Friday, 20th January 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-3 He Lived in the Sin
God has already chosen Samson and told his parents what he could do and what he could not do. But Samson had been living in his own anger his own desires and did a lot of things that displeased God.
V1 ‘Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.’ Samson came to the city of the Philistines and made himself in danger. We should never let ourselves fall into temptations and always seek the place of God’s presence.
V2-3 ‘When the Gazites were told, “Samson has come here!” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him.” And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.’ In the morning we should be spending time with God, not to indulge in our flesh desires.
Section Two V4-22 No God in His Eyes
V4 ‘Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.’ Samson made the same mistake again and again. He didn’t learn from the past because he’s been chasing after his own desires and doing what he thought was right. As a judge he didn’t stand in the right place doing the right thing.
V16-17 ‘And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”’ What was really inside Samson’s heart? What he cared the most was that his strength would leave him, not that God’s presence would leave him. From the very beginning Samson only looked at his strength instead of looking upon God. Because Samson’s strength gave him what he wanted, and he failed to see the God who gave him strength in the first place.
Samson was chosen by God, he had the strength of God, but he did not honour God. We are the same, Jesus has already given us all the strength and authority, He has chosen us, we are the priests of the New Testimony, but are we living in the destiny of God? Or do we continue to walk in the ways of this world?
V21 ‘Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.’ Samson was a judge, God’s chosen one, but he did not have God in his eyes. The Philistines also knew this, so they took out his eyes. When he could not see, the light could not come into his life and he was living in darkness.
Section Three V23-31 Give Up on His Calling
Samson was living in his sins, he did not have God in his eyes, and at the end, he gave up on the calling and the destiny God has given to him for his life.
V28 ‘Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”’ Even until the end, God gave Samson a second chance and allowed his hair to grow back. Samson also knew that God was still with him. When God’s presence is not there, it’s not because God doesn’t want us anymore, but it’s because we don’t want God anymore. Samson lived his life in blindness, he was selfish, and he was ungrateful. At the end, he only saw what the Philistines did to him, he blamed on others and never saw his own problems. He did not see that he was the one, who put himself in the path leading to death.
V30 ‘Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.’ Samson treated God like his servant, he wanted God to do what he wanted to do. He did not glorify God and honour God. Samson killed many Philistines, but when he died, he still did not see how God led him all this way, he did not walk into his destiny, which was to help the Israelites to leave the captivity of the Philistines.
Let us learn from Samson’s mistakes, to see God’s love in our lives, to honour God and to continue living in the presence of God.
士师记 16 – 失去神同在的参孙
V3 参孙是一个有神呼召、有命定也有能力的士师，却活在罪中，只想靠着做这些事显露自己的力气，让自我不断膨胀，不再理会神的心意，以为靠着自己的力量能够处理一切问题。我们身为基督徒，是否也会认为倚靠自己还能有神的保守？“罪”不一定是伤天害理的恶事，而是不达标（miss the target）, 没有按照神的旨意去行，只是过自己想要的生活。