Who was Samson, the Nazarite judge? On this sermon, pastor David explores the key moments of Samson's life where his emotions led him astray, causing him to break his Nazarite vow and to face consequential outcomes. Samson's life is an important lesson on the impact of sin, and his failures lead us to reflect on our commitment and partnership with Jesus.
Well if you have your Bibles here you might like to uh turn to Judges chapter 13 we missed you last week um it's so good to have you back and uh yeah I think deserves a hand and sadly I don't have any really big words for you today but uh we'll try and manufacture some along the way if I to um ask you what are the four values of our church I'm sure you'll immediately respond with four words inform transform inreach and Outreach so each Sunday we Endeavor to try to cover those as uh as we do so this is a part of our time of informing it's not the only informing that we do but where we look at the word of God um but uh even as we've been singing some of those words have been so precious and so on that uh that's informing us transforming has to do with worship it's impossible to worship without being transformed under the power of God you'd agree but also uh what with we are informed about God and about ourselves transforms us so that we want to uh want to have that change that transforming take place in uh in our lives and then in reach of course has to do with Fellowship which already this morning we've been able to do but it also has to do with the corporate worship that we gather together and um afterwards as we uh gather together over a coffee or tea whatever that there will be more Fellowship takes place not just friendship this is doing the journey with Jesus um in particular and then of course outreaches uh we go out from this place um you know that our mission statement is committed to growing in Christ committed to going for Christ and years ago we used to have um on below the screen in the olden days when the screen was a fixed screen we used to have the first words committed to growing in Christ and then above the door out there as we walked out the door um we used to have those words committed to going for Christ and I said to somebody once about well what are we going to put over this door over there and their response was we're committed to going for coffee um so I can't remember who it was he said that um if I could I be pray for them sincerely but uh but so what I'm really wanting us to focus on this morning is that as we study the word of God that the aspect of opening ourselves up to the spirit of God that he might transform us is a key part of this next um uh couple of hours whatever how long it takes me to preach this morning 30 minutes or there abouts I want to pray and so father We Lay ourselves before you this morning open ourselves up to you these are values in our church the inform transform inreach and Outreach we know that they the values which are based on your word they are values which are important to you so important that you've impressed on us as a church that they need to be values which we indeed value so as we look at this uh this life of Samson this morning well just aspects of it this morning um Lord we uh we pray that for each and every one of us for me for everybody seated here today that there will be a sense that you want to speak to us you want to do a work in our lives so whether we're here whether we're even at home watching it on uh on the video link or watch it later we would pray that your spirit might move in us today amen well Samson is um is quite a long life um so uh we're going to see that he judged for about 20 years and so not sure how old he was when he became a judge uh maybe 20 25 so these three chapters of chapters uh for 13 14 15 16 these chapters cover that whole period of time so there's lot about Samson's life that we are unable to cover by the way you'll see that says Samson Israel's last judge and next week we're going to look at his second last judge now we're looking going backwards a bit and looking at Gideon next week um so you might have particular thoughts about Samson's life and about some of the things which he did and we probably won't get to covering those today unless you did give me uh three or four hours or so which I'm sure that you won't want to uh put up with me for that long and I certainly don't want to speak for that long but let me just read just a selection of verses um from uh from these chapters so chapter 13 veres 1 to5 so if you've got your old-fashioned Bible there or you need to boot up your iPhone or whatever then follow this through 131 to5 reads again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for for 40 years certain man of zor named manoah from the clan of danites had a wife who was sterile and remained childless the angel of the Lord appeared to her and said you were sterile and childless but you are going to conceive and have a son now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean because you will conceive and give birth to a son now razor may be used on his head because the boy is to be a Nazarite set apart to God from birth and he will begin the Deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines um then down to verse 24 which uh reads this way the woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson he grew and the Lord blessed him and the spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mah Dan between Zora and ishto don't worry about those words there and verse chapter 16 and vers 17 to 20 um reads this way it says so he told her everything this is Samson and Delilah he told her everything they raised has ever been used on my head he said because I have been a azerite set apart to God since birth if my head were shaved my strength would lead me and I'd become as weak as any other man when Delila saw that he had told her everything she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines come back once more he has told me everything so the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands having put him to sleep on her lap she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair