A GAMBLER’S TALE

Intro: We saw a man who had little regard for God's will for his life in our final glimpse of Samson's life. He sees a woman he wants to marry when he goes to Timnath, which was in Philistine territory, in verse 1. In verse 2, he demands that his parents buy her for him. They do everything in their power to discourage Samson from marrying this Gentile woman who is forbidden, but Samson will not settle for anyone else (verse 3).
Samson's demands are met, and the wedding is planned by his parents. In verse 6, Samson kills a lion in a vineyard on their first trip to Timnath. Being in a vineyard in the first place demonstrated Samson's low regard for God's creation. In verse 8, Samson visits the lion's carcass on their second journey. In verse 9, he eats some of the honey and gives some to his parents after discovering a beehive in the carcass. Not only did Samson not honor his Nazarite vow, but he also broke that vow and didn't tell anyone about it. Samson is a troublemaker in the making. He serves as a warning to all skaters who enjoy skating close to the edge. He serves as a cautionary tale for those who enjoy seeing what they can get away with. I'd like to remind you how sacred our vows to God are! We must meet his expectations. 1 Pet. He expects us to always live for Him. 1:16. 2 Cor. says that he expects us to avoid engaging in evil behavior. 6:17, but to actively seek righteousness, 1 Peter. 3:8-12. We'll take a look at what happened when Samson and his family arrived in Timnath for the wedding in this passage. We'll see that this wedding wasn't as joyful as everyone thought it would be. As we will see, there were arguments, threats, crying, and deaths during that time. I want to preach about the things that these verses say happened. When we deviate from the path of righteousness and gamble with our testimony, I want you to see that there is a cost. As I preach about A Gambler's Tale, let's take note of these happenings together. I. v. 10-11 SAMSON'S WEDDING A. The Tradition Involved – According to verse 10, Samson and his family prepared a feast for the wedding. This suggests that they were well-off. It would have been very expensive to be able to provide a seven-day feast for all present. "For so used the young men to do," our text adds. This indicates that the wedding itself was carried out in accordance with the practices of the time. Let me talk about a few of these customs. The cost of the feast was borne by the groom and his family. Their wealth was to be reflected in the lavishness of the feast. The groom's family was going to plan the wedding. The Bride's parents were compensated for the loss of their daughter and a household worker by receiving a dowry as a part of this. The term "betrothal period" was used to describe the beginning of that time period. Typically, this lasted about a year. The groom would make arrangements for the couple's home during that time. During this time, the bride would get ready for the groom's arrival and put together her wedding outfit. The bridegroom would arrive unannounced, typically at night, to retrieve his bride. He would make preparations for a feast. He would leave his friends behind and pursue his wife. His arrival would be preceded by shouting and trumpet blows at an unanticipated hour. After that, the bridegroom would take her home, where the marriage would be finalized. Usually, things went that way. The wedding of Samson was a little different. He did not invite any guests because he was marrying a Gentile. It would appear that the bride's family provided him with the "thirty companions" mentioned in verse 11. Additionally, he did not appear to return the bride for the wedding meal; She would cook the feast at her house. Aside from that, this wedding was going to be a typical one. B. The Relationship at Play – Despite the fact that I would never consider Samson to be a model of Jesus Christ, I can't imagine a wedding without thinking of the Lord Jesus and His bride. Let me just take a moment to think about what Jesus will do one day. He arranged the marriage and made the initial trip. He paid off His Bride's debts, bought her back from Him, and gave her many other amazing gifts in addition to His unending love. gifts. ( Spiritual gifts, the church, the indwelling of the Spirit, His presence, His providence, etc. John 14:1 says, "He returned to His house to prepare a place for His Bride." He will return to claim His bride when the time is right. According to 1 Thessalonians, trumpet blows and yells will signal his approach. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51. He will call His Bride and take her to His home in heaven when He appears in the clouds above the earth. She will be cleansed from her journey at the Judgment Seat of Christ when she gets there; She will be dressed in fine linen, given the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and will spend eternity with the Lord who loved, saved, and rescued her, according to Rev. 19:7-9! Thank God, that is what we have in store for us! C. What Was Attempted: In verse 10, the word "feast" refers to a "feast involving wine." At least 30 wicked individuals are involved in this feast, which is held in enemy territory. To put it another way, Samson had no right to be at this feast. Jud, because He was a Nazarite, He would never be "unto" the Lord. 13:3-5. Based on his testimony, Samson appeared to enjoy gambling. He did not live up to his claim of serving the Lord. Sadly, it's not far-fetched to imagine Samson having a glass of wine with the enemy. After all, on his way to Timnath, he passed through a vineyard, verse 5. According to verses 8–9, he defiled himself by touching a dead body and consuming lion carcass honey. He is about to start a marriage that is forbidden by God. That is the whole point of it: When you cross the line and become friends with sin, it won't be long before you start giving in to your desires in ways you never thought possible. Sin can easily spread throughout your life. Lev, it is analogous to leprosy in the Old Testament. 