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ALL THE SIGNS POINT TO DANGER
Intro: Everywhere you go in life there are warning signs. There are signs along the roadway that point to dangers that lie ahead. Only a fool ignores those signs. To do so can lead to injury or death.
There are warning signs that our bodies give us from time to time. Pain, tenderness and fatigue are all indications that there are problems in the body. To ignore those signs can lead to serious illness or death.
There are warning signs that our minds send out when there is a problem. Feelings of sadness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of anxiety and other unwarranted feelings are sign that there may be depression. To ignore those warning signs can lead to far worse mental issues.
Then, there are spiritual warning signs. There are times when we slack up in our commitment to the Lord. We donít attend church regularly, we donít pray and we donít give as we should. There are times when we harbor bitterness and unforgiveness. We hold onto hurts and have hard feelings toward others. There are times when we flirt with sin. We mess around in areas where we have no business being. When we ignore these warning signs, and there are many more we could mention, we are headed for spiritual shipwreck.
In our text, Samson manifests all the signs of a man who is headed for trouble in his life. Yet, he ignored every one of those signs and traveled ever farther down a road that would lead to dishonor, defeat and death. As Samson took these first steps down the road to ruin, he had no idea where his path would ultimately lead him. He had no idea how bad things would be at the end of the way. Had he heeded the signs, Samson could have avoided many of the problems he faced later in life.
I want us to notice the signs that should have stopped Samson in his tracks and sent him in a new direction. As we look at these signs, I want you to know that you can see the signs that point to danger ahead. By heeding the signs that should have served to warn Samson, we can see the signs that signal danger in our own lives. I want to point out these signs and preach on All The Signs Point To Danger.
I. SAMSONíS DESIRES
(Ill. The desires that gripped Samsonís heart, and that motivated his life, should have been warning flags that problems were just around the corner.)
A. v. 1-3 He Desires A Woman – He tells his parents that he has been to Timnath. Timnath was a village that belonged to the tribe of Dan. Apparently, it was occupied by the Philistines. On his trip to Timnath, Samson ďsawĒ a Philistine woman. She captured his eye, and he tells his parents to get her for him to be his wife.
The word ďherĒ in verses 2 and 3 is an emphatic personal pronoun. It has the idea that his parents are to ďget her and no one else but her.Ē His mind is made up and he will not consider marrying any other woman.
(Ill. It is worth noting here that Samsonís life can be summed up in the events surrounding three women. Those women were ďthe woman of TimnathĒ, Jud. 14:1-4; ďthe harlot of GathĒ, Jud. 16:1-3; and ďDelilahĒ, Jud. 16:4-20.
If these women had not been a part of Samsonís life, we would know nothing about him but the circumstances surrounding his birth, Jud. 13:24-25. It is not a stretch to say that Judges chapter 14, 15, and 16 would be eliminated from the Bible if we removed all the events having to do with those three women. Those three ungodly women limited Samsonís service to the Lord, and they shortened his life.
Samson may have been strong physically, but he was weak spiritually. He had no self-control. True strength is not measured in how much you can lift. True strength is measured in how well you can control your actions, your attitudes and your appetites. ďHe that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city,Ē Pro. 16:32.)
(Ill. It would do us well to remember that our problems in the spiritual realm begin in the same place that Samsonís problems began. They begin within our own hearts as we seek to fulfill our own selfish, sinful desires. Ill. ďBut every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed,Ē James 1:14.
The problem of sin is an internal problem. It doesnít begin with someone else. It doesnít even begin with the devil. Our sin problem begins with us, and with our own twisted, depraved desires.
This should be a warning sign to us. When we begin to long for things that God forbids, it is a sign that we are headed for trouble. The desire to gratify the lusts of the flesh is a sign that we are headed for danger down the road.)
B. v. 1-3 He Desired His Own Way – There are two statements made by Samson that stand out. These two statements give us a glimpse into his heart. He says ďget her for meĒ and ďshe pleased me wellĒ. Samsonís focus is on what he thinks, feels and wants. Notice that he went to Timnath and ďsaw a womanĒ. When he saw her, he wanted her, and nothing would prevent him from having her. Not the objections of his parents; not what anyone else thought about the issue; not what was in the best interest of the nation of Israel; and not even what God said would stop Samson from having his own way in this matter.
It was against Godís will for an Israelite to marry a Philistine, Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3; Josh. 23:12. He only cared about what made him happy, and he lived his life to please himself.
Desires that stood in opposition to the will of God should have been a warning flag to Samson. After all, he was to live out his entire life ďa Nazarite to GodĒ, Jud. 13:7. That is, we was to be ďseparated unto the LordĒ for his entire lifetime. His life was not his to do with as he pleased. His life was the Lordís to use and God alone saw fit.
