Last week in our study of the life of Samson, we considered the tragedy of failing to learn how to handle temptation. We saw that temptation will blind to the danger and power of sin in our lives. Also, we saw how temptation blinds us to reality of what sin will do, and the fact that God will always judge sin!
Tonight we want to continue looking at the sad and tragic life of Samson. The lesson for us this evening is to learn how to have victory over sin in our lives. Let's begin by looking at our passage.
Jg 16:4 "And it came to pass afterward…"
Jg 16:4-5 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
Jg 16:6-7 "And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
Jg 16:8-9 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
Jg 16:10-12 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
Jg 16:13-14 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
Tonight we want to consider some principles from this wasted life concerning how to have victory over sin. Remember, at this point in his life Samson can be nothing more than a negative example from whom we can learn. He certainly isn't the godly example that the Lord had desired that he be for his people.
I. Avoid Anyone or Anything That Would Turn Our Heart Away From Following the Lord.
A. Delilah wasn't the first!
1. He went after the woman of Timnath.
2. Next he goes into the harlot at Gaza
3. Now he is involved with Delilah from the valley of Sorek
B. Look what these women did to Samson.
1. The first woman married his best man!
2. The second woman was a harlot!
3. Delilah was a deceiver for hire!
4. Not one of these women drew Samson closer to God!
5. He went farther and farther down the path to ruin.
6. Consider the example of Solomon.
1Ki 11:1-2 "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love."
C. What about us?
1. Remember, our study of this tragic life is not so we can sit back and shake our heads at his foolishness.
2. We are studying Samson with the goal of learning from his mistakes.
3. Is there someone in our lives tonight that are turning us away from the Lord?
4. We need to break those relationships.
5. We need to replace them with people who will encourage us in our walk with God.
6. Example: When I first was saved…I made a choice to do right…that meant I couldn't be around the same crowd anymore.
7. When my sons were considering marriage, my advice concerning a wife was more than just whether or not they could make gravy!
a. First, were they a Christian? (Forget about evangelistic dating)
b. Second, did they have a heart to serve God? (You see not every Christian does)
c. Third, did they love them? (Committed to them and them alone)
8. Is there anyone or anything that is turning our hearts against God?
9. If we want victory over sin, we must avoid that at all costs!
II. Avoid Adopting A Flippant Attitude Toward Sin.
A. To Samson, this whole scenario is like a big game.
1. He didn't think twice about lying to the woman he loved.
2. After all, he was just playing around!
3. We must be careful about our attitude toward sin!
B. The Christian life is a life of joy!
1. I have always believed that God has a sense of humor.
2. We are created in His image, and we love to laugh and have fun.
3. But there are some things that we should never joke about.
4. Samson thought playing with Delilah was a game.
5. It turned out to be Russian roulette, and he bought the bullet.
Note: Proverbs 6:23-29
6. These verses make it crystal clear, we cannot play around with sin and not get burned!
7. How do we have victory over sin?
III. Recognize That Temptation Comes In Attractive Packages
A. Madison Avenue advertisers know how to sell to us don't they?
1. They wrap up a common item in a special package, usually saying 'New and Improved' and we go for it.
2. This week, walk into any mall or toy department and just look at the packaging.
3. The pictures on the outside lead us to believe that this is such a great toy or item, that we must have it!
4. I did something terribly stressful to my grandson the other day…we went to several stores to look at the toys so I could compile a list of what he would like for Christmas!
5. We went to a few places, but when we got to Wal-Mart, he nearly had a meltdown!
B. Would you agree with me tonight, that our adversary the devil is no dummy?
1. Satan is not omniscient, but he is a spirit being.
2. As such he cannot get inside of us… "…Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." (1John 4:4b)
3. But he and his host can observe the way we sin, and he's clever enough to line up his temptation in a way that fits our weaknesses.
C. For Samson, he wrapped his temptation in a very attractive package.
1. He didn't say, "Samson, this woman is going to ruin your life."
2. He didn't tell him, "She's going to wear you down and wear you down and then she's going to have her friend put your eyes out."
3. He didn't say, "Getting involved with this woman is going to wreck your life!"
4. No, his temptation came in the "package of beautiful Delilah"
5. The passage doesn't tell us everything about this woman, but it's not hard to imagine based on the way Samson made decisions about women before.
a. Beautiful Delilah
b. Sweet smelling Delilah
c. Seductive Delilah
d. So desirable Delilah
e. I've got to have her Delilah
The lesson to learn tonight is to have victory over sin in our lives. There are just a few simple principles here that we have considered, but if only Samson had been alert to these…perhaps the story would have a completely different ending.
It is not too late for us to learn, maybe there have been failures in our lives. We may even be on the road to ruin, but we can always turn around! As long as we have breath we can cry out to God in repentance and faith and He will deliver us!
Samson wasn't the first person to yield to temptation, and he certainly wasn't the last! But his life stands as a stark reminder of why we should strive for victory over sin in our lives. Consider these thoughts again tonight: is there someone or something that is turning our heart from following the Lord? Have we adopted a flippant attitude toward sin? Do we recognize that Satan will always send temptation our way packaged attractively?