THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN."
But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. In this passage we see the three tragic consequences of sin in the life of Samson.
I. FIRST WE SEE HOW SIN BLINDS. "AND THEY PUT OUT HIS EYES."
A. One of the insidious aspects of sin is how it destroys the senses.
1. The first time you indulged in a sin that violated your conscience, it was a great struggle. Your heart was beating fast, you knew you were doing wrong, and you felt terrible afterward.
2. The next time you did it, you did not have to struggle to the same degree as the first time, the ice had been broken, having done it once, it was easier to do it twice. You still felt bad, but not as much as the first time.
3. Each time it became easier to do, until you came to the place where you no longer struggled against it, and afterward you did not feel guilty or repentant.
a. This is what Paul referred to as having a conscience seared with a hot iron. The ability to sin without remorse.
b. We read of some of the horrible crimes and atrocities that people commit and seemly show no regrets. We wonder how they can be so cold and indifferent about the horrible thing that they have done.
c. Sin does that, it desensitizes you.
d. A part of a brainwashing technique is to say or do shocking things over and over, until they no longer shock.
e. This is what the movie industry has done to people. They have brainwashed you. The first time you heard filthy language in a movie, it disgusted you, so much you probably got up and walked out of the movie in disgust.
f. The first time you saw nudity on the screen, you felt guilty and filthy.
g. Now you can sit through a whole movie, hear all kinds of filthy language, hear God's name taken in vain, watch a few nude scenes and think nothing of it.
h. You've been brainwashed, you are desensitized.
B. It is possible to play around with sin, until you are far removed from God, but you don't even realize it.
1. We read that Samson said, "I will go out as before, and he knew not that the Spirit of God had departed from him."
2. You are blind to your true state and condition.
C. Look at poor Samson, caught up in the snare of a woman's charm who had but one goal, and that was to destroy him.
1. He had played around with women before, he thought he knew how to play their games.
2. Delilah was pressing Him for the secret of his strength.
a. He said, "Bind me with green vines and I will be weak as other men." She encouraged him to relax and take a little nap, and when he awoke he was bound with green vines.
b. He said tie me with new ropes. Again she encouraged him to take a nap, and when he awoke he found himself bound with new ropes.
c. He said weave the locks of my hair into the loom. She encouraged him to nap, and when he awoke, the locks of his hair were woven into the loom.
d. He said cut my hair. She again encouraged him to take a nap and rest. What's wrong with this guy? Can't he see what is happening? The tragedy is that he cannot see, he has been blinded by sin.
e. He is about to be destroyed and he does not even realize it.
D. Some of you have been playing around with sin, and it seems that you have gotten by with it, no major calamities have happened in your life, and you have almost become contemptuous, as you ask, "How doth God know? Is their knowledge in the most High?"
1. As the psalmist said, "God has set you in a slippery place, in a moment you will be cast down to destruction." Or in other words, "You are walking on an icy plank over the pit of hell." At any moment your foot can slip.
2. You are like a person who is experiencing the excitement and thrill of riding the white water rapids above the Niagara Falls, not realizing what lies around the next bend in the river.
3. With some of you, the Spirit of God has departed from you, and you do not even know it. You have become desensitized by your sin.
4. You have a sense of well being, not realizing that the cancer of sin is about to attack a vital organ.
II. THE NEXT THING WE DISCOVER ABOUT SIN, IS THE BINDING POWER OF SIN. "THEY BOUND HIM WITH CHAINS OF BRASS."
A. The bondage in sin may have started as a dare as you were pushed and pressured by the crowd.
1. There was a lot of prodding and laughing, and joking.
2. You were beginning to get a little drunk, and began to do silly things that had the group laughing. You were far enough out of it to think that they were laughing at your cleverness, but they were laughing at your foolishness.
3. Now you are bound by alcohol, you would give anything to have the power not to drink again. You have gone through every program, but it has a death grip on your life and it will not let go.
B. Maybe as with Samson, it started out as a little flirtation. You were excited by the attention you were getting. You felt the euphoria of dating when you were in high school. She was much younger than you, but her attention was so flattering.
1. Solomon warned:
For by means of a whorish woman [a man is brought] to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
2. He said that her bed was the gate to hell.
3. Now your family is devastated and the children constantly ask, "Why doesn't daddy come home, doesn't he love us any more?
4. You never intended when you began the fling that it should have gone this far, but the other woman is now pregnant, and you are caught in a trap. The binding power of sin.
C. All around us we see people who are caught in the binding power of sin.
D. I don't think that anyone when they took their first drink intended to become an alcoholic.
E. I don't think that anybody when they take the first hit with a drug intends to become a drug addict.
F. Sin has a way of getting a grip on your life and dragging you down until it eventually drags you into the pit of hell.
III. FINALLY WITH SAMSON WE SEE THE GRINDING EFFECT OF SIN. "HE DID GRIND IN THE PRISON HOUSE."
A. In those days they had circular stone troughs with a large millstone that rolled in the groove. In the center of the circle was a revolving post, and a large post was attached to the revolving post, and went through a hole in the center of the millstone. They usually had an ox harnessed to the post. And as it walked in a circle, the post pushed the millstone around the trough and the women would bring their grain, and put it in the trough to be ground into flour by the millstone.
1. Samson was bound to the post, and did the work of an ox, as every day he pushed that heavy millstone around and around in a circle.
2. There in that hot Gaza sun, day after day the same old grind.
3. It is amazing how in time, sin begins to grind on you.
a. The thrills that once attracted you are no longer there.
b. You continue only because you cannot stop.
c. You are in a rut, and you cannot escape it.
4. Life is no longer filled with excitement and joy, it is a grind.
5. You cry out, will someone please stop this whirling dervish and let me off. I am tired, and dizzy and sick.
B. Sampson had once known the thrill of the power of God upon his life.
1. He had been a real terror to the enemies of God.
2. The Spirit of God would come upon his life, and he would be invincible.
3. But in that hot Gaza sun, we now see him bound to the post, his eyes no longer able to see the sun, and as he grinds away day after day, he is longing for the life he once had.
C. If you are playing around with sin, you need to know the consequences.
1. God said, "Can man take fire into his bosom and not get burned?" Prov.6:27
2. You may say, "The preacher, doesn't know what he is talking about. I am having the time of my life."
3. I may not know what I am talking about, but God certainly knew what He was talking about when He said, "There is a path that seems right unto a man, but the end of that path is death."
4. You are on the path to destruction, and you do not even know it, for your eyes are blinded by your sin.
5. Some of you are bound by your sin, but you do not realize it because of your blindness. You say, "I can stop any time I wish." You think that because you are blind to the truth.
6. Some of you have come to the grinding aspect of sin. Your life has become a grind, you do things now by force of habit. You no longer get the thrill or joy, but you keep grinding.
D. The gospel message is that Jesus can set you free from the power that sin binds you. Jesus said, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you will be free indeed.