(Ill. There is an application to us in the verses as well. When the Lord saved us, He redeemed us ďunto HimselfĒ. He purchased us, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. We are His possession, Titus 2:14. That verses says, ďWho gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.Ē The word ďpeculiarĒ does not mean weird or strange. It refers to ďthat which is one's own, belonging to one's possessions; a people selected by God from the other nations for his own possession.Ē
All this simply means that God owns us. He owns us by right of creation, and He owns us by right of redemption. As a result, we should desire His will above our own. When we donít, it is a clear warning sign that we are headed for trouble.)
(Ill. There is a word in the New Testament that sums up Samsonís attitude, along with the attitudes of many in the modern church. It is the word ďlasciviousnessĒ. This word speaks of ďunbridled lust; shamelessnessĒ. It speaks of an attitude that says, ďI will do as I please and I donít care what anyone thinks about or says about it.Ē It is a ďme firstĒ attitude. It is a mindset that says, ďAll that matters to me is getting my way.Ē Lasciviousness in a life is a warning sign. It is a sign that danger lies ahead for the person afflicted by it.)
I. Samsonís Desire
II. v. 3 SAMSONíS DISRESPECT
A. His Parentís Charge – When Samsonís parents hear what he wants to do, they immediately warn against following this course of action. They know that what Samson had planned is not the Lordís will, and they try to change his mind by encouraging him to marry a good Israelite girl.
(Ill. What they do is what any loving, caring parent would do if they saw their child about to make a serious mistake. It is exactly what Paul told parents to do in Eph. 6:4b, ďÖbring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.Ē
Parentís, your children my not appreciate it, but you have a responsibility to warn them when they are about to do something harmful in their lives. Sometimes the Lord uses parents to hold up the stop sign in front of our child.)
B. Samsonís Choice – Despite the pleas from his parents, Samson is settled in his heart. The phrase ďshe pleaseth me well,Ē literally means ďthis is right in my eyes.Ē Samson doesnít care what his parents think. He doesnít care about what God thinks. He doesnít care about whatís right or wrong. All he cares about is what he thinks, what he wants and what he feels. All he cares about is pleasing himself. So, he disrespects his parentís wishes and he disrespects God will. This should have been a warning sign to Samson.
(Ill. When there is rebellion in a heart, that rebellion will manifest itself through disrespect for others and for the things of God.
When you find yourself doing as you please with no regard for how your actions impact others, you are headed for trouble. When you could care less about what God says in His Word; when you could care less about how your actions could hurt others; when you show no regard of peopleís feelings, you are headed for trouble.
The desire to live for self; what I think, what I want; and what I feel; is a manifestation of a rebelís heart. It is a warning sign that should be heeded.
Life is bigger than you. What you do affect everyone around you. Your actions impact your family, your acquaintances and your church. Disrespect for others, their feelings and their needs, is a warning sign!)
I. Samsonís Desire
II. Samsonís Disrespect
III. v. 5-9 SAMSONíS DISOBEDIENCE
(Ill Samsonís parents relent and give in to his demands. They sacrificed their convictions to make him happy. By the way, that is never right! You should stand for what is right even if the whole world walks out on you! There are too many parents who live for nothing but to make their children happy. What about the Lord?
As they go to Timnath to see this woman, Samson apparently wanders off to himself. He is passing through a vineyard when he is attacked by a lion. He kills the lion with his bare hands, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This seems like the first of many great feats of strength, and it is. But, this event is also a window into Samsonís soul. A glimpse through that window reveals a heart that is filled with disobedience. This is another warning sign that Samson should have heeded.)
A. v. 5 The Place Of His Disobedience – Samson is attacked in a vineyard. What is a Nazarite doing in a vineyard? According to Num. 6:3-4, he could not eat anything that came from a vine. He could not drink wine. He had no business being around a vineyard. This simply reveals the disobedient nature of Samsonís heart.
Perhaps he thought he was immune to temptation. Perhaps he thought that the prohibition against the fruit of the vine was for everyone but him. Who knows what he thought, but his disobedience is revealed by his placing himself in a place where he could be tempted to break his vows to the Lord.
(Ill. The same is true with us. When we continually place ourselves in situations where we can be tempted, we are revealing the fact that we have a disobedient spirit. It is almost like we are daring temptation to come. It is almost like we are courting sin. I would remind you that God commands us to separate from sin, not court it, 2 Cor. 6:17.)
B. v. 7 The Proof Of His Disobedience – Samsonís disobedience manifested itself in his ignoring all the warning signs and in his following his own way.
(Ill. The disobedient heart always shows itself through disobedient actions. It does as it pleases without regard for God or for the consequences. When you do as you please, even though you know God is against it, it is a huge, red, flashing warning sign that you are headed for trouble, James 4:17.)
C. v. 8-9 The Power Of His Disobedience – Samson placed his Nazarite vow in jeopardy just by being near a dead body, Num. 6:6. Samson was so full of his own will and so filled with his own ways that the things of God held no power over him. Again, Samson did not care what God wanted, he only cared about what he wanted! Samson was completely under the spell of his sinful lusts.
