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The Prison Experiences Of The Bible - Sermon #2



Intro:  One of the realities of the Christian life is the matter of chastisement.  We don’t like to think about it, but chastisement is a fact nonetheless, Heb. 12:5-13.  When chastisement comes our way, we will try to rebel against it, but the right attitude is one of humble submission and repentance, Job 5:17; Pro. 15:32. Chastisement is painful to endure, but it is absolute proof of His love for us, Pro. 3:11-12.

      When a child of God walks away from the Lord and from God’s will for his life, he can expect that God will reach out to draw him home, Rev. 3:19.  This truth is seen in these verses in the life of Samson.

      Samson was a man with great potential, but he never quite reached that level of life he was capable of living.  His name means “Distinguished and strong”, but he was anything but!  The Spirit of the Lord came upon him from time to time, but he failed to walk in the power of the Spirit day by day.

      Because of his rebellion and his sin, Samson found himself in a prison house of chastisement.  I want to take us there today so that we can see what happens to believers who stray away from the path God saved them to walk.  I want to preach for a few minutes on the thought, The Prison Of His Purifications.


  I.                              THE ROAD TO THIS PRISON

(Ill. The road to Samson’s prison was a road that never had to be traveled.  God had given him power and position in Israel, and Samson had squandered it all just to gratify the lusts of his flesh.  He wanted to live his life on his own terms and he paid a high price for his rebellion.)

A.  It Was A Road Of Disobedience – When Samson’s birth was announced, his parents were told that he was to be a Nazarite, Judges 13:1-23.  The “Law of the Nazarite” is found in Num. 6:1-21.  Basically, a Nazarite was to be a person set apart for the Lord. 1.) Nazarites were not to cut their hair.  2.) They were to refrain from drinking wine or strong drink, or from eating anything that grew upon a vine.  3.) They were to avoid all contact with dead bodies.

      We have no record of Samson cutting his own hair; Delilah took care of that for him.  We have no record that Samson ever partook of “the fruit of the vine”.  But, there is plenty of evidence that Samson violated his Nazarite vow by contact with dead bodies, Judges 14:6, 8-9.  Samson refused to keep the letter of Law and it cost him his life and his ministry.

B.  It Was A Road Of Disappointments – Just reading through the life of Samson, it becomes quickly apparent that he was a spoiled brat.  He wanted what he wanted and he wanted it right then, Judges 14:1-3.  He failed to tell his parents when he gave them honey he had taken out of the carcass of a dead lion, 14:9.  Samson enjoyed riddles, 14:12-14; 16:1-17.  He was not above carrying out some destructive mischief either, 15:3-5.

      Samson had much potential as a judge, but he failed to live up to that potential because he was so selfish and self-centered.  He was a disappointment because he never became all that he could have.

C.  It Was A Road Of Depravity – One of Samson’s main problems was a bad case of “female trouble”.  He liked the ladies and that is what did him in.  Ill. Samson married outside of the nation of Israel, Judges 14:1-3; He even sought out a harlot, Judges 16:1.

            In the end, it was his trouble with women that caused Samson to be destroyed.  His passions overcame his reason and he fell.  Samson was an incredibly strong man.  He killed 1,000 men at one time.  He carried away the gates of a city.  He overcame his captors.  He broke bonds and did many amazing thing.  But, in spite of his physical prowess, Samson was powerless against his flesh.  He was not deceived, he sinned with his eyes open!

D.  It Was A Road Of Death – Samson left the landscape of his life littered with the dead bodies of his enemies.  True, he was killing the Philistines, but most of the time, he killed not free Israel, but to promote Samson.  One time, he killed 30 men just to settle a debt, 14:19.  He left a pile of dead bodies in his wake.

E.  It Was A Road Of Disasters – Samson’s life was one disaster after another.  His parents were broken hearted.  His family was humiliated.  His wife was given to another man.  The name of God and the testimony of Israel were damaged in the eyes of the heathen.  Samson suffered what he did in the end because of how he lived his life.


(Note: I hope no one in this room is living a life like that of Samson.  If you are, and you are saved, you need to understand the danger you are in. I think we need to be reminded that low living carries a high price tag.  When we fail to live up to what God saves us to be, He will take the necessary steps to get our attention and call us back to Him.

      Some of you may see the signs of a Samson style life in your own walk.  Friend, I would recommend that you make things right with the Lord before He sends you into the prison of His purifications.)


