Most of us are conscious of the cost of items. At this time of year we strain our budgets to make sure that we have gifts for our children and grandchildren. We compare the prices when we but gasoline, groceries, and other items. So the concept of cost consideration is not something that is foreign to us, but it is something we do all of the time…perhaps without even thinking about it.
It isn't so bad now, but when we would go out to a restaurant for a meal, I could almost guarantee what item Ben would order…it would be whatever was the most expensive item on the menu. He did this because to him, if it cost the most…it must be the best item. We still joke about that when we go out for a meal. Usually, even if we are not paying for an item ourselves, we still consider the cost.
Lu 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Of course, considering the cost doesn't just apply to building projects or menu items. We need to consider the cost of our actions. If I go a particular direction…if I make a certain decision…what will that cost? How will that impact my life? How will it impact the life of others around me? What will it cost? Will it cost my testimony? Will it cost my influence and effectiveness? Will it cost my life?
In our study of the life of Samson, we have discovered that he was more interested in the immediate fulfillment and less concerned about the ultimate cost of his actions. Our goal in this study has been to learn some important lessons. Tonight the lesson to learn is to simply consider the cost of our actions!
Read: Judges 16:15-21
I. The Real Tragedy
A. Not in what Delilah did…
1. Although this was heartbreaking.
2. Delilah pressed him until he finally told her what was the secret of his strength.
3. Note: It wasn't the length of his hair…it was the power of God upon his life.
4. His hair length simply was a token of God's call upon his life. ie. the Nazarite vow
5. The woman he loved, sold him out.
6. Delilah drugged him in some way and then called for a man to come shave his head.
B. Not in what the Philistines did…
1. Although this was horrifying.
2. The Philistines conquered the mighty Samson.
3. For all of his boastful acts, and for all of his antagonistic behavior toward them…
4. They now had the upper hand.
5. They took him by force, literally bored out his eyes!
6. They put him in chains…
7. They harnessed him, like a wild beast, to the grinding wheel.
C. The real tragedy is what Samson did to himself!
1. He set himself up for his own fall.
2. He was convinced that the Philistines could do nothing to him!
3. He presumed that God would always be with him in strength.
4. But verse 20 says it all.
5. "…He wist not that the Lord had departed from him."
6. But really, who left? Samson had been heading down this road for a long time.
II. The High Cost of Sin: Blinds, Binds, and Grinds
A. Sin Blinds
1. Samson was oblivious to what was happening in his life.
2. Note: ignorance is no excuse!
3. He had allowed himself to be blinded to the kind people with whom he surrounded himself.
4. Ever try to convince someone that they are hanging around with the wrong crowd? They look at you like you are crazy!
5. The previous verses are crying out to Samson to get out…Delilah isn't the one for you!
6. She is manipulative…she doesn't really love you…she is in this relationship for only what she can get out of it…run Samson run!
7. But he couldn't see it…because his previous sinful behavior went unchecked and now he was caught in the web of his own sin!
8. He was blind way before the Philistines gouged out his eyes!
B. Sin Binds
1. There are always consequences to our sin.
2. We have talked about this before, but seldom do we find such a vivid picture as with the life of Samson.
3. Here he is now, pitiful isn't he?
4. Blind and bound…helpless not because God failed him…but because he failed God!
5. The Word of God tells us that there is a point where if we are so determined to go our own way…so determined to follow after sin…God will let us go!
Ro 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
6. James warns us of the destructive progression of sin in the life of a believer.
Jas 1:14-15 "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
C. Sin Grinds.
1. The way of sin is not easy!
2. Oh, it may appear to be fun and exciting, but it isn't easy at all.
3. As a matter of fact, the Bible declares that the way of a transgressor is hard! (Pr. 13:15)
4. Common saying when referring to someone who has lived a life of sin "Look like they have been rode hard and put away wet!"
5. It simply means that sin will take a toll on an individual's life!
6. Don't think for a moment that we can somehow escape the consequences of sin in our lives!
7. Sin blinds…binds…and grinds!
III. The Lesson:
A. Consider the cost.
1. The Word of God instructs us to 'walk circumspectly'.
2. That means we must look around us and pay attention as we walk with Him.
3. The failure of many believers is that we just don't pay close enough attention to how we walk in this world.
4. We must consider (literally be perceptive) pay attention and think about what our actions will cost
B. Choose to walk with God
1. Life is filled with choices.
2. Samson is an example of one who made his choices based on what he wanted w/o considering what God would want.
3. The Lord will not force us to follow Him, nor will He force us to live for Him…
4. The choice is ours!
5. Choose to live for Him!
C. Enjoy His blessings not His judgment
1. Although we have been born again, we still have the capacity to sin.
2. Until we get to heaven, and are in our transformed bodies…we must deal with the temptations and trials of this life.
3. But the good news is that we have the Spirit of God within us to lead us and guide us into all truth.
4. However, if we choose to reject God's leading and go our own way…we will suffer the consequences of that choice.
5. The lesson we should be learning tonight is that it is far better for us to consider the cost and make the right choices rather than to suffer the judgment of God!
Ga 6:7-8 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."