(Ill. Such is the power of our own sinful condition, we can reach the place where we no longer care what God wants from us. We can reach the place where all that matters is what we want and how we feel. That is a dangerous place to be!)
D. v. 8-9 The Price Of His Disobedience – When Samson touched that dead lion, he violated his vow to the Lord, Num. 6:9-12. He was supposed to go to the priest and offer sacrifices. He was supposed to shave his head. He was supposed to begin again as a Nazarite, because his sin destroyed everything in his life up to that point, Num. 6:12. The price should have been forfeiture of all he had worked for.
For His Own purposes, God does not judge Samson here. We are told in verse 4 that these events were ďof the LordĒ. This does not mean that God planned the sin of Samson. It does mean that God allowed that sin to happen. It also means that God intended to use Samsonís sin to accomplish Godís will.
(Ill. That is an amazing thing, isnít it? God works exactly the same way in your life and mine. He does not make us sin, and He does not condone our sins, but he uses our sins to accomplish His own purposes in people, in the world, and in us!
Ill. God used Judahís sin with Tamar to further the line of Christ. God used Davidís sin with Bathsheba to bring Solomon into the world. He used the betrayal of Judas to get Christ to Calvary. I canít explain these things, but I can rest in the sovereignty of God and know that even our sins will not thwart His plans.)
For Samson, the price of his disobedience was that he was emboldened in his sin. When he broke his vow to God and nothing happened to him, he must have thought he got away with it. This misunderstanding of his sins caused him to travel even farther down the road to ruin.
(Ill. We donít get away with sin my friend. It may appear that you have, but you donít. There is a reckoning day! You may face the consequences of your sins in this life, Gal. 6:7. You will surely face God with them someday, Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10. Disobedience always carries a high price. When we identify a disobedient heart within, we should deal with it immediately. It is a warning sign from God that trouble is ahead.)
I. Samsonís Desire
II. Samsonís Disrespect
III. Samsonís Disobedience
IV. vv. 6, 9 SAMSONíS DECEPTION
(Ill. Honey is a carcass was not as strange as it sounds. The dry arid conditions of Palestine would often prevent the outward decay of a corpse. It would be mummified. Beesí looking for moisture, would move into the mummified remains of dead animals and build a hive there.)
A. v. 9 The Ruthlessness Of His Deception – Samson is so filled with pride, that he never considers the consequences of his actions. By eating the honey from the lion, he defiled himself. By giving it to his parents, he caused them to be defiled as well, Num. 19:11-13. He deceived his parents and caused them problems too!
(Ill. When we willfully disregard Godís will for our lives we always pull others down with us. You see it in families all the time. One member will get out of Godís will and they will pull the rest of the family away from God with them.
It is sad, but true, most of us never stop to think about the impact our decisions have on the lives of others. Wickedness in our lives always impacts the people around us. That is part of the deceptiveness of sin. It blinds our eyes to the true consequences of our actions. All we see is the pleasure, we can never see the pain.)
B. vv. 6, 9 The Reason For His Deception – Samson hid his sin because he did not want his parents to know that he had defiled himself. Had they known, they would have demanded that he fulfill the requirements of the Law of God. He hid his sins because he didnít want others to think less of him. He knew that he wasnít right with God and he probably felt a little smug and prideful that he had a secret no one knew about but him.
(Ill. Sinful men do not like to sin alone. Ill. The way of the world. The world tries its best to make sin and sinful products glamorous and appealing. In the same way, sinful people love to pull others into their wickedness. They will do this by tempting and pressuring others to join them in their sin. They do it by gossiping and turning others against the people they want to hurt. Wicked people are never content to enjoy their wickedness all alone. Misery loves company, and so do miserable sinners!
There is another issue here that needs to be mentioned. There is a perverseness in sin that makes the sinner feel superior to others because he has a secret life that others are not aware of. The sinner forgets, however, that God knows all about it!)
(Ill. One final thought from this passage is in order. The believer would do well to take inventory of the company he keeps. Ill. 1 Cor. 15:33. There is a great danger in having the wrong kind of people as close friends.
Evil people may appear to be friendly, but they are not your friends when they entice you to go places and do things that defile. Even a professing Christian, if he or she is living a worldly life, is a dangerous person to have as a close friend. They will try to pull you into their worldly activities. It helps them to quiet the cry of the conscience if they can find other Christians who are doing what they do. Perhaps that is why Paul said, ďwithdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly,Ē 2 Thes. 3:6.)
Conc: Imagine for a moment how Samsonís life would have been different if he had recognized the warning signs and turned his life toward God. Imagine now what God could do with us if we would simply recognize the warning signs that present themselves in our lives.
Can you see any warning signs in your life today? If so, will continue down the road to ruin, or will you make the necessary changes to get your life on Godís path? If you can see evil desires, open disrespect for authority, disobedience to Godís will and deception in your life, the time to change is now. It may not be too late to avoid catastrophe in your life.