5-15-24:What You Don’t know Can Hurt You!

But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.” Judges 16:20

A wasted life, a mission unaccomplished. Sad words but for at least some true believers this is reality. When you get to my age in life you
have the perspective to look back and evaluate many of the decisions you made. You can see where you honored God by obeying Him or you can see where you chose a path that was what you wanted but was not what God desired. The sad part is that late in life there are not a lot of years left to make one’s life count for God.
There is no greater example of this than the story of Samson.
Selected by God from before his birth, Samson was raised to be a
Nazirite – totally dedicated to God. Empowered by God he became
the strongest man in the world and he was also a judge of Israel. But
Samson had a problem. He loved the things of the world. He willingly violated God’s commands when he demanded his parents select him a wife from the Philistines. Despite his parents’ warning (what do old
people know?) and despite the “marriage’ becoming a disaster, Samson never saw God’s hand trying to guide him in the right path. Samson fought the Philistines, God’s enemy, (that was a good thing) but he never dealt with the love in his heart for the world. Instead of separating himself from the things of the world that enticed to him to sin he openly engaged with them. Finally he fell in love with Delilah, a woman of the Philistines – a woman who did not love him and who would try to destroy him by deceit.
Through her constant pestering she took Samson to a point of no return – revealing where his great strength came from. Samson made a great mistake, one that has been repeated thousands of times since then – he thought he could “get away” with engaging in sin and yet escape its consequences. Samson misinterpreted God’s longsuffering with God not minding what he did.
After Delilah finally harassed Samson into telling her the source of his strength, he crossed the line. Many people think that Samson was punished by God because he told Delilah that he could not cut his hair but nowhere in Scripture do we read that this was to be kept a secret. The sad fact is Samson may believe this is true. His strength, he might think, is from something he did – grow his hair long. What major mistake did Samson make that cost him his strength, his eyesight and his freedom? Samson attributed his strength to his own characteristics, not to God. Pride and turning his back on God. Samson did what God consistently warned against – he no longer glorified God – he forgot all about Him in his life.
After Delilah cut Samson’s hair the Philistines attacked. We see Samson is oblivions to his true situation. He must have realized that his hair was cut. There would be a great weight removed from his head and neck. Perhaps he knew his strength was really from the Lord. He has fought many battles in his life in his own strength but he does not notice that this time he is going to battle without the true source of his strength – the Lord’s power. God’s word says Samson did not know (or recognize) that the Lord was removed from him. He was self-deceived.
What happens when that occurs? Samson experiences the sad impact of sin. He gets the desires of his heart. Samson’ did not control his eyes – what he looked at and now his eyes are gouged out. Samson took credit for his own strength and failed to give God the glory for his gift and now his strength is lost and his enemies mock him. Samson took great pride in being invincible – no one could defeat him and now he is in chains as a slave. Samson did not deal with his lust of the flesh and now he is paraded naked in front of God’s enemies – those people Samson continually practiced compromise with. Think God gave him the desire of his heart?
What can we learn? Judges 16:20 should make believers tremble. We can so compromise with the world that we no longer can even discern that God’s power has left us. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit does not leave us but we can grieve Him with our sin so that there is no power in our lives. The sad part is that many have lived that way for so long that they never even notice that their lives are no longer powered by the strength of God. What we don’t know can really hurt us.