DEAL WITH SIN OR GOD WILL DEAL WITH YOU
Putting Pressure on your Weakness
Jerry A Collins
v Will our problems or our sin ever be solved?
v How do our moral weaknesses make us vulnerable?
v What is it that jeopardizes our discipleship?
Unfortunately, there are bad experiences in life, and we would wish to avoid them. The reason is because the lessons learned from them have been costly for others. We have witnessed their crashing and burning and have sympathized with their plight—grateful it was not us but also fearful that, lest we forget, it very well could be us. D.L. Moody walking down a Chicago street with some wealthy donors of his evangelistic campaigns, noticed a drunken bum laying in the gutter. As the others were walking by him, Moody stopped, knelt by the man, and wept. Moved by his compassion and saying so, Moody corrected them saying, but for the grace of God there goes D L Moody. Now, that is the proper perspective because it views the human dilemma realistically. Samson is a man who never discovered his purpose in life tho he had all of the advantages of doing so. God called him from his womb. His vow set him apart. His strength was supernatural. He kept the enemy on the run. In spite of these advantages he constantly gave priority to his own gratification, rather than his divine calling. His conflicts with the Philistines were motivated by personal vengeance, not by a larger vision. And this is the tragedy of his life. And his life becomes a paradigm for what we should avoid not what we should emulate. So why is his life an example we should avoid?
OUR SIN AND PROBLEMS WILL NOT GO AWAY 1-3
Saw a harlot 1 He is back to his sex problem. The same old problem he has had in 14:1; 16:4. Old problems usually do not leave. Samson has had a problem controlling his sex life from the beginning of his life to the very end of it. Sex in marriage is a way God has given us to control our sex drive 1 Cor 7:1-2, it is good for a man not to touch a woman but because of immoralities let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband. Sex in marriage is not a gift from God but a way to keep our sinful sex drive under control. He commands us not to deprive one another sexually, lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control vs 5-6. He goes on and says the unmarried should marry if they do not have self-control sexually v 9 for it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire v 9.
Went to Gaza 2-3 Once again he travels into enemy territory making himself vulnerable to their threats vs 2-3. They surrounded the place to ambush him and kill him. With another herculean display of strength he wrenches the city gates from their foundations, carrying them on his shoulders 20 miles uphill to Hebron. This was sending a message of course, and arouses the curiosity of the Philistines who need to discover the source of his incredible strength vs 5. Until they do, they will be checked and thwarted by him. Thus, we have the scenario in place—his old problem and the Philistines new one—that brings Samson’s life to a tragic conclusion. As with Samson, so it is with most of us.
First, most problems cannot be solved. Most bad habits cannot be removed. Most sinful tendencies will always be sinful tendencies. Don’t expect these to go away. The most difficult problems, habits and sins, will be the ones that have remained with you along time.
Second, learn to go to war with your sin and Satan’s world system that entices you. Neither can be erased but they can be dealt with. But do not expect them to go away or the war against them to be won—but go to war against the world system’s influence in your life with total victory in mind.
Third, to effectively deal with these begins by realizing they cannot be eliminated. You can have success in dealing with them but you cannot eliminate them from your life. Flee immorality; pray without ceasing; walk in the Spirit; and give no occasion to the flesh; are just a few of the tools we have to manage and deal with our problems, habits, and sins. But it will be a war of a lifetime.
OUR MORAL WEAKNESSES WILL CONSTANTLY FACE PRESSURE 4-19
Delilah 4 Now he finds another woman in the Sorek valley—Philistine territory again. And everything begins to unravel for Samson. What has been foreshadowed by Samson’s cavalier commitment to his Nazarite calling, culminates in the Delilah affair—namely, his physical and sexual gratification as being more important than anything else, even his Nazarite status and the call of God in his life. This is such a controlling force in his life that even in the end of his life Samson still does not understand his role as Israel’s deliverer. Motivated by personal vengeance he has no larger vision of his life.
Entice 5-19 The Philistines strike a deal with Delilah vs 5 to entice Samson. It reminds me of the deal struck with Judas to betray Christ. It took Delilah four tries to get to the truth vs 6; 10; and 13. Samson lied to her the first three times. Then vs 16 Samson finally tells her the truth about his strength and hair. You might ask, why didn’t he leave her? Answer: he was being gratified sexually with her and that became more significant to him than the sanctity of his vow with God. His long hair was the distinguishing feature that marked him out as a special servant of God. When he told Delilah the secret of his success, he did more than violate a rule of a Nazarite vow; he rejected his role as God’s servant giving priority to his physical gratification rather than his divine calling vs 17. Satan will always go after your moral weaknesses. He has set up the entire world system to work you over that way. That is why so much of the world system is enticing to us. Satan’s system worked over Samson and he caved in. Ask yourself what it would take for you to leave the path of discipleship. Would it be sexual gratification? Would it be personal ambition? Would it be financial security? Would it be a bad marriage? Would it be disease of physical suffering? Would it be bad parents or rebellious teenagers? If there is anything that would get you to leave the path of discipleship, no matter what it is, you will experience the pressure to do so at the point of your moral weakness—and you will be an accident waiting to happen. For you and Samson, James words say it all, But each one is tempted (by evil) when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death 1:14-15. And we read that his strength left him vs 20!!!
WE BELIEVE WE CAN SIN AND IT WILL NOT AFFECT US 20-31
I will go out 20-22 The saddest statement in the story is he did not know the Lord had departed from him v 20. His hair was cut, he was bound, eyes gouged, and he grinds grain like an animal. This cavalier commitment to God’s will over time bring you to the place where you believe you can sin and it will not have any effect on you. We think God won’t leave and we do not know when He is no longer using us. In 15:18 Samson gave God credit and here Samson thinks he gets credit.
God’s strength 23-31 The Philistines make a crucial mistake vs. 22 and at the feast of Dagon—a god of their imagination in spite of evidence of God of Israel—Samson realizes his strength comes not from his hair but God. Yet God did not renew his strength until conditions were restored—his long hair. So don’t ask God to deliver you from the consequences of your sin until you reverse your sinful situation. He wants to die with the Philistines and God grants that request vs 30. He did not commit suicide but gave his life in the destruction of the enemy. Notice to the very end he never departed from the course of revenge.
1. Ask God to deliver you from yourself. You will be your own worst enemy because you still have a sinful nature. Take your sins seriously and admit them, confess them, and repent of them.
2. Depending upon God even in a desperate way is true faith—Samson was weak not useless—and Heb 11:32, 34 mentions Samson as one of those who from weakness was made strong.