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Judges 16:1-22

The Way of Escape

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • July 4, 2015

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). How many of us believe this verse is true? Paul believed that he could do all things through Christ because Christ continually strengthened him. Is this verse true for Paul only or for us as well? Is the God who strengthened Paul able to strengthen us in our time of need too? Do you believe these words when it is applied to your greatest area of personal struggle? Instead of living our lives in a state of defeat, It is the Lord’s will for us to believe that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us!

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

The Way of Escape

Judges 16:1-22

Introduction
 
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
 
1. How many of us believe this verse is true?
2. The Apostle Paul was stating that in any situation he was content. With much or little, during trials or at ease, and any temptation that was associated with either scenario, he could do all things through Christ because Christ continually strengthened him.
3. Let me ask again but in a different way… is this verse true for Paul only or for us as well? Is the God who strengthened Paul able to strengthen us in our time of need too?
4. Taking it a step deeper…, do you believe these words when it is applied to your greatest area of personal struggle?
5. As Christians, we may acknowledge it is true, but many live their lives in a constant state of defeat.
 
APPL - I believe it is the Lord’s will for this verse to be a daily reality for all of His children. We can do all things through Him who strengthens us!
 
6. How? Let’s look at the life of Samson and discover 3 principles for defeating the temptations that frequently conquer us.
 
Read Judges 16:1-22
 
Context
 
1. God raised up Samson to be Israel’s judge/deliverer.
2. The Holy Spirit was upon him in a powerful way.
3. But, Samson was also symbolic of the nation of Israel as a whole:
a. He was in a covenant relationship with God: i.) Great promises, and ii.) Amazing potential;
b. But his character was lacking and his heart was divided.
 
Transition - At times, Samson can look a lot like some of us. So how can we avoid his example and overcome in all things?
 
I. Sanctify Christ as Lord in Your Heart (1-3)
 
A. Make no provision for the flesh
 
Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.” (It comes down to choices!)
 
1. Samson was looking for trouble and he found it!
a. He went to Gaza – Mediterranean version of Daytona Beach, Florida during spring break!
b. He met a harlot and had sex with her.
2. Now, Samson’s problems were obvious to all:
a. Lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes
b. Pride of life – “I can deliver myself”
c. But Samson was blinded by his lust and pride long before he was blinded by the Philistines.
 
Problem: He got away with it… or so he thought!
 
APPL - Isn’t that part of our problem too?
 
• I’ve been good… one more time won’t hurt!
• No one will know except Google. It’s none of their business!
 
ILLUS – Stealing M & M’s from a store

Proverbs 6:27-28, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched?”

B. Surrender your weaknesses to Christ
 
1. Surrender means asking God for help.
 
Hebrews 2:18, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He
has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
 
2. Present yourself as an offering to God.
 
Romans 12:1-2, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
 
ILLUS – Former co-worker’s victory over homosexuality
 
Transition – If we don’t surrender our weaknesses to the Lord we allow the enemy to set a bigger trap!

II. Pursue Christ (4-16) 

A. Pursue righteousness with all of your heart
 
1. Samson was a Nazirite from birth.
a. No wine
b. No contact with anything that was dead
c. No haircuts
d. Symbol of total devotion to the Lord through a covenant relationship.
2. But Samson had an appetite for forbidden fruit. (4)
a. “Sorek” - “chosen vine” (Nazirite Red Flag!!!)
b. “Delilah” - “devoted one” (Devoted to what?)
3. The Philistines wanted Samson to be their trophy (5)
 
APPL – Satan wants to make a trophy out of us…
 
• To display our failures in his trophy case of defeated saints!
• So that he can whisper to others, you can’t overcome like “…” did not overcome!!!
 
ILLUS – A friend’s mockery of my rededication to Jesus Christ!
 
4. Samson couldn’t see the warning signs because he was trying to serve two masters, God and his lusts. (6)
 
Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
 
5. Pray for an undivided heart.
 
Psalm 86:11, “Teach me Your way, Lord; that I may rely on Your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.”
 
6. Pray for a godly appetites.
 
Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
 
7. Fill your life with godly thoughts.
 
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

B. Flee don’t flirt with temptation

1. Samson pursued the flesh and flirted with temptation.
2. Notice how Samson’s answers got closer to the truth.
a. Bind me with seven fresh cords (7)
b. Bind me with new ropes (11)
c. Weave the seven locks of my hair with the web and fasten it with a pin (13)
3. Notice the tactics of Delilah
a. “Don’t you love me?” (15)
b. She pressed him daily (16)
c. His soul was annoyed to death (16)
4. Samson should have seen the warning signs – “Behold, the Philistines are upon you!” (Healthy? NO!)
5.You’re waiting for Samson to stop her and say, “Hey there Delilah!”. Samson kept coming back for more!

Proverbs 26:11, “Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.”
 
APPL – Like Samson, many of us try to resist temptation when we must flee from temptation instead!
 
• Flirting leaves us open to failure!
• Many of us think that we will have the strength to say “No” in the heat of the moment; or that we know when to quit!
• KEY - Quit before you start!
• Don’t walk in the shadows… walk in the light!
 
ILLUS – Joseph & Potiphar’s Wife
 
2 Timothy 2:22, “Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
 
APPL – Righteousness, faith, love and peace never produce regrets!
 
APPL – And God is faithful. He always provides and escape route!
 
1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”

III. Strengthen Yourself in Christ (17-22)

A. Our strength is not enough
 
1. Flirting with temptation wore Samson down. (17)
2. Delilah said “show me the coins” when she realized Samson had “told her all that was in his heart”. (18)
3. Delilah lulled him to sleep in her lap just like Satan lulls us into complacency.

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the
world.”
 
4. Cut hair symbolized broken relationship. (19)
5. Samson’s power was not in his hair but in His relationship with the Lord.
6. He was the last to know that the Lord had left him (20)
Contrast – Our sin will grieve the Holy Spirit but He will never leave us…
 
B. Christ’s strength is more than enough
 
1. Samson was overcome, ruined. He realized that his strength came from the Lord.
 
John 15:4-5, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
 
2. When we are weak, God is strong!
 
2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
 
VERSE 22, “However, the hair of his head began to grow after it was shaved off.”
 
• Rededication to the Lord…
• Charting a new course, a new pattern of life!
• Follow Jesus Christ!

Romans 8:37, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”

Judges 16:1-22     NASB 

1 Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. 2 When it was told to the Gazites, saying, "Samson has come here," they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, "Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him." 3 Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron.

4 After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." 6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you." 7 Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered.
 
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me how you may be bound." 11 He said to her, "If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread.
 
13 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web [and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.
 
15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is." 16 It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. 17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man."

 

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. 20 She said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison. 22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.

 

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