Week 9 of Judges – Samson’s Willful Disobedience

Judges 14:8-9 – Samson’s Willful Disobedience

And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.

Samson was careless! He had already walked through a vineyard yesterday and killed a lion, and now he is on his way back, and he sees the same lion again (apparently, he was back in the vineyard). Some bees had made a home in the carcass, and Samson used this as a chance to take a bite of the honey in there! Now he is intentionally touching a dead body and intentionally and willfully disobeying his Nazarite vow. His disobedience that seemed innocent enough (killing the lion to protect himself) later lead to his willful disobedience (reaching inside a dead lion for honey).

The application for Christians today is clear from the passage. Sometimes our disobedience to God is something that we look at and think, “Oh, it’s not that bad” or “It’s just a little sin”; we think of them as “little things”. James 2:10 tells us that “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” It is important that we are obedient to God in the little things as well as the big things. There isn’t a sin small enough to make it “okay”, and we need to be careful that we are not disobedient towards God’s Word. Maybe it’s a bad habit we have, an anger problem, or how we treat other people. Whatever it is, it has no place in the life of a Christian.

The nice thing is, the Bible also tells us that “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If there’s something little in your life, do not let it grow!! Get it right with God ASAP!

Life Step: Think about it…

What kind of “little things” do we let creep into our lives and cause us to disobey God?

What should we do about the “little things” in our lives?

Week 9 of Judges – Let the Trouble Begin

Judges 14:1-7 – Let the Trouble Begin

1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.

And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

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.

Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.

And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

Here we see the beginning of Samson’s problems. First, I need to point out that he was walking through a vineyard (he cannot eat things off vines, so what was he doing there?) and then he killed a lion (and then was touching a dead body). Although both of these seem like innocent scenarios, we will see that they will lead to more and more problems. Samson, however, also directly disobeyed God. In Deuteronomy 7:3, God forbade the Jews to marry non Jews so that the Jews would keep on following God. (Isn’t it interesting that if you are in a relationship with someone who does not follow God, then and now, it will distract you from God? Some things never change!) Samson wanted so badly to marry a Philistine woman. However, it was all part of God’s plan, although Samson was wrong in doing it, because God would make sure Samson would go against the Philistines in battle (whether Samson planned it or not!)

As we will see in the days to come, Samson’s indiscretions will lead to many problems in his life and cause him to not serve God to his full potential. Psalm 78:41 says that the Jews “turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” We can do the same thing. God has given us so much potential, however we can, by our own actions, limit God and not let Him use us to our full potential. With Samson, it will be his relationships that get him in trouble. With us, it could be friends, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a job, a car, pride, our fears, a sin that no one knows about, or anything, really! Here is the key, though: make sure we put nothing before God and that we are yielding ourselves to Him to let Him use us!

Life Step: Think about it…

In what ways do we “hinder” God from using us?

What kind of things do we tend to put before God?

How can we make sure that we can stay focused on God?

Week 9 of Judges – Every Advantage

Judges 13:24, 25 – Every Advantage 

24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

As we round off chapter 13, we see that this chapter has been all about the advantages that Sampson had to do something great for the Lord. We saw that God had set him apart, that God had given him Godly parents, and now we see that, even while he was young, God’s spirit was already working on Sampson. This is a big deal because, unlike today, back then the spirit did not come to everyone. Today, when somebody becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of the believer. However, God did not do it that way back then. So the fact that Samson had the Spirit working on his life was a big deal, and an advantage for whatever God was preparing him to do.

Samson had every advantage when it came to doing something great for the Lord. Today, God has given us all kinds of advantages to do something great for him! It you are saved, you already have the Holy Spirit working inside of you. Also, God has also put you in a specific place to accomplish whatever He needs you too. Whether that be at your school (once school starts back up), your church, in your home, at your job, or just hanging out with your friends, God has a plan your you there. God does not do accidents. Look for ways that he can work through you and do not be afraid to take them.

Life Step: Think about it…

What kind of advantages has God given you to serve Him?

Where does God have you right now that He can use you?

Week 9 of Judges – A Godly Influence

Judges 13:6-23 – A Godly Influence 

Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:

But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.

And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.

10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.

11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.

12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?

13 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.

14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.

15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.

16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of theLord.

17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?

18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.

20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.

21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

Now the Bible gives us an interesting glimpse into Samson’s heritage: His Godly parents! As we will see later, Samson did not follow their example, but he had a wonderful models of Godly people in His life! We see here that both of his parents were very attentive and willing to listen to what the Lord was saying. His father was even willing to offer up a sacrifice to the Lord on the spot! What a beautiful example of Godliness and trust between two people!

For us as Christians, we see the great example that Samson had in his life. If you are a parent, this should be an encouragement to give your children the example of parents who are willing to listen and obey the Lord without hesitation. If you are not a parent, which most of us who read this are not, be thankful if you had that kind of example in your life. Also, whether you had or did not have that kind of example in your life, you can start making decisions now to be that kind of example. Start being the kind of person you would want to influence you. Start that now!

Life Step: Think about it…

What kind of example did Samson have in his parents?

What can we do now to become that kind of example to people now and in our future?