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October 3, 2019 1:00 am
The days of the judges remember the people of Israel did that which was right in their own what eyes Sampson is going to be the maid of the Israelite nation. Jennifer me she's writes to me in my eyes. She may not love God, but she looks good.
We often run in this story to Samson and Delilah, and forget that the story actually begins with Sam said that a full listing girl in a village named him broadcast of wisdom for the heart with Stephen. Stephen is the pastor of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina. This ministry is dedicated to accurately and faithfully proclaiming the word of God today. God's word has a truth that cuts right to the heart of our battle with sin.
Your greatest obstacle to purity is not the culture in which you live. Dissatisfaction with your circumstances or even the devil himself. Your greatest obstacle to purity is, you and today's message Stephen cuts right to the heart of our impurity by cutting to our hearts. I pray that you open your heart to the truth of God's word today as Stephen brings a message called toying with temptation. I read some time ago about 300 whales on the beach scientists as I read the article. Explain the mystery that these whales had been chasing sardine and had become trapped in shallow water. When the tide went out a creature so massive, so powerful, so impressive effectively lured into a death trap by a creature so much smaller and unimpressive and weaker. Take your Bibles and turn to the book of Judges while you're turning when the average Christian thinks about Samson. They tend to think of several things.
He was a person who never spend a nickel and a barbershop right we have that one down.
He was Mr. Hercules of the Old Testament we envision something like that. He was the reigning heavyweight champion of the ancient world. No, he's more like a whale chasing sardines forbidden sexual pleasures which will eventually trap him as the tide of his life passes away. It's interesting to me that God gives us more information about this particular judge than just about all the other judges in this book, judges were individuals who were to set an example. In following after God and to lead the people in a way that honored God but Sampson. As you know, does the opposite.
In fact, Sampson will serve as an illustration of a nation that has abandoned God Judges chapter 13 verse one hears the national backdrop to Samson's life is where we need to begin does what it says and the people of Israel go back up here to chapter 13 for just a moment, and the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord so the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years.
In other words, the nation is going to be harassed, plagued, beaten a subjugated, often murdered by this fierce nation of the Philistines. In fact will later produce their own version of Hercules, a man we know by the name of Goliath, the Philistines are Israel's worst nightmare affect other Old Testament passages inform us that it one time or another. The Jewish people weren't allowed to do even the do any metal work less days secretly make spears and swords. In fact, they were allowed to even sharpen in acts without special permission from the Philistines, which is one of the primary reasons you'll find Sampson fighting the Philistines using the jawbone of a donkey is done on a sword. The days of Samson are the days of Philistines domination but you need to make sure you understand that this is come about because of Israel's apathy and rebellion that during these days, the high priest was a man by the name of the Eli a man, his own sons, who served as priests were given to lost and immorality. So the entire nation has reverted into apostasy in and rebellion and what what God is going to do in is getting give them effectively. A man who will live out there rebellion their adulteries against him as Lord and and in so doing, by the way, the Lord is going to give us to this day an incredible illustration of the slide and the collapse of a man caught in the tangle of sexual sin. In the beginning days of Samson open with great promise. By the way, Samson's parents here in chapter 13 are are told by an angel that they're going to have a son which is somewhat miraculous for this couple and their agent with the fact that she's been unable to have any children. The angel a comes to them appears to them in and delivers to them this wonderful message and in fact it's more than likely a a theophany or Christophe any of this angel of the Lord and that they ask about one point over in verse 17. You know what is your name of chapter 13 feeling of her 70. What's your name so that we can honor you and and the angel of the Lord said them. Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful what oh what I what an amazing beginning here. You gonna go back to verse five. You're gonna bow hold the hold you're going to conceive and bear a son and no razor of all the valves will will talk when at times talk about all a bit of the valves that Inez I would keep there to dedicate was and is Rick verse five tells us the one that will focus on you get.
Apparently you get a conceive and bear a son, no razor shall come upon his head for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines are so far so good. Everything starts out wonderfully and I can angel by the name of wonderful comes and delivers the news you have assigned an agent to be dedicated to the Lord. And so, among other things. Don't ever cut his hair and be a sign of separation unto unto the Lord. Everything starts out well until Sampson reaches young adulthood know I'm to do is is let me divide all of the content were given on the life of Sampson, both from this text and in the New Testament as well. Let me divide this biography into three chapters anomaly give you one word as a title for each chapter. The first word in what will call the first chapter of Samson's life is the word sliding sliding chapter 14 it opens with these unfortunate and shocking words. As a young adult. Samson went down to Temne and a Temne, he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up and told his father and mother. I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines that Temne, a literal translation of Sampson statement here in verse two is a woman in the opposite is there all woman.
Have I seen in Temne had Sampson been an American he would have said something like this. Let me tell you I saw a woman let me tell you about the one man I saw.
