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O Be Careful Little Eyes

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
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August 11, 2022 12:00 am

O Be Careful Little Eyes

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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August 11, 2022 12:00 am

When Samson can no longer see physically, he finally sees spiritually. When everything else is stripped away, he finally understands what really matters. What will God have to take away from you in order to let you finally see Him?

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We aren't told what happened, but imagine with me what took place. Samson probably got up, the Philistine soldiers come for him, and he engages in hand-to-hand combat. He's done it so many times before. Only this time as he takes his once powerful fist and smashes it into the shield of a Philistine soldier, instead of the shield crumpling, his hand crumples in pain. Perhaps he reaches for another soldier to push him, and he's grabbed from behind, and he wrestles to get free. He can't. His mind is filled with panic.

He's thinking, no this can't be. This is Wisdom for the Hearts, and today we continue our Vintage Wisdom series through judges. On our last broadcast, Stephen Davey began looking at the life of Samson.

We're going to continue his story today. When Samson found himself no longer able to see physically, he was finally able to see spiritually. When everything else is stripped away, he finally understood what really mattered. The question we need to ask ourselves today is this, what might God have to take away from us to let us finally see him?

Stephen called today's message, Oh Be Careful Little Eyes. The story of Samson and Delilah is one of those tragic love stories. It's misguided love. It's also filled with intrigue and greed. It's a story that the box office today would make a movie out of.

In fact, it'd probably be a smash. It is a sordid picture that ends with shocking betrayal. The last scene is about to be shot in Judges chapter 16 and following in the life of this rebellious judge. Now for 20 years, he's judged all by himself. He has lived a life. He has accomplished, however, very little in either unifying Israel or bringing about repentance in the lives of the people. And that's probably because they knew their judge was crooked.

He also was inconsistent and immoral. In fact, as we pick the story back up in chapter 16, Samson's activity seems like old news. Look at verse one. Now Samson saw a harlot there and went into her. Once again, we're given the subtle hint of Samson's problem.

This is the weak chink in his armor that will ultimately bring him down. If you weren't with us last session, perhaps I ought to review briefly just for a moment, turn back to chapter 14 and notice this common theme. The problem that Samson has with his eyes, verse one. Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman. Verse two.

So he came back and told his father and mother, I saw a woman in Timnah. Verse three, the latter part. But Samson said to his father, get her for me for she looks good to me.

Verse seven. So he went down and talked to the woman and she looked good to Samson. Ladies and gentlemen, Samson's problem is not his eyesight. It's his focus. It isn't the sin of observation.

It is the sin of concentration. It is in this man to live, to pursue, to take whatever his eyes see that look good to him. He's unable to control his lust. Tragedy is Samson is already blind here spiritually.

He's already enslaved here sensuously. I think it is more than ironic that his chief weakness is introduced with the words and Samson saw. Samson's first words in the biblical account are I saw a woman. It's interesting that God will discipline him by allowing the enemy to take away his ability to see.

Let's notice what happens in verse two of chapter 16 when it was told to the gaze, I'd saying, Samson has come here. They surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night saying, let us wait until the morning light. And then we will kill him.

Verse three. Now Samson lay until midnight. And at midnight he rose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars. And then he put them on his shoulders. Now these gates, if they were constructed in typical fashion, I uncovered in research would weigh about four to 5,000 pounds.

They were wooden, but they were covered with metal plates and the posts as well. So I did a little further research and discovered to put it in perspective that what Samson has just placed on his shoulders is a full-size Buick Park Avenue. I called the dealer to ask him how much it weighed. And he probably wondered what in the world did I want that for.

I didn't ask him what that price is. He has picked up the equivalent of Buick Park Avenue. And with a slight huff, he puts it up on his shoulders. And it says that he walks, look at the last part of the verse, to the top of the mountain, which is opposite Eber.

He's going uphill with a car on his back, as it were. I think it's funny, all these men, you know, now they're waiting around to attack him, but no one approaches them at this point. No wonder the Gazeites are standing there in awe. And now they're looking at this big hole in the city gate and they're left with a big hole in the city budget too. What's happening here? I'll tell you. Samson is being deceived, unfortunately, by his sin and thinking he's invincible.

Here's the problem. His display of strength came so closely attached to his display of sin. And he is getting in his mind as it'll be revealed with his story with Delilah that he is now Samson, the mighty. He is invincible. I can sin and I can get up and I can go pick up the gates, put them on my shoulders and walk off.

