We deal with temptation and sin in our daily lives, and, in this lesson, we’re going to look at Samson as an example. He’s an individual we may be able to relate to, for, while he is referred to as a hero of faith and a judge of Israel, his struggles and flaws are identifiable in our own lives.
In Judges 13, we read of Manoah whose wife is unable to bear children, but they are promised a child with the condition that he would be a Nazarite, separated to God by an oath. Despite this, sin would deceive him, entrap him, and cost him dearly. I Corinthians 10:11-12 reminds us that these events are recorded for our benefit, to remind us of our own precarious position and help us prepare for our Christian walk.
Samson’s Struggles with Temptation
Jesus calls Satan the father of lies. The very nature of temptation is to entice us toward something that is not what it appears to be. In Judges 14, Samson chooses a woman among the Philistines to be his wife. Despite the counsel of his parents, he insists on this woman as a wife. He may have self-justified his actions to himself and others, but this engagement ends in problems. Unfortunately, he doesn’t learn his lesson, and in Judges 16, Samson finds a Philistine prostitute, and he falls for Delilah three verses later. He sees the immediate gratification of these choices, but temptation blinds him to the consequences thereof. Sin does not deliver on its promises.
Samson’s sins eventually entrap him. He continually went places and associated with people he should have avoided. Judges 16:5 begins the plot to ferret out Samson’s secret. He initially misleads Delilah regarding the source of his strength, and she continuously tries these methods out. Samson, unfortunately, does not learn his lesson, and he continues to play along until he finally divulges his true secret – allowing the Philistines to capture him. He allowed himself to be trapped emotionally and physically by this woman. His strength was something God gave him, but Samson treated it casually.
Finally, Samson’s sins cost him dearly. In verse 21, Samson loses his eyes. From here, the Philistines imprison and enslave him. The end result of these sins is his own death. Samson’s sins cost him much – up to his own life. He loses his reputation, his strength, his sight, and his life.
Proverbs 6:27 asks if a man can hold fire to his chest or walk on coals without being burned. Have you ever tried to grab something out of the oven without protection, thinking you can avoid being burned? How does that work for you? We cannot associate with temptation and expect to remain sinless. Proverbs 14:16 admonishes us to be wise and turn away from evil. I Corinthians 6:9 calls upon to not be deceived, and Galatians 6:7-8 states likewise. I Timothy and Titus tell us to be wise and sober-minded. We fool ourselves when we think we can flirt with temptation and remain unaffected.
Psalm 1 blesses the man who avoids associating with sin, and verse 1 describes a progression of being interested in sin to being encircled by it. Think of Lot’s progression from camping outside Sodom to living in the midst of it. We begin by just sinning a little, but we can be trapped by it before we are aware of it. James 1:14 uses the imagery of bait set out before us, luring us toward a trap. Sin is an entrapment when we give into its allure.
Sin costs us our sight of Heaven, of God, and of who we are. Sin imprisons us as slaves of Satan. Sin takes our spiritual lives from us. Romans 6:23, Ezekiel 18:4 both speak of the terminal nature of sin. We lose everything that truly matters when sin entraps us and exacts its cost from us.
John 3:3-5 calls on us to be born again to see and enter God’s kingdom. When we are reborn, we are separated to God for holy service, not unlike Samson’s consecration at birth. We need to remember our obligations to God when we face temptation. Romans 6:6 describes our sinful selves as crucified and released from slavery to sin. We have the power and ability to overcome sin in our lives if we use the strength God gives us.
lesson by Tim Smelser