When God Is Against Us
"Whoever . . . wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
-James 4:4, emphasis added
Yesterday we looked at two steps Samson took that eventually led to his sin and tragic end: he wandered from his heritage (Judges 13), and he disobeyed his parents (Judges 14:1-4). Now let us look at some other steps that led to Samson's total downfall.
Samson compromised his life. He was supposed to be a man of the Word, to be a mighty judge, but he sought to be unequally yoked instead. So the Lord sent Samson some ominous warnings. The first was a big one. On his way to visit his bride-to-be, a young lion came roaring against him. The lion was representative of the devil who walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). What a picture! The devil wanted to use him for his purposes, for he knew that Samson was going in his direction by following his lust.
Samson played with sin. (See Judges 16 ) His heart was far from the God he should have known, and loved, and served. Even though he'd already gotten into trouble with one woman, he now tried again. This time his lusts took him deep into enemy territory to Gaza. Pride had taken hold of him; after all, he was "Superman," so he marched right into the epicenter of the Philistine army to pursue another woman.
What was Samson's problem? He was dominated by lust. That passion led Samson to desire a Philistine woman as a wife, which was strictly forbidden by God's Law. That passion also led him to liaisons with prostitutes like Delilah (who betrayed him for money). Many times men will say, "I'm doing that because I love her." But that is not really true: love can wait; lust can't. Do you know the difference between love and lust? Can you wait? If you can't, it's lust. Love always waits.
Samson was also driven by pride and revenge. He was more moved by anger at personal affronts-which caused him to strike out at the Philistines-than by the suffering of the people he was supposed to lead (cf. Judges 14:19-20 Judges 15:7-8; Judges 16:28).
In the end, Samson was defeated by himself. Imagine what Samson might have been if, with his great strength and godly heritage, he had daily lived out the formal commitment to God expressed in that Nazirite vow!
What can we learn from Samson's tragic life? There is no such thing as being able to safely play around with a little bit of sin. Remember: sin first blinds, then binds, and finally grinds. No matter how alluring it may seem, habitual sin grinds away at the soul, like gravel in the mouth (Proverbs 20:17).
If you willfully choose to operate in your own strength, and fail to heed God's warnings, He will let you operate without walking in the Spirit, and you will reap what you have sown.
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