It has been several weeks since we have looked at the life of Samson, so we need to review just a bit. Samson illustrates for us the tragedy of a wasted life. In our first lesson we saw the beginning of his downward spiral.
Samson failed to…
Samson made bad decisions…
Samson missed the importance of God's blessings…
Tonight we will continue our look at Samson's life and seek to learn from his mistakes and failures. Someone said, "We don't have to make all the mistakes ourselves, we can learn from others!" That is our purpose for this study. God has placed within the pages of the Word of God many characters and events from which He desires that we learn.
This evening we want to learn the lesson of what to look for in our companions or friends. Peer pressure is certainly a very real issue for most of us. It isn't just our teens that must deal with this. Those we choose to surround ourselves with impact us either negatively or positively. So what makes for a good companion?
I. Good Companions Keep Their Word v15-17
A. Samson surrounded himself with a bunch of people who were liars
1. They were people who made promises very quickly -- and then when it became hard to keep the promise -- they just broke them.
2. There isn't any integrity in the individuals in this passage.
3. Both the men and the wife in this passage made agreements, and both broke them.
B. The men didn't have to agree to this riddle, and the bet that went along with it.
1. But at the end of verse 13 - that's exactly what they did.
2. They made an agreement
3. They made a promise
4. "Put forth your riddle", they said.
C. Note: Samson's wife was dishonest as well.
1. We don't know everything about how weddings in that day were conducted…
2. But surely her marriage to Samson would include some level of commitment to fidelity and faithfulness.
3. So everybody in the text made promises, and everybody broke them.
D. The story turns ugly fast
1. When these men couldn't figure out the riddle,
2. And it looked like they might lose these 30 expensive garments
3. They went right to Samson's new wife and told her to entice her own husband, and get the answer for them.
4. They threatened to kill her and her family and burn their house down if she didn't get the answer.
5. She begged and cried until he finally gave in and told her.
6. She, in turn, revealed the answer to Samson's 'so called' friends.
II. Good Companions Draw You Closer to God. v18-20
A. Consider the rest of this story.
1. Samson was under tremendous pressure.
2. His fiancé should have been honest with him, but she chose to manipulate him instead.
3. Good companions do not manipulate their friends…
4. Did you see what she did? 'You don't love me!'
5. Folks, listen to me this evening…if you haven't heard this yet…you probably will.
6. Especially the young people…these are not the words of a good companion…these are words of manipulation!
7. Note what Paul had to say about real love.
1Co 13:5 "Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;"
B. Samson lost his temper and his prospective bride.
1. As soon as the 'friends' spoke to him the answer to the riddle…he realized that he had been manipulated!
2. Unfortunately, Samson didn't learn from this experience…it would happen again with a woman named Delilah.
3. In his frustration and anger, Samson killed thirty men and stripped them of their garments to pay off the bet.
4. He went home angry, and without his wife…she was given to one of his 'friends'.
C. The application for us tonight.
1. Samson brought a bunch of people around his life that did not and would not keep their word.
2. The point is obvious -- good companions are the kind of people you can trust.
3. That is the kind of people you want to be your friends.
4. Do your friends meet that qualification?
5. Do they love God enough that they are people who are committed to being honest?
6. Why couldn't Samson see this? Because that's what he was becoming!
a. He failed to keep his commitment to God.
b. He chose to be dishonest with his parents.
c. He failed to recognize the kind of people he was choosing to surround himself.
What kind of friends have we chosen?
1. Do they encourage you to love God and serve Him or do they make it harder?
2. Note the Proverb
Pr 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
3. We need to surround ourselves with those who are godly!
What kind of friend are we to others?
1. Do we exert positive spiritual pressure on others, or negative spiritual pressure?
2. There are some people that every time you're around them, you're just stimulated to be more pleasing to Christ.
Ps 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts
How do we find friends like that?
1. That is why the local church is so important in the lives of believers!
2. We need to get involved in serving the Lord.
3. We need to be faithful in our SS class and in other ministries of the church.
4. Develop friendships with those around us that will strengthen our walk with God.
The greatest friend and companion we can make is Jesus!
Pr 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.