and so began to subdue him and his strength left him um then she called Samson the Philistines on you he awake from his sleep and thought I'll go out as before and shake myself free but he did not know that the Lord had left him sad isn't it for man's life to him that way um just uh some of this stuff is some of these things want to say is just go over very very quickly because there's some other things we want to focus on this morning but it comes as no surprise as we've been working our way through the Book of Judges that chapter 13 and verse one um introduces the times to us so this is what's happening where chapter 13 and verse one says again how many times have we read this again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord so the Lord delivered them this time into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years so Israel did Evil and um and just one thing I would to to just mention briefly here is that just to remember that as we've gone through the Book of Judges that constantly it's been talking about Israel as a nation sinning so it's been talking about National sin and uh whereas most of the time when we've been preaching we've tended to take um this this idea of national sin and apply it to us personally and individually and it's okay to do that and it's right that we do that sometimes we can miss this that in actual fact that what was happening here is that this was Israel as a nation that was sinning and it brings to our mind the whole concept the whole idea that in the word of God that the Bible often talks about this whole area of corporate sin and uh and and for us to be thinking about that and how that might apply for us today so for us to be considering for example um is there a national sin for Australia would this be said about us but we could also apply it a bit further and we could say when we're talking about corporate sin I wonder whether there might be a corporate sin in some Churches now immediately we want to AR up a bit about that s but this is Lord's church or whatever but I'm sure when most of us maybe all of us we stop and think about would respond sadly and say yes sometimes there is a corporate sin in churches that a church as a whole it could be said that uh that this church is not honoring God in the way that they are living or we coulds perhaps even bring it a bit closer to us in a corporate sense and say what about families are there families where there might be a corporate sin that uh that needs to be dealt with and once again I don't know what your observation has been or maybe even your experience but to say yes there are cases where there is a corporate sin which is uh which is taken hold as the family which is a part of their DNA which needs to be dealt with and so let's remember this that this is talking um about this whole concept of corporate which is important for us to be thinking about so to have on the one hand what is God saying to me personally but what is God saying to us in the corporate sense into the the um the communities which I belong to uh for example family or church and as we've read that uh that God punished them and for the same verse Chapter 30 and verse one that they're under the Philistines for a period of uh of 40 years which when you stop and think about that's a long time take 40 years from back from there and think back all that's happened in that time it was for this whole period of time where the Philistines ruled over the children of Israel as the part of their punishment and then following that or as a part of that uh towards the end of that time uh Samson is being raised up and uh he led or he judged for a period of 20 years and uh these 20 years has mentioned a couple of times chapter 15 and verse 20 and chapter 16 and verse 31 I want us to focus on this man this character called Samson and to realize this is is that Samson was a person was a man who was specially chosen by God um in the reading which we have read of course we've seen that even before Samson was born even before he was conceived God had him in his mind and so there was this whole idea that God had a plan that God plus Samson were going to work in a partnership and I think this is another thing is it not there come through again and again in the Book of Judges where it's always God plus a person and we've applied that to us as well God plus you God plus me is that God and me working together and so God and Samson having this Partnership of working together and we read there that Samson is here this character who's who's born to a childless couple but his mother was going to have these special conditions by the way do you know what Samson's mother's name was if you know let me know because it's never recorded anywhere we know who his dad was um monoa but then it just refers to his ma to his mother as either being his mother or mono's wife but it says there in Chapter 13 uh when the angel of the Lord came to her you're going to conceive and here is some specific things which you are going to have to live by even before s son was born so he he's set aside right from before conception he he set aside and as we read this morning that he was to be a Nazarite for the whole of his life chapter 30:5 we'll come back to that but just want to point this out but he was a man with significant character flaws or a significant character FL that his emotions we'll see overrode he being led by the spirit of God so what evidence is there what's the Bible say here about God and Samson here are some of the references in these verses okay chapter 13 and verse five that he was dedicated to God from the womb chapter 13 and verse 13 it was God directed rearing so Samson's M before she was a m the angel of the Lord came and said um uh you know the this person came so I'm going to conceive um she runs off tells the husband and he says well if that's really of God I wonder whether we can have him whether he come back again God please send him back again so it's just to show that this is from you the angel of the Lord comes back and manoah says to him what instructions do you have for us if