not. Against this kind of backdrop, we are introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Manoa verse two there was a certain man of Zora of the family of the day and nights. His name was Manoa and his wife were never given her name was Baron and bore no children. I notice how the world is interrupted in verse three. Then at that point in the middle of this apostasy to a couple who, it seems, are not able to even fulfill the Abraham a covenant for themselves. The angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, behold now you are barren and have bore no children. But you shall conceive and give birth to a son.
What wonderful words to this woman.
Words like conceive and birth and son. Notice how she seems to be selected by God, and I think as we study their lives, you'll know why. Notice as she runs to her husband and tells him the news in verse six then the woman came and told her husband say a man of God came to me. She did know he was the angel of the Lord and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel got very awesome and I did not ask him where you came from, nor did he tell me his name was so excited when he said to me, behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a sign in now.
You shall not drink nor eat any unclean thing for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death. Guess why Donnie I saw the angel indicated to me he said you're getting conceive and give birth to a son, I need to be a Nazirite from the womb for life would imagine Manoa looking at his wife and saying honey into the wineskins and interesting thing is that what we observe, however, is respect.
He never doubted you member some of the older Old Testament couple who laughed at the nose of God and not do you believe it.
In fact, I think what we find here and I want to pause just enough to give you what I discovered in this chapter is three ingredients of a very good marriage ingredient number one would be mutual respect. He believes her story as wild as it sounds. Number two spiritual oneness. She comes to him and tells him the story. What is he do.
He takes this to God and he leads her in prayer. This is what we could call spiritual oneness. They come to this crisis.
This crossroads in their experience. What is Manoa do we better pray about this. Look at the prayer it's great verse eight then Manoa entreated the Lord and said, oh Lord, please let the man of God, whom thou has sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy was about to be born seem to run everywhere else but to God for advice. He goes to God, the angel of the Lord will reappear not to give that information about how to parent but really how to give added information that is himself or about them selling for 70 Manoa said to the angel of the Lord. What is your name so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you see still is a recognize that this is the angel of the Lord. We call it theologically, a theophany, this is a visible expression of a sliver of God's glory. No one has ever seen his total glory and live.
This is a visible expression of God, perhaps even Christ, the pre-incarnate Christ who comes in, the angel's answer to Manoa's question is absolutely tremendously. Verse 18 but the angel of the Lord said to him, we know who he is, by the way, why do you ask my name saying it is wonderful to translate that word. It is incomprehensible to me to trivialize what his answer was on the basis of that illustration for what he is saying is listed. It's too much for you I can explain it little finite mind can grasp everything about me.
So just call me wonderful. Just call me incomprehensible. The one look at verse 19. So Manoa took the kid with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to the Lord, and he perform wonders while Manoa and his wife and thought here's the wonder he performed, by the way, verse 24 came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar women on his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. Verse 22.
So Manoa said to his wife. We shall surely die for. We have seen God was wife said to him, if the Lord desire to kill us.
He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands nor leave shows all these things. Nor will you let us hear things like this at this time, I can determine our thing right honey and think about that ingredient number three mutual teachability is the leader of the home, spiritually allowing his wife to instruct them spiritual that only is their dedication to each other obvious their dependence on God is to you need to recognize men and women that were dealing with a couple here that is releasing like God has been on a great tool.
It is possible to have the best of life. The worst of times was not an easy time for them to live in love and believe and trust. It was a terrible time to raise a family. The Philistines dominating immorality rampant. The world ever been secure as it ever been easy to get from Mr. and Mrs. Manoa that even in times like that it is possible to have the kind of life that honors God. We have no excuse on the basis of our culture.
We cannot scream pressure and sending, but something happened here between chapter 13 and chapter 14 it doesn't tell us what but you know something rather strange happened. We know from the kinds of people that this husband and wife were that they raised Sampson according to the Nazirite.
Val. They were committed, even from the womb. It says that she began to perform the Nazirite vow but yet here we find the last part of chapter 13 we see young Sampson strong in the text tells us. I think it's in the latter part of that chapter tells us in verse 25 says the spirit of God began to stir Sampson the word stir is a word used of a musical instrument, being tuned by the musician. Sampson's being tuned he's he's getting ready to be played upon by the spirit of God, get the first few words of chapter 14 shout problems. Something's gone wrong was take a look at him, his haircut know it's never been caught. He boasts is ever touched. The wineskins never as text a dead body.