13:8. Sin will multiply and spread. You will become consumed by a bitter root of unforgiveness. If you let evil things happen in your life, it will become a bad habit that is hard to break. You will become unfaithful to the church, the Lord, and the Word if you allow a little slack in your spiritual life here and there. When that line is crossed, falling further and further into evil becomes increasingly simple. I. The Wedding of Samson II. 12–18 SAMSON'S WAGER A. Samson's Gall – In verse 14, Samson gave the Philistines the riddle, but we are unable to determine what prompted him to do so. Perhaps it was pride. It's possible that he was attempting to demonstrate that he was smarter than them. It's possible that he did it to ease the wedding's tension. Most likely, these thirty so-called "friends of the bridegroom" were there to protect the people from Samson. Or it could have simply been a way to distract them during the feast days. It appears that difficult questions and riddles were extremely popular in the ancient world. According to 1 Kings 10:1, the Queen of Sheba "came to prove him with hard questions" when she visited Solomon. I am struck by Samson's indifference toward his sin, regardless of the reasons he gives for it. He makes a joke out of an incident from his past that demonstrated his sin. He creates a riddle on the basis of an event that led him to break his Nazarite vows and to disrespect and defile his parents. That is a window into Samson's heart! Ill. When a person stops being affected by their sins, they have real spiritual problems. 1 John 1:8, 10 says that we all sin, but when we sin as believers, there is rebuke and conviction. We feel as though we have betrayed the Lord and damaged our relationship with Him. We seek a place of repentance when we sin. That does not exist in Samson's life. The absence of that sense of sin is a sign that the heart has turned away from the Lord. It shows that the conscience has been shattered. It's a sign that a person's life has been deeply impacted by sin. God, help us to keep our hearts open to sin. When we sin against the Lord and disrespect His name, His House, His Word, or His People, it ought to break our hearts! Ill. Josiah: 2 Kings 22:19, "...thine heart was tender...") People who act in this manner will be judged by God: "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all embarrassed or blushing: As a result, they will join the fallen: Jer., "The LORD says that when they come, they will be cast down." 8:12. B. Samson's Greed: Samson made a straightforward wager. 30 sheets and 30 outfit changes are due to him if the Philistines are unable to solve his riddle by the end of the week. Samson owes them the same thing if they solve the puzzle. The soft, expensive linen wraps that were used as underwear were referred to as "sheets." The wealthy wore outerwear made of what are known as "garments." Bets like this cost a lot. Samson seems to be trying to get a lot of money without working for it. All of the signs of gambling are present in Samson's wager. He is attempting to make a lot with little money. He is just like the thousands of people who go to the store and spend a few dollars in the hope of making a fortune. Whether you gamble a million dollars at a Las Vegas poker table or a dollar per hole with friends at the golf course, gambling is sinful. The Bible does not contain a single verse that says, "Thou shalt not gamble." However, 1 Timothy cautions us against a love of money. 6:10, and it cautions us against lust, Hebrews. 13:5. Additionally, the Bible warns us to steer clear of so-called "get rich quick" schemes, Pro. 13:11; 23:5; Eccl. 5:10. How much better it is to put your faith in the Lord and let him take care of you than to put your money on a bet and lose it. According to J.E. Bedenbaugh, "My grandmother, a staunch Southern Baptist, had marched me off to Sunday school and church regularly." As a result, when I married and switched to the Episcopal church, she challenged me: "Son, what is the problem with the Baptist Church?" I responded, "Well, we flipped a coin to see if we would go to her church or mine, and I lost." I explained. My grandmother said, "Serves you right." Baptists who are good do not gamble. Mark Twain once said, "There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate:" when he can and when he can't afford it.") C. Samson's Gamble: Samson never anticipated losing the wager. He had a lot of advantages. He had no idea that those men would be bringing him thirty brand-new outfits. They might not play by his rules, he did not anticipate. After three days, they came to Samson's bride and forced her to figure out the solution to the riddle. If she does not assist them, they have threatened to burn her and her entire family to death. They even say that she invited them there so that Samson could rob them blind. The bride makes every effort to obtain Samson's response out of fear. She says that because he hasn't told her the answer to his riddle, verse 16, he doesn't