we're going to raise this person raise this baby this kid and so there's this God God directed rearing and then here are a pile of verses that says about Samson chapter 13 and verse 24 that he was blessed by God 13 and verse 25 says the spirit stirred him chapter 14 and verse 19 the Spirit came powerfully chapter 15 and verse4 the Spirit came powerfully and so you get this picture surely now of of um of God and Samson God wanting to arrange or to go into this partnership and God uh aligning himself with Samson uh just infusing himself with Samson with his life and that uh Samson you and I have got a job to do what we'll discover and you're probably already aware of this is that while God was doing his part Samson had not not partnered adequately with God and then we read that last part which we just read a while ago about God and Samson that chapter 16 and verse 20 says this that the Lord had left him what a what an it do what a terrible thing to occur so Samson was going to be a Nazarite so what is a azerite want to just um clarify that a Nazarite is not a Nazarene a Nazarene is somebody who is from Nazareth so that's a Nazareth Nazarene somebody from Nazareth but a Nazarite is um is something completely different a Nazarite is a person male or female who took out specific vows before God and all of these vows and all the things that are or the vow and all the requirements of that vow um are outlined in in numbers 6: 1- 21 um and uh so if you want to know some more details about what a Nazarite is if you're thinking about doing such a thing if God's leading you that way you'll need to memorize numbers 61-21 and and the meaning of the nazarit the nazarine is somebody from Nazareth but the meaning of the Nazarite means to separate consecrate or to obain that's from the new Bible dictionary and here's what it involves number one to abstain from wine or grapes or any intoxicating liquor any intoxicating drinks that was part of the ve secondly no haircuts um is is another thing and uh thirdly there's also to stay away from dead bodies and unclean food so those are the three primary things there's a lot more in uh in Numbers Chapter 6 but they're the key things in this vow no alcohol um stay away from uh from unclean things from corpses um even if somebody undertook a v a Nazarite V and a relative died number six says here is some things that need to be done had to start The Vow all over again but uh and third ly this other aspect of not having a haircut and so it's important for us to understand this in the in the light of Samson as we examine his life now for the nazarites um The Vow might only be for specific period of time and U once that vowed that period of time was completed then there was things to do cut your hair burn the hair as a sacrifice all sorts of things number six go home and read it if you want to follow that through so for some people it was just a temporary thing but there was for some where it was a whole of Life Samson being one of the ones where right from birth he was told that he was to be a Nazarite all the way through Samuel is another one and while it's not specific it's thought that may be John the Baptist may have been a azerite as well and there's less less evidence less support but maybe even James the brother Jesus may have also been a Nazar so there are some examples um there are some for the whole of life but as I said most people taking a nazaro there was only for a specific period of time so this is what Samson was born into Samson your mother has taken a Nazarite vow you read that and see that she was to do these sorts of things when you have your son Samuel uh Samson rather Samson is going to have to be a Nazarite right from birth all the way through uh all the way through his life no grapes no alcohol no nothing uh no haircuts don't touch any dead corpse or touch any unclean food so let's get into this life of Samson a bit so when we turn to chapter 14 and verse 5 what do we read there in chapter 14 and verse 5 Samson went down to timna together with his father and mother and what's the next verse next phrase day as they approached what The Vineyards of timna Samson what are you doing around the vineyard Samson you've taken a there that you're to have stain stay away from all of this sort of stay away from grapes stay away from wine stay away from all of this and then we read that Samson and his family approached The Vineyards uh vow broken but then we go down chapter 14 and verse 8 and we read this sometime later uh by the way uh in the meantime as he's going down there he kills this lion rips it apart uh you you see that um in in verse 5 okay so it kills this line and then uh chapter chapter 14 and verse 8 sometime later when he went back to marry her he turned aside to look at the Lion's carcass which he just killed previously Samson what are you doing around a carcass remember the Nazarite there remember no wine no grapes no touching dead bodies of any sort he killed this lion and he immediately goes up not immediately after it period of time going back ah this is where I kill the lion wonder what it looks like today and goes over to it and not only that in the the carcass was a swarm of bees and honey which he scooped out with his hands and ate it as he went along so here he is breaking the vow of touching a carcass but also taking this food from which is unclean it's honey from that and starting to consume that remember all the things that God had said that uh all the things about the spirit all the his dealings with Samson and here we are already Samson in the vineyard Samson with the dead carcass Samson eating unclean food and then you know ultimately in chapter 16 and verse 18 what does he do well he goes to sleep on his wife's lap some commentators said how can you sleep uh through getting a head shaved and some of said it's probably because he was as drunk as a skunk uh there's no evidence for that but some have suggested that because of the LIF sole that he lived but then he gets his hair cut three strikes are out mate and and it seems that at this time that when he gets up ready to to fight um that the Lord