No yet you find him. In chapter 14 headed for Philistine village to pick out a wife. What's the problem. Principle number two Sampson grass.
The code of separation, but he missed the concept of holiness same problem exist today. He had it all on the outside.
He looked like a Nazirite smell like one sounded like one side. He was a pagan with the same difficulty today and trying to keep the balance between how we look at what we are like on the inside only review with Elizabeth Elliott includes in one of her books about a young man eager to forsake Christ to live. Forsake the world and live for Jesus Christ and he asks believers, what must I first say listen to the answers that he was given there recorded for us.
Forsake colored clothing get rid of everything in your wardrobe that is not white stop sleeping on a soft pillow sell your musical instrument you are sincere about following Christ. Do not take warm baths and never shave your beard to shave is to attempt to improve on the work of him who created us.
The problem with Sampson is that he had all the outward trappings but he ignored inner holiness. His hair was long but his heart was disobedient else go back to judges and take a look at principle number three. This follows closely on the heels of this.
Anyone who ignores internal quality will be governed by external attraction. Look at chapter 14 verse one. Then Sampson went down the tenant and saw a woman in Tim that one of the daughters of the Philistines, so we came back and told his father and mother, I saw a woman in Temne.
One of the daughters of the Philistines. Now, therefore, get her for me as a wife custom of this day was for the mom and dad to arrange the marriage. This text is interesting because in the Hebrew the word woman is emphasized by could paraphrase it to give you the picture of what Sampson is saying would be something like this dad mom I would not attend the other day and I saw what dinner for me. There's nothing wrong with that, by the way wrong with physical attraction I married the guy would knock me flat sure you guys could say the same. Better citizen I can go back to that first encounter certain British literature class in college.
I love to go to British literature I said in the back and this brunette said over on the left by the window and I watched her sunlight coming through that window were run off her blue eyes incinerating right back in a carved out my heart nearly on the ground. Nothing wrong with that. The problem was. Sampson was looking in the wrong direction. He was off limits so his parents react with shock. Look at verse three.
Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives or my lawyer. People that you gonna take a wife from the start size Philistine.
There was quite a girl. You can hear three blocks down.
Mrs. Manoa is going crazy. We raised you and Nazirite we done our best for you now and now it's time to choose a wife is no one here among the Jewish nation good enough for you. You go seeking one of Dan right can almost see Sampson's team clinched with the finance. The last part of her three pieces for me. You notice the very first words recorded by Sampson's lips are.
I saw a woman that is what will take his life in the leads me to the fourth parent committed to the word may never reap godliness in the child. I have talked with parents who have broken hearts, I received phone calls over 10 years of ministry.
Stephen, my son or daughter is been picked up by the police to come down to the station.
It is possible for spiritual parents to raise children who turn out rejecting their values and moral would you look at the resources that Sampson rejected. He had been given so much he had been born miraculously my own wife was one of those kind of miracle babies you know when supposed to be born in a special fracture. One of those two.
Sampson wasn't even supposed to be conceived.
It was miraculous, and I'm sure they reminded him was in years. Special godly parents who love the Lord who love each other. He was blessed with a unique mission from God, and he was empowered by the Spirit of God to do the work he had all of that and he said by five Sampson's own life, though mirrored the failure of Israel as a nation. You see this as I think we got it was doing behind the scenes.
His life was a sermon in itself. Sampson refused the authority of God's command, so did Israel. They were idolatrous.
They were intermarrying with the Philistine Sampson. Secondly, refuse the parameters of the Nazirite valves will see and so did Israel reject its covenant parameters. And thirdly, Sampson refused the Council of godly parents.
So the Jews refused counsel of their spiritual authority.
We know from the book of Samuel that Eli was the priest during this episode and granted Eli was in New Orleans as well as sons were immoral and he was weak. Perhaps that was one of the reasons the people did all that they did but would you notice a phrase repeated twice.
The last part of verse three again. She looks good, but that in verse seven, so we went down any talk to this woman and she left God. I want you to take your Bibles and turn to the end of this book chapter 21 verse 25 and I want you to take a look at what it says.
