When we look at the Bible and the various accounts we find recorded there, we need to look at them with the understanding that God placed them there for our benefit. Not just to give us historical information, but so we might learn from their experiences. Paul said, "…they are written for our admonition…" Over the last several Sunday evenings we have been looking at the life of Samson. His is one of the saddest stories in the entire Bible. Sad because he had such potential, and could have been so greatly used of God. But he wasted his life!
How Does a Person avoid wasting their life?
A. Remember how the last chapter ended?
1. Samson had been deceived by his wife (fiancé).
2. He angrily had called her a 'heifer'.
3. After killing 30 men and stealing their garments to pay off the bet…
4. He stomped home to his mama.
5. Now that is a godly response isn't it?
B. The response of his future father-in-law to Samson's departure.
1. Seeing the way things had ended with Samson and his daughter…
2. He gave his daughter to be married to one of Samson's drinking buddies.
3. You see the marriage wasn't completed… Samson left before it was consummated.
4. This was a great disgrace to the bride … similar to the groom not showing up for the wedding today.
C. Samson wants to make up with her.
1. Remember this is the woman that he told his mother and father that he must have!
2. Apparently the florist was closed, so he did the next best thing…he took her a baby goat.
3. He thought that would make up for his outburst of anger…men, learn a lesson here.
4. You don't make it right with your wife by buying her flowers, chocolates, or jewelry!
5. Remember, we are to learn from this account!
D. The father-in-law's response to Samson's return.
1. He is amazed that Samson has returned.
2. He was convinced that Samson wanted nothing more to do with his daughter, because of how she had deceived him.
3. He offers a younger daughter…Samson isn't interested…he is incensed!
II. Samson Chooses to Respond with Vengeance.
A. Samson never learned how to respond to wrongs.
1. There's no question, at least in his mind, that he had been wronged.
2. But he never learned how to use that as an opportunity to please God.
3. He never learned to use that as an opportunity to evaluate the path that he was on.
4. He never used it as an opportunity to grow.
5. Now, is Samson the only person who struggles with seeking revenge?
6. Is he the only one who wants to get even when he's wronged?
7. Is he the only one who thinks..."I'll get them back?" Probably not!
B. What's wrong with seeking vengeance when we have been wronged?
1. The primary thing that is wrong is that it violates the Scriptures.
De 32:35a "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence…"
Ro 12:19b "…Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
2. Vengeance is wrong… it places our desire over God's purpose.
a. There is no question that God had definite reasons to allow this event to occur in Samson's life.
b. We know that God always has a reason for what He allows to come into a person's life.
Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
c. God doesn't tell us specifically what those reasons were…
d. But we can make some pretty educated guesses as to why God allowed this Philistine woman to be given to another man.
e. Does anything come to your mind?
1) Perhaps to prevent Samson from making a wicked marriage choice.
2) Perhaps it was to cause him to see the wickedness of Philistines "up close and personal."
a) These Philistines were brutal.
b) There was a reason why God wanted people like this driven out of the Promised Land.
c) So the Lord raised up judges who were supposed to help the people see their sinfulness, they were supposed to organize the people to do what God wanted them to do, and they were to be the deliverers of God's people.
d) When we think about Samson's God-given purpose it is so sad!
1] Instead of fighting the enemy, he was lusting after them
2] Instead of fighting the enemy, he was making friends with them
3] Instead of fighting them, he was telling them jokes and riddles
3) Perhaps this event could have caused Samson to rise up and accomplish the work God called him to do.
4) But Samson never stopped long enough to consider God's purposes...
5) Because he was a man who was driven by his selfish desires.
3. Vengeance is wrong… it causes us to justify sin.
a. Note Samson's justification.
b. In verse 3, "…Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines…"
c. In verse 7, "…Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you…"
d. He knew right from wrong…he was simply trying to justify his sin.
1) When he got the honey from the lion did he know that was wrong? (Yes)
2) How do we know that he knew it was wrong? (because he didn't tell his parents)
3) When he killed those 30 men to get their garments did he know it was wrong? (Yes).
4) How do we know that he knew it was wrong? (because in v3 he says "NOW is shall be more blameless…" which tells us he knew he wasn't blameless before)
5) Be careful of the phrase, "But I have a right to …"
6) Vengeance will cause us to try to justify our sin!
4. Vengeance is wrong… it causes us to act like unbelievers.
a. Samson behaved no better than the cruel and wicked Philistines.
b. You can't tell any difference between him and the people around him who didn't know God.
c. Samson was supposed to be a judge of Israel…was supposed to represent the Most High God!
d. He was supposed to be leading his people in the ways of the Lord
e. He was supposed to be the deliverer
5. Vengeance is wrong…it causes us to distort the image of Christ.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
a. We can't lead anybody in the way of salvation if we're not letting the way of salvation affect our life.
b. This is one area of life where a believer in Jesus Christ can let their faith shine.
c. Here's where if we choose to be different, we can really stand out in a crowd.
d. What a testimony to the love of God in our lives…
Lu 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Will we learn this lesson tonight? Don't waste your life on selfish desires. Let's learn to respond properly when we are wronged by another.
Ro 12:19b "…Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."