He has become unaccountable to God, obviously, or anyone else. In fact, I can imagine all the Jews, you know, clapping them on the back saying, said, boy, I heard about the gates at Gaza. You're wonderful. Would you sign my Bible here? Here, right here. Put it under Abraham's name there. You're one of my heroes. He's a Super Saint and Super Saints aren't ever questioned by the rest of us, are they?

Anybody ever mentioned the harlot tool? Trouble is, is he has developed the mentality that he is invincible and he is now a sitting duck for this sweetie named Delilah. Look at verse 4. After this, it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorg.

This is the next event. His name was Delilah. Verse 5. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her. They're the five kings of the five city kingdom of the Philistine empire.

Entice him, they said, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each note that give you 1100 pieces of silver. That's 5,500 pieces of silver to betray Samson. How much did Judas get years later to betray Christ?

30. She's getting 5,500. In other words, she's getting enough of a nest egg to live the rest of her life in luxury. What I also find rather tragic is they apparently loved each other before this happened, which revealed that Delilah had a price tag on her character. I do want to stop here momentarily to give you two observations of moral failure.

And I give them to you. Number one, moral failure always involves small steps. In other words, it never happens in an instance. You don't fall off a cliff morally. It's more like a toboggan ride.

You get on because it's fun and it picks up speed and sooner than you'd like, you're going too fast to get off. That's moral failure. Samson did not end up in a Philistine jail overnight. He took little steps toward it beginning in chapter 14.

And then you will see him in jail, but it didn't happen in a moment. I personally believe that the three women mentioned in Samson's life were not the only women in his life. In fact, the scripture records in this chapter, his visit to Gaza. So matter of factly that it seems to indicate this was standard fare for Samson, just another event and a man who has run rampant emotionally and with his passions.

Observation number two, moral failure usually involves relevant, legitimate needs. Delilah's name is Semitic. That is it's Jewish. She's the only Semitic or Hebrew girl that the Bible tells us he's involved with. And it says that he loved her.

This is the only woman it says that he loved. What I find interesting is that perhaps Samson is making an attempt to satisfy a need. He's doing it illegitimately.

He cannot have God's blessing, but the need he has is legitimate. You need to realize as well that Samson by this time is middle-aged. Talking about a 50 year old man.

So you need to get out of your picture. This man pushing pillars over. It was a 25 year old Atlas, middle-aged guy, battle worn and weary, scarred from his fights. He has lived virtually alone. That is without a permanent companion. He has taken on the Philistines alone.

We never read any record of anybody ever helping him. He is a worn, I believe weary man. His strength is from the spirit of God, but his discernment is diluted by his immoral life. You look at him at the end of his 20 year span and he is waiting one push and he's over, but she represents to him Delilah.

That is perhaps the final attempt to settle down. It's obvious from the scripture. They live together. Some believe they even got married this point in his life. He needs her. Otherwise he would have run.

He should have run, but he chose to stay. Several years ago, a woman walked into my office, the young lady who had fallen in love with a guy who didn't know the Lord, didn't care about the Lord, wanted nothing to do with the Lord. She was a believer.

They'd become engaged. And she came into my office for my approval as her pastor and counseling to boot. After a little while, I was able to show her from the record of scripture that God disapproved. She was confronted with the truth. And I told her that what she needed was not counseling, but courage to make the right decision. She would choose either to follow the will of Jesus Christ for something legitimate, something good, or she would choose to marry this young man.

I will never forget. She began to weep profusely. She put her head, her face in her hands weeping as she understood clearly the choice. And after regaining composure, she looked at me through teary eyes and she said, I choose to marry this young man.

She got up and walked away. Take a look at the choice that Samson is making. Verse six, so Delilah said to Samson, the woman she loves, please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you. Do you notice the cold, almost obvious tactic she uses on Samson? I think her mind is clouded by the 5,500 pieces of silver. A woman in love would want to know how or what the secret was so that she could protect him.

She would want to know how it is so that she could make sure that nothing ever happened to it. But look at what she says again. Samson, tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you. Samson is so dumb, he cannot see through it.

He should have laced his track shoes on and said, there's nothing wrong with this girl. She wants to know what can bring me down. I'm gone, but his discernment is so diluted. What follows in the text is a little cat and mouse game. Move number one is found in verse seven. Samson said to her, if they bind me with seven fresh cords, these are bow strings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.

Chuckle, chuckle. Then the Lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bow strings that had not been dried and she bound him with them probably while he was asleep, of course. Now more than likely, Samson is asleep at this point in verse nine. Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room, but she said to him, the Philistines are upon you, Samson. Perhaps he wakes up at that moment and he snaps.