had left him and sometimes we jokingly say Samson uh lost all his strength when he got his hair cut no all the downfall happened why because he broke the vow with god this is my vow before God that I'm going to live as a Nazarite That's The Vow I'm really going to ignore that and go and do my own thing and God does not honor willful Disobedience well that's a Breaking of the Nazarite ve but I want to to approach his life from a bit of a different perspective as well because there's four women in his life as well well at least four um his mother doting doting mom just think of how she must have felt um her and Manoa trying for so long to have a family and you may be in that situation be aware of folk had been in that situation then finally she conceives and they have a son and um and so here's this Samson born to uh to Manar and his wife and no doubt a dating mother and and just reading between the lines it just seems to me that when I look at the life of Samson when I read about it it seems that he's so precious in his mother's eyes that whatever Samson wants Samson gets he's a favorite well he's the only one probably and U and so valued so precious in his parents and his mother's eyes that whatever whatever Samson wants he gets he just seems to be that sort of a character I I see this and I want it and you read that in chapter 14 and vers uh verses 1 to8 about uh about his wife his first wife it says Samson went down to tinmar and he saw a young Philistine woman no she's not an Israelite she's a Philistine Parents try to talk him out of it that's another part of the story but but he sees this stunning Philistine woman and he says what I want her um so he saw her and and later on The Story Goes By the way just so if if you marking a Bible or highlight it just underline and Mark this that word s because we're going to come back to that later on there's a bit of a mix up his wife gets given someone else or whatever and so Sanson gets upset with all of this in chapter 15 and verse two um thought his dad thought I didn't like her anymore so um so uh or his father in law rather wouldn't let him go in and then he says this I was so sure you thoroughly hated her he said that I gave her to your friend isn't her younger sister more attractive take her instead um there's no evidence doesn't say what happened there but hey you think her sister you think your wife is a goodlook stunning one what about a younger sister what about her take her so there's the first wife and then in chapter 16 and verse one we read about one day Samson went to Gaza where he saw a prostitute went spent the night with her that's woman number three once again if you see if you're marking your Bible underline that word saw he saw and then chapter 16 and verse 4 um it says this it's a bit different except sometime later he fell in love with the woman in the valley the Sorak whose name was Delila so it's not so much as seeing but he fell in love it's different so there the four women in Samson's life that um his mom first wife prostitute second wife see the recurrence in the couple of those of how Samuel saw Samson saw I saw I want I see I want then with theila there's four secrets that we want to take a um have an awareness of here are the four Secrets delala says to him because she's being Bri by the Philistines where his wife's loyalty is more to a country than to a husband and a countryman come to her and say find out what s Samson's strength is she asks him and says chapter 16 verse 7 if you you tie me up with fresh bow strings I've lose my PA break them second time tie up with new ropes third time braid my hair into a loom folk don't you think that Samson at after attempt number three would start to think I wonder whether my wife has got it in for me um doesn't that strike it maybe it was all strength all muscle and no brain or something but but just men just be aware of that and women even be more aware of that that if the same thing happens two or three times you got to start thinking is there a pattern here and finally she says to him on the fourth occasion you know what it really is as if I break my vow with god well that's not the words he uses but that's what's happening if I finally Break My Vow with God God leads me and I lose my strength so what went wrong I want to say first off that where started to go wrong was in that word that I've asked you to underline was that he saw in chapter 14 in verse one says Samson went down to timna and saw a young Philistine woman and he said to his mom and dad I need her I want her and if you duck down to 14 of verse 7 he went down later and talked with the woman and what oh he liked her isn't that interesting I see this beautiful Philistine woman I've got to have her my wife Mom and Dad get her for me and then later on he goes and has a chat with oh by the way like her she's not a bad sort even to talk to um and chapter 16 and verse 1 also says about how how um Samson saw was attracted he's a womanizer and he saw but I want to say this and just talk to men for a minute you know exactly what's going on here don't you because us men really respond to the eye gate and we respond just to to Beauty more than anything else and fol it's something we've got to address and address very very early we got to do something about it and if women if you're not so sure about that then I encourage you to do this go to the beach or go to a shopping center wait till a stunning woman walks by and then don't look at her but look at the eyes of all the men round about and you'll know what I'm talking about and you see man we just have to guard our isight that's how God has wired us that that's not the excuse to Let It Go Wild that rather it's something that we need to bring under control and that's why it's so difficult in a day like today when it's so easy on the internet to to access pornography so we've got to stay away from that and we've got to keep our our guard on our eyes even just looking round about us we need to do this and this was Samson's downfall is that he was more than happy just to let his eyes eyes just roam free and then to respond accordingly