Last week we began to look at the life of Samson. He is one of those Bible characters that we think we know all about. But when we take a close look we can learn many things that will help us in our lives. Tonight we want to learn how to avoid making bad decisions.
One of the things that differentiates a person who is a good steward of their time from those who waste their time is the matter of making godly decisions. That starts with the regular decisions of everyday life. The more biblical we are in making daily decisions, the less time we're going to waste.
Building on those habits, the Lord occasionally puts us in a place where we're called upon to make a decision that could literally impact the course of our lives. One where the right choice could lead to unparalleled opportunity to please Christ, and the wrong one could lead to waste and destruction. Now, those kinds of decisions don't come along every day, but they do come along. And when we are in the habit of pleasing God in the daily regular decisions we make; we are in a much better position to make the right choice when the major ones come along.
If we want to avoid wasting our lives, as Samson did, we must be committed to making careful, wise decisions. We need to develop good habits when it comes to making choices in our lives, because every choice comes with a set of consequences.
Read: Judges 14:1-3
When we read these verses, we are amazed. As we saw last week, Samson had godly parents, He was aware of the tragic history of his nation and it's endless cycle of sin, and he was certainly aware that the Spirit of God was working in and through his life.
I. Was His Sin Excused By God?
A. Before we address these first three verses, we need to consider v4.
Jg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
B. Some have interpreted this as God's stamp of approval upon Samson's decisions.
1. However, I don't think it is.
2. Samson could have chosen to do right…
3. But he didn't.
4. We must not assume that God approved of his choices.
C. God is Sovereign.
1. That means He will accomplish His purposes.
2. If we don't let Him accomplish His purposes through a life that is submitted to His will…
3. He may choose to accomplish His purposes by showing others the great hardship that comes to a person who doesn't submit to His will.
4. Either way, God's purposes are going to be accomplished.
5. The question isn't "Is the Lord going to get His work done?"
6. It is, "What kind of instrument am I going to be in His hand?"
7. We must never assume that God excuses bad decisions!
II. How To Make A Bad Decision. v1-3
A. Samson Went To The Wrong Place v1a
1. Samson had no business going to Timnath to look at the daughters of the Philistines.
2. Timnath was only a few miles away from where Samson and his parents lived
3. It would have been an easy walk, but it was enemy territory.
4. At this time cruel, wicked, idolatrous Philistines occupied this city.
5. These were the very people from whom Samson was supposed to be delivering the Children of Israel.
6. If we want to avoid wasting our life by making wise decisions, then there are certain places we just ought not to be.
Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
7. If we want to avoid making bad decisions, we should avoid the wrong places, but we ought to embrace right places.
Ps 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
8. That means we should stay in the Word of God, and around those who will encourage us to make godly decisions. (ie. Church, S/S, godly Christians)
B. Samson Gave In to The Lust Of His Eyes v1b-2
1. There's no question about what attracted Samson to this woman…it was her looks.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
2. Does that mean that it is wrong to look at a beautiful woman? Or beautiful things? NO!
3. However, if we look at someone or something and it compromises my relationship with Christ or the Truth of Scripture…then it is wrong!
4. That is the 'lust of the eyes'…Eve saw, coveted, and took of the fruit that God had forbidden.
5. It continues on in the lives of Christians day in and day out!
a. How many folks have violated God's principles of stewardship because they gave in to the lust of the eyes?
b. How many families have been destroyed because a husband or a wife gave in to the lust of the eyes?
6. Bad decisions are made when we give in to the lust of the eyes!
C. He Scorned The Counsel Of Others v3
1. Samson is going against all the godly counsel in the world in these verses.
a. He's doing something that was strictly forbidden in the Scripture!
De. 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
b. Why not? There can be no spiritual unity in such a marriage…you can't pray together…you won't worship together…you won't serve God together…you won't rear your children with godly examples and principles.
c. But….I know so and so who married an unsaved person and that person accepted Christ.
d. That is only the grace of God, for every story of one I could tell you of ten others whose families suffered greatly because of it!
e. You simply cannot violate the Word of God and expect God to bless your life!
2. Samson wouldn't listen to his parents' godly counsel in this matter.
3. He had a strong body, but he was a weakling spiritually speaking!
Pr 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise
Pr 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
Pr 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
We don't have to commit every mistake in order to learn, we can learn from others'. Let's learn from Samson's life tonight. Determine tonight that you will begin making wise choices in your life. The wisest of all is to come to Christ in faith. For the believer it is to walk with God daily in obedience to His Word. Will you come tonight as we prepare our hearts for the invitation?