"One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her." Judges 16:1
"Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah." Judges 16:4
"Then she called, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' He awoke 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. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison." Judges 16:20-21
Sin is serious!!! It was serious in the Bible, and it is still serious today!!! When we sin, we reap the consequences of our sin. Sin is powerful, and it's consequences devastate the sinner. But it also devastates others. Many times we believe that it is our sin; no one else knows about it; no one else will be hurt by it. But God's Word tells us time and time again that sin has shaken our world. Even nature cries out because of sin. Families and nations are destroyed because of sin.
Samson was a Nazarite, devoted to God and to God's purposes. However, Samson had to choose daily to walk with the Lord. We already know that many times Samson "turned aside." In other words, there were times in Samson's life where he did it his way. You know...the Burger King thing..."have it your way, right away!" And Samson suffered the consequences of his sin. He lost his wife and her family. He went into seclusion for some time. During this time, the Israelites suffered, too, at the hands of the Philistines. Samson's sin didn't just hurt him; it hurt others, as well. And now we find Samson in Judges 16 with a prostitute in Gaza, the Philistines home. He moves on from there and falls in love with Delilah, a woman whom the Philistines would use to bring Samson down. In this moment, Samson's focus was not on the Lord; his focus was on this woman. The lust in his heart was controlling his actions. He finally succumbed to Delilah's pleading and told her the source of his Nazarite strength. And Judges 16:19 says, "After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him." Samson had now broken the three sacred vows of a Nazarite. He drank wine and juices from the vine. He touched a dead animal and ate honey from it. He shaved his head. All of this came as consequences of Samson's sin. And the Bible says that Samson's strength left him. The Philistines didn't kill Samson. Instead, they gouged out his eyes and marched him through their streets as a mockery. They bound him up and put him in their prison, grinding grain there. Sin had pulled Samson to the very bottom of the pit.
HOWEVER! However, Judges 16:22 says, "But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved." The Philistines threw a huge party and celebrated by worshiping their false god, Dagon. They celebrated even more by bring Samson out in chains to entertain them. About three thousand Philistine men and women were there prancing and dancing, thinking that their god was greater than Samson's God. Judges 16:28 says, "Then Samson prayed to the Lord, 'Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.'" As serious as sin is and as serious as the consequences of sin are, we have a God who loves us and can and will forgive us when we turn to Him. When we admit our sin before Him and repent, He hears us. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Samson prayed to the Lord. And the Lord granted his request. Judges 16:29-30 says, "Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines!' Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived." Samson fulfilled the promise the angel made to his mother and father: "He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines (Judges 13:5)."
I don't know where you are in life right now. I don't know what kind of sin is eating away at your life. We all sin. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." But do we understand the seriousness of our sins? Do we understand the devastating consequences of our sins? Do we understand that our personal sins are affecting more than just ourselves? God loves you, and He love me! God has purposes and plans for us. And as with Samson, God can take us at our best or at our worst and use us for His glory. However, when we walk in our sin and bathe in our sin, it will be painful and humiliating and devastating. When we turn aside and fall into temptation, the consequences will bring us down. Sin is serious!!! But thank God for grace!!! His grace is greater than all our sin! God can and will forgive us and lift us up. And we can become the men and the women God wants us to be. We can walk in His love and in His grace and on His path and be fulfilled. Trust Him today! Turn to Him today! Live true life today, free from the penalty and the bondage of sin! It is only found in Him through Jesus Christ, our Savior!