ah She's a Beauty I need her she's a beautiful woman I need her for a wife she's a beautiful looking prostitute I need her for the night and this is how he was responding and so what we need to understand here is this is that his em motions overruled his obedience to God and in Samson's case it's a it's a case of his eyesight what he was looking at but for us it could be any other amation and we've got to ask ourselves this question where is God in all of this is it best for me or others or does it focus on me or others I can see my time has gone and I've still got a bit to say please forgive me I want to just quickly look at some sin statements and I want just to have a look at these and uh just to see how they apply sin statement number one is this is it sin blinds then it binds and then it grinds blinded Samuel it uh Samson it bound him and then it brought him down this next ST which I heard from Chuck swindall and whether it's his or someone else's says that sin will take you further than what you want want to go it'll keep you longer than you want to stay cost you more than you want to pay and then there's this other statement to be aware of it's easier to deal with the Temptation than the aftermath of sin if you want a philosophical definition of sin sin is the irrational assertion of One's Own Independence end if you want a theological statement sin is lawlessness 1 John 34 if you want a practical one sin us anything that takes precedence in my life ahead of God what we have here is that at the end of uh towards the end of his life Samson is at the end of his rope you remember a sermon which I preached on the 17th of September this year when I gave everybody a bit of rap do you remember that some do some don't um I said when when do we pray best we pray best when we're at the end of our rape and the encouragement was this is that don't wait till you get to the end of your rape but pray first that was the verse seek first the kingdom of God was the verse that I preached on but it wasn't until Samson was at the end of his rape after breaking all of vs that he turns and praise to God Samson called out to the Lord Lord God remember remember me I pray please strengthen me just this once God so that I may get full revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes you know the outcome but judges ends badly says at that time the last verse in the Book of Judges says this at that time there was no king in Israel people did whatever they felt like doing sin is lawlessness it's how how people were living so what about you and me what about our vow the Bible is full I'm just talking to people who who are Christians now the Bible is full about our obligations about God and us working together and and I've just chosen this one verse or two verses one Corinthians 6 619 and 20 it says this do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you whom you have received as a gift from God and that you are not your own property you're bought with the price you're actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made his own so then honor and glorify God with your body fol this is a vow for every believer don't you know that you as a believer that I as a believer that I'm the Temple of the Holy Spirit God indwells me that's what the temple is how did I come there because I've been bought I've been bought with the prop PR the price is the precious blood of Jesus how precious how valuable that is and so I'm no longer my own I'm no longer I but I'm here to do whatever God wants me to do and because of that then I must honor and glorify God in my body God and you working together not like Samson and God God's doing his part but where's Samson one story on through couple of months ago I had a dream I had other dreams too and I probably have a lot of dreams that much many I don't remember but um I had this what I I think a significant dream for me and um it's still very Vivid in my mind and this is how the dream went um I was with a group of people I don't know who they were but I was with a group of people and and I was asked a question David what is the most important lesson you've learned in your spiritual life and in my dream I paused for a minute and I thought if you really want me to answer that I really need some time to think about it so I walked away and the next thing in my dream I was pushing a wheelbarrow along even as I said it's clearing my mind the picture of the dream I was pushing this wheelar along and this voice came to me and said this is the most important lesson you've learned in your spiritual life it's you and God working together in a wheelbarrow you need two hands on it one hand it won't work you need two hands it's God and me working together working through life that is the most important lesson in your spiritual life I determined I was got to go buy a little wheelbarrow to put on my desk and I didn't get around till I had to preach this and I was going to use this illustration so I went out and bought a wheelbarrow to put on my desk where I can see it every day the most important lesson in life is this God and Me working together Samson forgot that he never put it into practice thought I'll let God do it all and I'm not going to do anything doesn't work and it doesn't work if I try to do everything and leave God out of the picture it's God and me working together God will do his part will you do yours remember you're the Temple of the the Holy Spirit you've been bought with the price the Precious Blood of the Lord Jesus you are not your own therefore honor and glorify God in your body let's pray oh Lord what a hard lesson it was for Samson to learn help us Lord to learn vicariously to learn from his example and not to go down the same pathway Lord help us every time we use the wheelbarrow to remember that this is the picture of the spiritual life you and me working together help us to remember every time we get a haircut that we haven't taken a Nazarite vow but our vow is is to stay true to Jesus grant us the the courage and the grace to walk in step with you as our prayer to honor and glorify you our heavenly father. Amen.