Lusts of the Flesh and God’s Amazing Grace
Samson is one of the most powerful pictures I’ve ever seen of the futility and loss that friendship with the world brings. Samson gradually became a friend of the world and reaped in his lifetime the complete loss of everything he had lived his entire life to get.
Samson is a powerful reminder of God’s grace. Though he descended into the depths of a lust filled life, wandering far from his calling and consecration — the Lord never let go of him. His soiled life is recorded. His defeats are unvarnished and clear for all to see. But against the backdrop of sin is the beauty of grace. God forgives, God restores, and God uses Samson one final time. That’s the wonder of God’s grace, the God of the second chance.
The life of Samson is recorded in God’s Word as a picture of the destructive power of sin, and the restoring power of grace. Samson often lived in the lust of the flesh; Samson often walked by the lust of the eyes; Samson often responded with the pride of life. Yet Samson in the final analysis, as God sees His life — is a man of faith. What a picture of grace. One moment of godly sorrow, leading to a repentant prayer of faith — at his darkest hour, God brought him back to the place of blessing. God is the God of the second chance.
Marvelous grace of our loving God,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our shame.
Yonder on Calvary’s Mount outpoured–
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled…
I always like to say: If Samson made it — anyone may. He was about as low and as far and defiled as you can get and yet he made it and was one of God’s dear heroes of the faith.
All of this wonderful heritage of Judges 13, the grown Samson despised!
God said to never drink–he drank. God said to never touch–he touched. God said to never cut–he cut. Instead of putting himself in God’s hands to accomplish his God-given task, he chose to live to please himself. How tragic it is when God gives a young person a wonderful heritage and a great opportunity, and he or she treats it lightly. God says to whom much is given, much is required and there are children that grow up in the shadow of Godly parents, under the sound of God’s Word, with the knowledge of God and yet they choose to neglect that and worse than that they turn from it. God says there’s a great danger in turning from Him.
Let’s continue with Samson because in the first few verses of chapter 14 we see a problem.
SAMSON DISOBEYED HIS PARENTS (14:1–4): One evidence of spiritual decline can be the way we get along with our loved ones- especially his parents- he disobeyed them. What did he decide?
He decided to go away from the Lord. 1 Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. (14:1) Did you know that’s a little statement but it’s a profound statement. He chose to go down away from the Lord’s way. He was a Nazarite, he was to be not only separated from death and alcohol and from anything to do with disobedience. He was to be pure as the Lord’s servant and that meant marry only within the covenant people. Well Samson went down- it is true both spiritually and geographically. Instead of staying in the borders of Israel, he went into enemy territory and fell in love with a heathen woman.
He decided to ignore God’s rules. He knew the laws of separation God had given to the Jews, but he chose to ignore them- he chose to not only go to Timnah and look for one but he picked one- he didn’t just think through— hey maybe there’s some pretty gals down the road here–no–he spied one and wanted one and chose one. He went away from the Lord, he looked in the wrong spot for what he wanted and then he chose to ignore God’s rules but look at this- in verse 3: And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well." Literally she is in my eyes. Did you know that’s what the Hebrew words are- for she is in my eyes. He says man I can’t get her off my mind I can see her all the time, she’s filling my mind. You know what that is? Total outward focus- he saw her body, he never saw her spirit, he never looked at her soul, he never thought of her character, he looked at her body and was living for the moment, for the lusts of his flesh and
What was in his eyes? Her character? Her devotion to God? No, it was her body, her looks, her allurement that kept her burned into his mind. (see Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3; and 2 Cor. 6:14–18; also Gen. 24:1–4).
He decided he was his own authority. That started when he chose to disobey his parents. When they said don’t do that Samson—- now God overruled because God, knowing his propensity, knowing his lust was going to use this as a vehicle of His judgment on the Philistines but Samson was still responsible–be not deceived, God is not mocked, what he sowed, he’s going to reap.
Note that he told his parents; he did not ask them. And when they reminded him of God’s law, he defied them. "Get her for me," he insisted, "for she pleases me well!" It did not bother Samson that his desires displeased his parents. Note that in this instance God mercifully was going to overrule his sin and use it to weaken the Philistines (v. 4). Christian young people need to stop and consider carefully when they find themselves defying godly parents who know God’s Word.
But lets hasten to the tragedy of Samson’s life is the 16th chapter because
SAMSON PLAYED WITH SIN (16): Samson had already gotten into trouble with one woman, but now he tried again, this time going deep into enemy territory to Gaza. Pride has taken hold of him, he is the superman so he can go marching right into the epicenter of the Philistine army going for another woman. And his lusts take him into the city of Gaza.
F0B7 Again, God warned him by allowing the enemy to almost catch him, but Samson still refused to repent. It was then that Delilah came into his life and led him to his doom.
F0B7 The Valley of Sorek was near his home, but Samson’s heart was already far from God that he should know and love and serve. It shocks us to see this Nazarite sleeping on the lap of a wicked woman, but this is what happens when people choose to go their own way to play with sin and reject the counsel of loved ones and the Lord.
F0B7 Three times Delilah enticed Samson, and three times he lied to her. Each time, the enemy attacked him, so he should have realized he was in danger. But read Prov. 7:21–27 to see why Samson yielded. He was asleep when he should have been awake! Remember the warning Christ gave to Peter in Matt. 26:40–41. Note that each lie Samson told actually took him closer to the truth. How dangerous it is to play with sin.
Proverbs 7:21-27 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, With her flattering lips she seduced him. 22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, 23 Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life. 24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth: 25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; 26 For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men. 27 Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death.
F0B7 Matthew 26:40-41 "Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."