Sneaky Vines

Background Story: Samson was a warrior and judge for Israel. God gifted Samson with incredible strength and called him to be a Nazarite. In Numbers 6, the Bible talks about the requirements of a Nazarite…one requirement was that they did not cut their hair. Samson was a warrior for Israel for 20 years defeating all of the enemies of God until one day when he met Delilah, a Philistine (the enemy of Israel).

Read Judges 16:4-21

Some time later, he (Samson) fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”

So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”

Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”

11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”

He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin.

Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 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.

20 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.

21 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. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

Big Idea: Watch out for the vines of sin.

Last night I was working in our flower beds and saw a weird leaf on one of our bushes. As I grabbed it, I was shocked to see this weird leaf was actually a vine. The vine had grown up winding itself throughout the bush wrapping itself around its branches. It was choking the bush and left alone would have ended up killing it. Sin is the same way. In the story of Samson, we see a man that God gifted with incredible strength so that he could be used by God to fight the enemies of Israel. Ironically, the armies sent to destroy him did not take Samson down but it was sin with a woman and pride.

As a believer, you need to be aware that Satan is actively working to place attractive sins in your path to keep you from being effective. Satan wants to entangle you in the vines of sin to keep you from fulfilling the purpose God has on your life. It’s easy to justify sin thinking a little sin (or leaf) isn’t going to hurt you. Samson continued to play with sin believing he was too strong to be entangled. But that sin grew into a giant vine that he could not escape and ultimately choked him from his purpose.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

If today you find yourself wrapped up in sin, bring it to the cross in repentance. Pull that sin up by the root leaving nothing remaining or it will grow up again. You can’t keep playing with it and not keep getting entangled. Pray asking God to help you be aware and give you wisdom in the future. Keep running that race that has been marked for you fixing your eyes on Jesus!

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