James 3:11-12, Judges 16

This time of year we start to notice a strange behavior in both men and women. Their arm begins to casting motions. As they sit their hands start reeling an imaginary reel. Grant you there is the hearty soul who never stops through the year, but many have hung it up till the weather began to warm. Fishing is on the agenda.

Fishing is like hunting. Just because you go doesn’t mean you will be successful. We find ways to attempt to lay the odds in our favor. They have developed so many types of live worms and bugs that it’s like ordering ice cream at one of those 99 flavor spots. Then artificial! Do you want it to float, sink, dance, or do a tease? They got it all.  All of this is to tempt the fish to bite and ignore the sharp thing that will hook them. 

As we spoke about Samson last week, we noticed that though Delilah was his undoing, his end began some twenty years earlier.

  • When will we learn? Judges 16:4-5
    • Looks like Samson would have learned his lesson.
      • But the problems with the Philistines only deepened his rebellion.
    • Like many modern day saints, he claimed belief in the ways of the Lord, but didn’t act like it.
      • He disclaimed the ways of the world but then conformed himself to them at every turn.
    • By the time Samson ran into Delilah he had been indulging his rebellion, following his heart, leaning to his thoughts for twenty years.
      • When we allow our secret faults to continue un-arrested and unabated over the years, we lose the ability to exercise even the most basic elements of common sense.
      • Pr 25:28, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls”
      • No protection just come and get it.
    • Up till now, though feeding his fleshly desires he was seen as a champion of God’s people and a scourge to the Philistines.
      • God was not blessing him in spite of his sin. Listen!
      • Ro 2:3-4, “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
      • God in His enduring mercy and never ending grace was giving Samson time and time to repent.
    • We can get by for so long then, bam, the hook is set.
  • Fishing the Bait.
    • Sometimes when fishing you have to let the fish run with the bait. Meaning you let it go a little so it feels comfortable enough and secure enough to swallow it.
      • Then Wham-O! you snatch it in him.
    • Judges 16:6-14. In these verses we see Samson running with the bait three times.
      • 3 times Delilah attempts to find his weakness. Three times he spins a yarn. 
      • But as Moses spoke to the children of Gad and Ruben, be sure your sin will find you out.
    • Just like the fish that keeps trying to steal the bait Samson finally got hooked.
  • Samson exemplifies the irony of sin in the believer.
    • He knew full well the difference between right and wrong. He chose wrong.
      • Sin always takes you farther than you intend to go. Keeps you longer than you intend to stay, and costs you more than you ever intended to pay.
    • Judges 16:20-21 are some of the saddest verses in the life of Samson.
      • No such thing as a blowout. Only small leaks.
      • One time champion of God’s people. Blind, bound and belittled.
    • That is the truth of sin. It blinds us. It belittles us. It bounds us.
  • Party Entertainment.
    • The Philistines put God’s man out on display. 
      • In doing so they mocked him and mocked the God he said he served.
    • That is the sting of sin.
      • When we claim to believe the way of the Lord but don’t act like it. When we disclaim the ways of the world but conform to them at every turn. We give reason to a lost and blind world to mock the name of God who deserves the praise of all people everywhere.
    • For twenty years Samson thought he could ignore the secret fault lines that developed from his disobedience. But they couldn’t ignore him
      • Like the modern day saint, we think we can ignore our little indiscretions, our little sins, but the fact is they won’t ignore us.
  • Taking the Bait.
    • You can fish all day but wont catch nothing until the fish decides to take the bait.
      • Jas 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
      • The word enticed literally means “bait”
      • When we allow ourselves to be drawn away and enticed, when we take the bait, we eventually get hooked.
    • Sin occurs when we are drawn away from our place of security by natural desires fixed upon some unnatural end.
      • Our minds are like hotels. We cannot keep someone from coming into the lobby, but we can keep them from getting a room.
    • Do you want to succeed in God’s plan for you? Obey what you already know. 
      • You don’t have to be a Samson. Missing out on the much more.

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