The problem with the nation of Israel and everyone did that which was right in their own eyes bringing to do whatever looks good to us. Sampson is the person who will live that way and died tragically as the Israelite nation will never again until years and years later, experience, liberty, number six, the failure of God's people never derail the purposes of God. I need to add this because it's important here at this juncture, God's intentions do not become paralyzed by your sin or mind. God is sovereign's work will go on. We just want to be part of it in a positive way.
But Sampson would fulfill his destiny by beginning to deliver the Israelites, even though he is in sin. That is, God will fulfill his purposes down in verse five.
Then Sampson went down to Tim that with his father and mother and came as far as the vineyards of Temne and behold a young lion came roaring toward him in the spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a goat or kid.
Though we had nothing in his hand but he did not tell his father or mother what he done. Verse eight we return later to take her. He turned beside to look at the carcass of the line of the whole, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. We scrape the honey into his hands, and went on eating as a win when he came was father and mother. He gave some to eliminate it, but he did not tell them that he had scrape the honey out of the body of the lion.
Why because he violated the Nazirite value touched a dead body does God strike him down under come from heaven Sampson instead brashly turns this whole episode into a riddle at the wedding party would work. Further, verse 10. Then his father went down to the woman and Sampson made a feast there for the young men customarily did this. The problem is the Hebrew word feast means drinking more energy. We don't know for sure that it's possible since he already violated that parameter is now touching a dead thing that he would also drink the fruit of the vine here God strike him down under come from heaven was God fulfilling his purposes. Even though Sampson was sitting with. This leads me to the tragic story. Sampson maybe to God silences apathetic or approval. Look at principal number seven that I want to give you one of the most deceptive incentive said, is the idea that God doesn't seem in a hurry to execute judgment or discipline.
You and I may live our lives rebelling against God, and he may never strike us down in our lives will pay a thousand times over. The penalty for our said the parties thrown the rebels give a look at verse 12.
Chapter 14 then Sampson said to them, let me now propound a riddle to you. Verse 14 so he said to them out of the ear again something to eat and out of the strong came something sweet. We know it. Talking about the line in the honey. The Philistine men can figure it out later going to lose their better get Sampson 30 new Easter of the can find out the answer. So what they do is they go to the little bride's little Philistine gal and they say listen sweetie you got Sampson around her little finger.
You figure it out. You can tell us so. Verse 16 Sampson's wife wept before him, and said you only take you do not love me tell you what this means is me for 5000 years, women been doing this to their husbands and we slung figure, but voice Sampson was called you why in the next verse, verse 17 she went before him for seven day long. You can last for less than seven days. Then it came about on the seventh day that he told her because she pressed him.
Sampson will lose the bet and he will lose his wife. Trouble is, Sampson will not learn from experience in this take me to that final lesson look at it more in the future. Accession number eight a man controlled by his passion for woman may never gain insight from his past. You don't necessarily learn from your mistakes unless you allow God to teach you see the keyword in verse 17 is the word practiced you know that is the same word used in chapter 16 verse 16 when it tells us that the Lyle urged him same word she pressured him how with tears.
Two chapters later this same man falls prey to the same thing, only it's a different name.
This time is Delilah.
He is overcome by her tears and pressure and he lets out a secret that ultimately jeopardizes a person who is controlled by their passions, men and women is a person who is floating through the sea of life without a compass. They are moving without understanding is probably why Solomon wrote that he would experience it. Later he says these words, why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulterous and embrace the bosom of a foreigner for the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he watches all his pads, his own iniquities will capture him and he will be held with the cords of his own sin. He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his foolishness go Esther.
The last record of Sampson's parents are found over in chapter 631 close his mom and dad.evidently gave them more children. Since then his brothers and all his father's household came down took him brought him up.
Between Zora and Mech to all tomb of Noah's phone menu had proven old into wisdom judges is called the man who had it made Stephen Davey is our daily Bible teacher here on this broadcast Stephen also pastors the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. If you have a comment or question, or would like more information you can send us an email simply address it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you come across a passage that's confusing or if you encounter a teaching that you need to have clarified Stephen would like to help you repost Stephen's answers online because it's likely that someone might've already asked a question that you have.
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