The text says the cords as a string of toes snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered. Now let me correct here the typical story that I have always believed until he studied this passage. I always believe that the Philistines rushed Samson. He stands up, breaks the cords, attacks the Philistines and kills them, waves his hands in the air and Delilah says, you're wonderful. That isn't all. We never read any record of the Philistines charging Samson.

They're in hiding. And when they're assured that his strength is gone, they're not done. And that would be proven by his inability to break the bow strings. Then they would rush him. The point is, ladies and gentlemen, Samson doesn't know there are Philistines hiding in the closets.

He thinks this is one big game. Move number two, unused ropes. In verse 11, same result, he snaps them like a thread in verse 12.

Move number three, a little more dangerous. He says, if you weave my hair, this strange fashion. So she does.

She ties it to her loom and pin. Verse 13, the same result, only this time he wrecks her sewing machine. The problem is though, in this move, move number three, he comes closer to revealing the truth than ever before.

He mentions for the first time his hair. Samson is playing a game of Russian roulette. And every time the hammer strikes, the odds mount against him. I remember reading a story written by Erwin Lutzer, recorded by him, the pastor of Moody Church, about, here's ago in England when Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of England, there was a well-known circus animal trainer. He was known all around the country. People would come to watch him. And he had these acts. He would perform daring acts with lions and tigers and elephants.

And he had one though that would mesmerize the audience. It was his snake act. He had purchased 14 years earlier, a little seven inch snake. And he'd worked with that snake for 14 years and had been performing this daring act with it.

One night, the tent was packed with thousands of people. Came time for that act. And they brought the cage up to the ring and set it over there.

They had imitation grass in front of it. And the trainer snaps his whip and out of that open cage slithers a huge boa constrictor. And it wraps itself around the trainer's feet and slides its way upward. Until at this particular time, the trainer was hardly visible.

Only a little portion of his face. The crowd went ecstatic, cheering, applauding. But after about 30 seconds, the cheering stopped. Something was wrong. The trainer's face was growing red.

Before that audience hushed so much so that they dared breathe, they heard the unmistakable sound of bones breaking. Before anyone could rush to help him, what was once a seven inch snake now crushed its trainer to death. You don't know what Samson is at this point. He's a man who thinks the serpent is trained. For 20 years, he's allowed it to slide up his body. He's barely visible and he still thinks it's a game.

Take a look at the next move. Verse 15. Then Delilah said to him, how can you say I love you when your heart is not with me? Samson should have said, how can you say you love me when you keep trying to tie me up?

You have deceived me these three times and have that told me where your great strength is? And it came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him. That's pressured him. His soul was annoyed to death. And finally it's as if he said, okay, okay.

I'll tell you. Verse 17. So he told her all that was in his heart. And he said to her, a razor has never come to my head for I have been a Nazarite to God from my mother's womb. My head is shaved and my strength will leave me and I shall become weak and be like any other man. No, that's not true Samson. He's missed the point.

He has come to the point and place in his life in which he has become like a Philistine. The Philistine had charms that were blessed by their idol priests. And they would take those charms into battle.

And when they would win the victory, they would give the credit and the benefit to their lucky charm. Samson never mentioned the spirit of God. He never mentioned why, but he says, if you take away my lucky charm, I'll lose my strength too. Look at verse 18. When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart.

In other words, she's the discerning one here. She sent and called the Lords of the Philistines saying, come up at once, once more for he has told me all that is in his heart. Then the Lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands.

Verse 19. And she made him sleep on her knees. In other words, this was one night she was going to catch Samson off guard. And when he was asleep, she called for a man verse 19, and she had him shave off the locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him and his strength left him.

That is, she probably pushed him out of her lap. Verse 20. And she said, the Philistines are upon you Samson.

And he awoke from his sleep and said, I will go out as at other times and shake myself free. And the most tragic phrase in the whole story now follows, but he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. There was nothing more tragic than a person who loses the power of God and doesn't even know it.

Let me ask you a question. If the presence and power of God were to leave this church, how many Sundays would it take for us to realize we were functioning on our own strength? If the power of God's spirit left your life, how long would it take for you to discover that you're operating in the flesh a week, a day, an hour? God's spirit has left Samson and he doesn't even know Samson.

You're on your own nonsense. My hair's gone, but I'm still the mighty Samson. We aren't told what happened, but imagine with me what took place. Samson probably got up. The Philistine soldiers come for him and he engages in hand to hand combat.