Now go get her from his mother's daughter arrange the marriage which would've been cultural and customary those parents are startled and upset, rightly so, for one thing, by the way, Sampson's first first job, so to speak first act of leadership should have been to do battle with the Philistines not marry one of them.
So here's the epitome of Sampson's problem early on in the beginning of his slide down this ravine Mark tragedy but is verse three, but his mother and father's father and mother said to them, is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives read that who believes in God or among all our people that you must go to take away from the uncircumcised Philistines, which is a long way of saying pagan idolaters and notice but Sampson said to his father get her for me, for she is right in my eyes. The days of the judges you remember the people of Israel did that which was right in there and what eyes Sampson is going to be the epitome of the Israelite nation care for me.
She's writes to me in my eyes. She may not love God, but she looks good she might represent some kind of compromise by God is and to deprive me of something or someone. I want and did you notice the first words recorded in the life of Sampson or the words soul. I don't care what God wants.
I saw a woman get her for me and get her now. That's the beginning of the slide.
I never forget years ago young lady had gone through your teenagers in our church later meeting and falling in love with a young man in college.
They dated for some time got engaged and then made an appointment with me to ask if I would marry them.
And that's always a wonderful opportunity that I enjoy him I was delighted at the prospect. I knew her parents well. As I talked with them in my office about the reasons for marrying and I'm always in a listening in this kind of conversation for them to talk about something like this is how God brought us together and and we been praying in and we believe God wants us to be together or something like that that lets me know that the marriage is made up of three and that's what I'm looking for.
I didn't hear anything about God.
In fact, I knew this young lady's testimony. I have baptized her and I do nothing about his testimony did not hearing about him something and ask him questions about the gospel within well, less than five minutes. It was very clear to me.
Not only did he not know anything about the gospel, but he didn't care about the gospel he knew nothing about a relationship with Christ. In fact, it was clear he was in my office because she told him to come with her and she wanted to be married in the church and be married by her pastor and course by now three or four questions under this her head is drop-down and she's quiet she knew.
I asked him if he was interested in the claims of Christ. The claims of the gospel in a very unashamedly told me he wasn't interested at all and I think he was somewhat intrigued. Why she had prepared him very well, so I'd be asking these kinds of questions.
What he wanted was to get out of my office as quickly as he could get out. I looked at her at this point and I said you know why I can't marry you to she just kept her head down. I would just continued. I if I performed this wedding ceremony I'd be performing in a church building that would be really tragically ironic because your husband doesn't want anything to do with the church.
In fact, worse, that he doesn't really want anything to do with Christ, so I can entrust you together in this marriage to Christ whom he rejects.
I went further. I figure this is my only opportunity to talk. I knew he wouldn't be back. Maybe she would be severe in your making an unequal yoke here. According to Paul's letter to second Corinthians chapter 6, commanded not to marry an unbeliever, dear. Do you realize you're choosing to disobey the Lord your making a choice here, but between following Jesus Christ and marrying this young man. I felt that I would oppress the decision and asked her what your choice going to be with tears streaming down her cheeks. She looked at me reached over at him and said I choose him. Maybe you know the heartbreak of hearing a grown son or a grown daughter of yours tell you with similar grits in their teeth.
Like Sampson, I'm not buying anything of your faith. I don't care anything about Christ.
I want what I want and if you have anything to do with it did for me and get it now. Like the prodigal son is said to his father, give me my money that I got coming to me and get out of my way.
Maybe you heard something like that.
She would often run in this story to Samson and Delilah, and forget that the story actually begins with Sampson and a full listing girl in a village named Tim the legal get to Delilah and lets you pass that warning place. By the way, no one runs to Delilah first. You don't and I don't. You don't start there you in their and there are places marked along the path you're going to slide by them and see them as you go by those warning signs as you toboggan down that slide until you crash the first and Sampson slide. There's a Philistine village where he is more than willing to trade away his heritage, his walk with God.
His family any semblance of spiritual conviction all for the sake of sexual attraction that just so happens to be forbidden by God. Slide downward for Sampson begins and ends with what Sampson sees eyes so all this woman someone wrote one of the greatest laws of spiritual victory is to simply look the other way, that good is pretty simple, but it's a great law.
You need to do that tomorrow I will twos you return back to your world. You have to look the other way that that's great by the way does happen to be major victories. They are victories great law of spiritual victory for Christ is to simply look the other way.
For the record, by the way this marriage here is doomed from the start. In fact, it never gets past the eighth day which is the day of consummation this here in chapter 14 is a prelude to the ultimate betrayal later in life by another woman back. I think this first chapter was given to us here in chapter 14 because it reinforces some truth gives us insight into truth about temptation. We don't fall in a moment that by the time you crash, you have more than likely slid past several warning signs along the path parents friends, coworkers, the spirit of God the Word of God. Maybe for you it's the sermon you slide right on by. Don't stop, listen, the person who is in pursuit of his passions will more than likely not gain any insight from his past, and Sampson learns nothing echoed over chapter 16 when not to Delilah yet. By the way, verse one.