love her. She cries, begs, and groans throughout the feast when that fails, verse 17. Samson gets annoyed by this. The meaning of the word "lay sore" is "to put in straits; to stifle. To put it another way, she wore him down and nearly put him to sleep. Moreover, she was causing havoc at the party. Even if a man is the strongest man in the world, he can only handle so much. Solomon discussed the issue of Pro, a whining spouse, in the Proverbs book. 27:15; 21:19; Solomon would have known from 25:24! Regardless, Samson reveals the solution to her, and she flees to inform his adversaries. They respond to him at the last minute by coming to him. Because he only told his wife, he knows right away how they found out. His response in verse 18 is wonderful. Because she has proven to be obstinate and unpredictable, he refers to her as a "heifer." This issue could have been avoided entirely if Samson had been more discerning. He had no right to be with a Philistine woman. He had no right to play games with the enemy. He paid a high price for refusing to keep his distance. Samson is like many people today in our world. When it comes to many aspects of life, they are so shrewd and discerning, but when it comes to their sins, they appear to be so clueless. Despite the obvious dangers they face, they appear to be unaware of them. They will ultimately die as a result of this willful ignorance. I. The Wedding of Samson II. The Third Wager of Samson. v. 19-20 SAMSON'S WRATH A. Samson's wrath's outburst: Samson owes money. He doesn't go shopping for 30 different outfits. He doesn't make them; instead, he kills 30 Philistines in Ashkelon, some 20 miles away, and gives their clothes to the Timnath winners. Samson's heart was further demonstrated by this cruel and vengeful act. (Ill.) Your heart can be seen by how you react to the bad things that people around you do. You will act like Jesus if you are like Him, Ill. Matt. 5:11-12; 43-48. You will act in accordance with your fallen nature when heart issues arise. You will be resentful, recalcitrant, vengeful, hateful, and mean. Indeed, our responses provide a window into our souls.) B. The Result of His Rage: Samson is so enraged that he leaves before the wedding is over. He cancels the wedding when he gets back to his father's house. We have a "fugitive groom" here. The girl's father gives her to one of the thirty men, probably the one who was acting as the "best man," when he discovers that Samson has abandoned his daughter. This occurrence demonstrates that neither the "best man" nor Samson, his potential father-in-law, valued the marriage vow. Samson did not care about the woman or be committed to her. It didn't matter to the girl's father that he had promised Samson his daughter or received a dowry. It didn't matter to the "best man" that the girl had been promised to another man. This is yet another sign that we are dealing with hearts that are corrupt. (Ill. Anger and wrath always have tragic consequences. God said, "Be ye angry, and sin not:" because of this. Eph. 6:14 says, "Do not let your wrath set the sun on fire." 4:26. Proverbs' adage, "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding," refers to this fact. Proverbs 14:29 says, "But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." Additionally, "A man's discretion deferreth his anger; and it is his honor to overlook an offense,” Pro. 19:11. Anger poses a threat. It ruins relationships and friendships. "Anger like fire, finally dies - but only after leaving a path of destruction," a man stated. Additionally, anger reveals who is in error. Ill. A senile shoemaker used to attend the famous English university's public debates. Latin was used for all of the debates. He was asked if he knew Latin by a friend. The cobbler responded, "No, but I know who is wrong in every argument." He replied, "How," to his friend. By determining who is enraged first.") C. The Ordering of His Wrath – One of those verses that makes you stop and think is verse 19. We are aware that Samson's actions were wrong. We know that God was in it even though it was wrong for him to marry the Philistine girl, verse 4. He was wrong to go out and kill, but he did it with the help of the Holy Spirit, as stated in verse 19. This is merely a reminder that God's plan will not be derailed by our sin. His plans will come to pass. God "sought an occasion against the Philistines," according to verse 4. Despite the fact that Samson was a filthy vessel, the Lord still used him, sometimes even in the midst of his sins. Even Samson's transgressions served God's purposes. God used Samson's rage for the benefit of His people. God was determined to stoke up conflict between the Philistines and Israel. He carried out His plan by making use of Samson's rage. All of this is beyond my ability to explain, but suffice it to say that our God is in control of everything, including human sin. Let it be said that Samson should have attacked the Philistines for God's glory, not for retribution, regardless of why or how this happened. He won't be rewarded for what he did here. Conc: We can learn a lot about how to keep our hearts in good condition from this passage. We must exercise extreme caution to avoid falling in love with evil. We need to be careful not to feel resentment, hostility, unforgiveness, or ill will toward other people. We must be careful not to seek wealth that we have not earned. We must ensure that we keep brief accounts with God and maintain a tender heart.

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