Flee the Lusts of the Flesh-Remember Samson
Because we are so loved, God wants us to repent of any friendship with the world—so He warns us by showing us what will happen to us if we persist in this friendliness to the world mode.
Samson is the classic picture of one who through the lusts of the flesh became a friend of the world.
The life of Samson is a tragic story of the cost of yielding to the lusts of the flesh- and that's what I want to show you today as we start in the book of Judges 13-16.
His life is recorded in God's Word as a picture of the destructive power of sin. Samson often lived in the lust of the flesh; Samson often walked by the lust of the eyes; Samson often responded with the pride of life.
The greatest enemy Samson had was himself. What a warning to each of us who have the same problem—it is called our flesh. Within each of us a traitorous inclination against God never slumbers, and always smolders. Given any amount of fuel either through the desires of the body, the desires of the eyes or the pride of life—and it blazes to life in a conflagration of destruction.
Samson's history is an illustration of Paul's warning in I Cor. 9:27: "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."
Samson was disqualified. In Heaven he was remembered as a man of faith. On earth he was remembered as a man who was disqualified. Hebrews 11:32 cites him for his faith in God's Word, but apart from this, very little can be said on his behalf. "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (I Cor. 10:12, NKJV) Note the steps that led to Samson's sin and tragic end.
To have grown up with Samson must have been amazing. His neighborhood pals must have stood in wonder at his immense strength. His enemies must have fled quickly. It was like having a one-man army.
As a young man probably in his teens, we get the first indicator that Samson was not going the direction the Lord had pointed him. He was in great need of God's grace. He begins to live by his desires and not God's. He begins to serve his own lusts and not God's Words. A string of women begin to parade through his life. In fact seven times Samson is guided by the lust of his eyes when he sees women that please him. That was a dangerous choice each time. Here is the list: Judges 14.1, 2, 3, 7; 15.1, 2; 16.1.
The final and deadliest woman is Delilah in Judges 16.4. Her name has become synonymous with lust, deceit, betrayal and ruin. She tries to find the secret of his strength for an enormous bribe. She finally wears him down. Samson knows it is his hair and in a series of three lies he slowly gives clues.
Samson's soiled life is recorded. His defeats are unvarnished and clear for all to see. Practicing of sin blinds us, then sin slowly binds us with its fetters and finally blinded and bound we have to go grinding through life because of sin. Talk to anybody that's lived an immoral life that's come to Christ, and ask them how exciting it really was.
Samson is a powerful reminder of God's grace. Though he descended into the depths of a lust filled life, wandering far from his calling and consecration - the Lord never let go of him. His soiled life is recorded. His defeats are unvarnished and clear for all to see. But against the backdrop of sin is the beauty of grace. God forgives, God restores, and God uses Samson one final time.
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