Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 170

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Samson continued...

Do we view sin as God views sin? Do we view sin as the dangerous, destructive force that it is, or as the harmless dalliance it presents itself as being?

We have seen the scattered remains sin has left in its wake. We have seen the broken homes, the ruined lives, the premature deaths, and yet, many still choose to flirt with sin as Samson did, treating it lightly.

The second step in Samson’s downfall was allowing himself to be drawn toward, or attracted to the forbidden things.

Judges 14:1-3, “Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, ‘I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.’ Then his father and mothers aid to him, ‘is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?’ And Samson said to his father, ‘get her for me, for she pleases me well.’”

So what was wrong in this? Samson was just following his heart, he had seen a girl, she was pleasing to the eye, and wanted to marry her. On the surface, it seemed like a love story. Many today would applaud Samson for thinking outside the box, for taking the initiative, and for not being swayed from love by the disapproval of his parents.

When digging deeper however, we come to realize that the Philistines, the people from which the girl who pleased Samson well came, were idol worshippers of the worst kind, and sworn enemies of the people of God. Samson’s only criterion was that the girl pleased him well, focusing on the momentary pleasure of beauty, instead of obedience to the will of God in regards to comingling with idol worshippers.

Deuteronomy 7:3-5, “Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughters to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.”

Samson knew the law of God. He knew the commandments of God, and he chose to disregard them.

In every act of rebellion, in every act of disobedience, in every sin, there is a dose of pleasure. The Philistine Samson had chosen, the woman he wanted as a wife pleased him well, and for no other reason than that she pleased him well, he wanted her for a wife.

Because Samson opened the door, the enemy came in, and from seeing a Philistine who was pleasing to his eye, he sees another, who happened to be a harlot, and this time does more than look.

Judges 16:1, ‘Then Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.”

From allowing for the possibility of taking a Philistine for a wife, Samson has now fallen to the lows of being with a woman of ill repute.

Samson’s entourage also contributed to his downfall. Instead of surrounding himself with men of God, he surrounded himself with revelers and partiers whose only desire was to see the continuation of their good time.

Judges 14:10-11, “So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so. And it was so, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.”

It was not the custom of the Jews to give a feast, it was the custom of the Philistines, and Samson has started to follow their customs in the giving of the feast. The celebration lasted for seven days, and the man who was consecrated unto God, the man sworn never to touch alcohol, or even anything that might be construed as alcohol, imbibed and reveled along with the thirty companions that had been brought to be with him.

We have also been consecrated unto God. We have also been set apart, sanctified and made holy unto Him. When we choose disobedience and rebellion over humility and subservience, we are doing what Samson did, with the full knowledge that it displeases God.

Somewhere near the last moments of Samson’s downfall, he also opened his heart to those he ought to have kept it hidden from. Placing our trust in the wrong individuals can be catastrophic and have lasting repercussions. Samson told Delilah all his heart, and because of this the Philistines knew the one secret that could undo him.

Micah 7:5, “Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom.”

Because Samson did not guard his heart, because he did not heed the warnings of God, because he disregarded the commandments of God, he finds himself impotent, powerless, without the ability to defend himself against the Philistines.

It used to be so easy for him. It used to take almost no effort for Samson to defeat entire regiments of Philistines, but now that he had revealed his heard and had subsequently been betrayed, what was once easy, and requiring little effort, now became impossible.

We take for granted the presence of God in our lives. We take for granted our ability to overcome certain obstacles, until God is no longer there. Until His strength no longer goes before us, and only then do we realize the true measure of our impotence.

Samson believed himself capable of overcoming the Philistines even after his hair was shaved off. Even after he had trampled upon his covenant with God, Samson expected to shake himself free as at other times, only to discover that the Lord had departed from him.

All the strength Samson perceived as his own, all the power and the ability he had believed were at his whim, disappeared in an instant when the Lord was no longer present.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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