II.                         THE REALITIES OF THIS PRISON

A.  16:4-20  It Was A Place Of Losing – Ill. The Context – Samson threw everything away to please a woman and to please himself.

1.  He Forfeited His Fellowship – v. 20-21 - With God and His people.  He fell from his position, his power and his purpose. (Note: Sin will take away everything you cherish!  It will take your innocence, your family, your future, your testimony, your power, your tender heart, etc.  Sin will rob you and leave you broken, battered and beaten, Ill. Just ask David, 2 Sam. 11-12; Psa. 51.)

2.  He Forfeited His Faculties – v. 21 - He lost his vision.  Not just his physical sight, but his spiritual sight too.  How long had Samson been blinded by his sinful condition before his eyes were destroyed, Ill. V. 20?  How long did Samson grind before his mind turned back to God?  (Note: Sin will destroy your spiritual vision.  You will lose your vision for the Lord, His house, His Word, His work, His people, lost souls, etc.)

3.  He Forfeited His Freedom – v. 21 - He was bound in his new condition. He became the object of ridicule and humiliation.  The people identified Samson's God with Samson!  Thus, they mocked Samson and they mocked the Lord because of Samson. His testimony was forfeit and he was bound in the aftermath of his sins.  (Note: The believer has wonderful liberty in the Lord Jesus.  This is not liberty to sin, but it is liberty to follow the Lord and His will for our lives.  When sin dominates our lives, it will bind us and take away the liberty He gave us.  Sin will dominate your life and hold you bondage in its iron grip.  Ill. Just ask David!)

B.  It Was A Place Of Laboring - (Ill. The prison is a place of blinding, binding and grinding!) Grinding was considered to be woman’s work, this added to Samson’s humiliation.  Here is the point; Samson was born to be a liberator.  He was raised up by God to lead the people of God out of bondage.  He was given power so that he might use his energy for the glory of the Lord.  But, here is the mighty judge of Israel, blinded, bound and grinding corn for the enemies of God.  (Note: Such is the power of sin!  It will rob you of your vitality and leave you with nothing with which to serve God.  There will be no time, no energy and no interest in the things of God.  Your life will be dominated by the grinding power of sin.)

C.  It Was A Place Of Lingering – v. 22 – Samson served in the prison house of the Philistines long enough for his hair to grow back out.  Hair grows at a rate of about 1/8” per week.  How many months did Samson spend in his darkness, bondage and humiliation?  (Note: Again, we can see the comparison to sin and its power in our lives.  When we fall into its grip, it has the power to hold far longer than we could ever have imagined. No one walks off into sin expecting to stay.  They turn aside for a moment of pleasure, and wind up wasting months and even years of their lives.  What a tragedy!)


III.                        THE RESTORATION IN THIS PRISON

A.  The Path To His Restoration - Samson called on the Lord.  This reveals that his heart had at last turned back to God after being away so long.  He called God “LORD” - This is His covenant name.  He called Him "Lord God"; this is the name “Adonai Jehovah”.  He called Him “God”; this is the name “Elohim”. Samson called on the God of the covenant, the God of grace; the God of power and the God Who saves.  He did exactly what he needed to do to find restoration for his soul.  (Note: The only door that leads out of the prison of His purifications is the door of repentance.  When we come to Him confessing our sins and casting ourselves on His mercy, He will forgive us and He will restore us, 1 John 1:9; Ill. David - Psa. 32:1-5; Psa. 51:1-12.)

B.  The Proof Of His Restoration – The fact that God answered proved that Samson had made things right with the Lord!  The fact that the last act of his life was the only selfless act of his life proved that his heart had changed.  Ill. What Samson did for Israel – Leaders, Lords and large crowds.  (Note: The saint proves he has been restored by the way he lives his life.  There will be a devotion to the things of the Lord that was lacking before. (Ill. Matt. 3:8; Gal. 5:22-24; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11.)

C.  The Pain Of His Restoration - His restoration was only partial.  He got his vengeance on the Philistines for how they had treated him, but he still died, blinded, bound and broken.  No amount of repentance could make things like they were; nor could it bring back the things that were lost forever.  (Note: Some have gone out into the world and they have been brought back by the Lord.  But, they have left their loved ones out there in sin.  They have left a testimony that can never be recovered.  They have left more than they expected when they stepped out into sin.  Don’t let that happen to you!)

Conc:  Samson will always be remembered as the “weak strong man”.  He was strong in his muscles, but weak in his morals and it cost him plenty.  Where does this message find you today?  Do you need to come home?  Do you need to pray about some danger signs in your life?

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