Sampson went to Gaza and there he saw emphasis he saw a prostitute and he went into her again as I foretold Sampson's come here and they surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city, they kept quiet all night, saying, let us way to the light of the morning.
That will kill him, but Sampson ladled midnight and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts and pulled them up bar and all and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron lite what that would be like that would be like you going out after the service picking up your automobile and putting on your shoulders and carrying it home. Sampson literally pulls up the supporting beams out of the ground pitches the gates, there still locked together and he carries them 38 miles and throws him on the ground.
Here's the real tragedy. Sampson appears to be invincible while at the same time he is in moral. The danger in chapter 16, is the fact that Sampson seems to get away with it. We keep in mind that the nation Israel thinks they're getting away with her spiritual fornication to Sampson here has power without purity. He has strength without any self-control. He's Hercules without any holiness and that the dangerous combination. The problem here is that Sampson only grows in Israelite legend, the Israelites are thrilled with this latest chapter this latest demonstration by their undefeated judge. Nevermind that he's been with a prostitute look is Rick the city gates right out of the ground.
Everybody's cheering at Hebron. There, clapping them on the back. He's probably standing there by the gates. While the Israelites lined up to take pictures while he poses thereby the gates he's the great judge here Sampson sign my Bible. Would you make sure you put in your your your life.
Verse Sampson has never been more set up to be knocked out than now in his book entitled the next story Tim Charlie's rights and I quote, you probably heard about this in 2006, AOL made an epic misjudgment as part of a research project.
The company accidentally made available to the public a massive amount of data called from the search history of users over a three-month period of time. It included 21 million searches online before AOL released the data they had changed all the usernames into anonymous user numbers but it didn't take long before those numbers were linked to real names. AOL realized its mistake and withdrew the data, but the search histories had already been copied and uploaded on the Internet, jellies, offers the following summary. What was remarkable about these searches was the way people transitioned seamlessly from the normal in the mundane to the outrageous and perverse. For instance, one user went from searching for preteen pornography to searching for games to use in a church youth activity.
Others spurned by their lovers sought out ways online of exacting revenge, while others explored ways to cheat on their spouses. Jellies concluded with some questions.
What would your data trail say about you.
Would you be willing for your spouse to see it. Your parents, your pastors, our searches are a penetrating window into our hearts. The typical question we might ask. After reading that is well, what would your Internet trail say about where you've been. Good question, but I want to highlight another question in light of Sampson's pattern of life.
It's this our Internet trail is actually a powerful euphemism for describing the trail we are walking. My question is where is your trail taking into the future, not just the trail behind us is the trail were creating. You could even call the trail a rut. Maybe it's right now making or renewing a friend on Facebook that you have no business renewing or making.
Maybe it's spending hours gaming with porn programs that titillate open the door to other addictions.
It's it's marked by the way for mature audiences only what an oxymoron. It isn't for the mature, it's for those who don't want to grow up want to stay immature for the height of immaturity is living for self gratification for those who want to keep sliding down work for those who want to keep up appearances, but really want nothing to do with holiness and in purity alimony status of all the things in my rattle around in your mind.
You might think we know they all represent Delilah all that they may be taking you to a Philistine village and some anonymous individual from Temne, they might be taking you to the town of Gaza where your anonymous but that toboggan is picking up speed and dangers just Chuck Swindoll book the quest for character. He writes these perceptive words. Life is a jungle. At the most unsuspecting moment we are pounced upon treacherous assault have a way of knocking us off balance as they wrapped themselves around is no wonder. An older man named Solomon with right listen, my son, and be wise and keep your heart on the right path.
There are good runs stay in those today's message gates you biblical ins light into your battle with sin and principles you can use in dealing with your sin today. This is wisdom for the heart are Bible teacher is Stephen Devi. The senior pastor of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina. If you'd like to learn more about our ministry. I invite you to visit our webpage which is wisdom online.org the audio and printed manuscript of all his lessons are posted there for you to access free of charge. You'll also find a resource section that contains Stephen's books, commentaries, Bible study guides and more brand-new this month is the latest volume in the wisdom commentary series. Stephen's new book on Philippians. If you're on our mailing list you've already received information on how you can get a copy of this resource.
It's actually our featured resource during the month of October just go ahead and use the return card and envelope that we sent you to get your copy of Philippians.
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Program has greatly enriched my spiritual life and understanding of the gospel. I pray often for your ministry needs to all that well thanks Lois for writing to us were glad to hear from you tomorrow. Stephen answers listener questions. So join us for that here on wisdom for the heart