The Consequence Engine in Action
I discipline my body . . . , lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
-1 Corinthians 9:27, emphasis added
The life of Samson depicts the awful consequences of living a life of compromise with the world and the flesh. Judges 13 records one of the most incredible accounts in the Bible; few are as tragic as this one. God had given Samson twenty years to begin to overcome the enemy, the Philistines. However, in the end, Samson was overcome by the greatest enemy of all-himself. Samson's history is an illustration of Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (see above). Heaven remembers Samson as a man of faith, but earth remembers him as a man who was disqualified. Although Hebrews 11:32 cites him for his faith, apart from this, very little can be said in his defense. The lesson to each of us is this: Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
What steps led to Samson's sin and tragic end?
Samson wandered from his heritage. He was born into a godly home. The Angel of the Lord (Jesus Christ pre-incarnate) appeared to Manoah's wife and said, "You shall conceive and bear a son. . . . Please be careful [before his birth] not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. . . . And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines" (Judges 13:3-5).
Samson had a godly giftedness and calling. God gave him a special endowment of the Holy Spirit that made him a conqueror (Judges 13:25). When he was old enough to understand, his parents informed him that God had called him to be a Nazirite, a "separated one" wholly surrendered to the Lord. When grown, however, Samson despised his wonderful heritage. Instead of putting himself in God's hands to accomplish his God-given task, he tragically chose to live to please himself.
Samson disobeyed his parents, which gave clear evidence of his spiritual decline. He knew that the God-given Jewish laws of separation meant marrying only within the covenant people, but that didn't matter to him. Samson went into enemy territory and fell in love with a heathen woman. He told (not asked) his father: "Get her for me, for she pleases me well" (Judges 14:3). Samson's focus was totally outward: he only viewed the woman's body, but never saw her inner spirit, soul, or character. He was living for the moment, for the lusts of his flesh (see Genesis 24:1-4; Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3; and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
By disobeying his parents, Samson was choosing to be his own authority. He therefore ignored their admonition: "Don't do that, Samson!" It did not bother him that his desires displeased his parents. God overruled in this circumstance, however, because He knew Samson's propensity for sin, and was going to use his lust as a vehicle of His judgment on the Philistines (Judges 14:4). However, I can imagine God holding Samson accountable for his actions, saying, "Be not deceived, for I will not be mocked. What Samson sowed, he is going to reap."
What valuable lesson can we learn from this? Christian young people need to stop and consider carefully when they find themselves defying godly parents who know God's Word. It is a fearsome matter when God is against someone who refuses to repent.
To continue reading this message, please click here.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.