He's done it so many times before. Only this time as he takes his once powerful fist and smashes it into the shield of a Philistine soldier, instead of the shield, crumpling his hand crumples in pain. Perhaps he reaches for another soldier to push him and the soldier doesn't budge. He's grabbed from behind and he wrestles to get free.

He can't. He bellows. His mind is filled with panic.

He's thinking, no, this can't be, but it is. Samson, God's left you. Notice how the scriptural camera slips into fast motion in verse 21. Then the Philistine sees them. They gouged out his eyes and they brought him down to Gaza where he'd earlier been with a harlot and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.

Now the mighty are fallen. Verse 22 tells us something interesting, not that his charm is coming back, but it tells us that God has not abandoned Samson for good. In fact, it gives the reader this editorial note that God's power is still available, but Samson's going to need to ask for it. What happens to Samson in prison, and I'll prove that with his prayer in a few moments is that Samson comes face to face with his sinful life and repents.

And he begins in that prison, a relationship with God that should have taken place as a judge in Israel. But Samson really didn't have a whole lot of time to develop this new found relationship because he begins to hear the mob chanting. We want Samson. We want Samson. Where is he? Bring him out.

Why? Because in verse 25, it so happened that when they were in high spirit, they've thrown this party for their God Dagon, that is. They're going to give him the fish God, all the glory. So they begin to chant for Samson. Call for Samson, verse 25, that he may amuse us. We're having a party.

This is wonderful. We're going to look at the great hero of Yahweh, and we're going to show you that he is nothing compared to our God Dagon. And by the way, whenever a leader falls, the world still throws a party.

Why? Because it gives their false God to greater credibility. And it drags the true God through the mud. All the dignitaries are here, the five kings, their wives, all the rulers of the Philistine empire have assembled, which by the way is interesting because they're about to lose their leadership, which will set them back. This would be akin to the president of the United States and the vice president and the joint chiefs of staff and the Congress, Senate, all of them gathered under one roof. They're all amusing themselves with this middle-aged blind man. They're confusing him. They're pushing him around. They're taunting him.

They're forcing him to be led painfully by a little boy's hand. This is all that God, your God can do. And they sing a chant to their God Dagon. Samson finally has enough and so does God, by the way. And Samson prays a prayer and it's for God's honor and for his own vindication.

It's only the second prayer that we have recorded that he prayed verse 28. Then Samson called to the Lord and said, Oh Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, Oh God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines or my two eyes. This prayer reveals two changes in Samson's thinking.

Let me give them to you quickly. Number one, it reveals that Samson is repentant from his life of sin. Samson not only is repentant for the first time, but he is also dependent on the Lord for strength. That is he recognizes his source of strength is not in his hair, but in his God, he says, Oh Lord, please remember me verse 28 and please strengthen me just this time. Samson for the first time in scripture can see with discernment. I find it so intriguing that when Samson can no longer see physically that he finally begins to see spiritually when everything else is stripped away. He understands what really matters. I ask you another question. Is there something in your life that God has taken away or God needs to take away for you to be able to clearly see him a job, a spouse, a child.

Those are the things in your line of sight. It is no coincidence, ladies and gentlemen, that Frank Sinatra's hit song entitled I did it my way. You heard it. That is the song that has been recorded by more artists in America in the last 20 years than any other song. Why, why is it such a hit? Because it is so close to our human nature. We like to do it our way. Samson has been for 20 years doing it his way and he's about to lose his life.

Let's finish the story. Verse 29 and Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested and braced himself against them. The one with his right hand and the other with his left. Do you think Samson has any idea that the strength is within himself at this point? No way. It's either God or not at all. And Samson said, let me die with the Philistines. In other words, God use me one more time. I'm willing to die.

I'm so desperate to be used by your power. And he bent with all his might and the house fell on the Lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life. Ladies and gentlemen, Samson was restored to some position of power, but he was not restored to the same position of power. He was supposed to be a judge. One of the things that God brings to our awareness time and time again are the consequences that we pay because of our sin.

Samson's hair began to grow back, but his eyes never did. He toyed with sin for 20 years. The Bible makes it very clear that sexual temptation, immorality is a sin or a temptation that we are not to toy with. We are not to flirt with. We are not to debate with. We are not to dialogue with.

Paul makes it clear we are to run from it. This is Wisdom for the Heart. We're in a vintage wisdom series from the book of Judges.

Stephen called today's lesson, Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes. We'd love to learn how God's using this ministry to build you up in the faith. Our mailing address is Wisdom International, PO Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. Let me give you that again. You can write to us at Wisdom International, PO Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. Make plans to join us right back here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 03:52:22 / 2023-03-13 04:02:48 / 10

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