Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel, which translated means, "God with us."
The Call of Christmas
700 years before the birth of Christ, God gave a prophecy to Isaiah, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
Christmas is a sign from God to man. A sign is something special and symbolic, pointing to a greater truth and reality. Christmas is God calling out to man, “Hello, turn over here, pay attention, listen, this is so important, life and death.” Indeed, the Call of Christmas is not to be missed.
God gave a special sign, so that we will not miss His call - the sign of the extraordinary birth of Christ. He was to be born of a virgin. This is of course not possible in the natural, it took place only by the supernatural power of God. That’s what makes Christmas a sign, because it was the miraculous work of God!
Now, a sign is to point us to something greater. Don’t get caught up with the sign, but the significance of the sign. What is the meaning of the sign? What is the call of Christmas?
I. The Incarnation of God – God with Us
The word “incarnation” means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God became flesh and blood, born as a human, and dwelt among us. Christmas is the miraculous birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a miraculous birth not just because of the virgin birth, but because Jesus is no ordinary child. He is the only Son of God. The Bible reveals that there is only one true God, who expresses Himself in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, He is God the Son. He is the almighty God, all knowing, all powerful and all present. Yet, on Christmas day He came to earth and was born as a tiny, helpless and weak human baby. God became a man.
Why is it that God have to become a man? It is because man is separated from God. All of us have sinned against God and fallen short of His glory. The holy and perfect God cannot tolerate sin. No sinner can stand before Him. Throughout the ages man has tried all ways and means to get to God, but we fail again and again, because no matter what we do, we cannot erase the sins in our lives, neither can we make up for the wrong things that we do. With the advance in technology, we can travel far and wide, we can even travel to moon. But there is nothing we can do to shorten the distance between God and us. The separation of sin is so wide that we can’t even take a single step towards God. Only God can take the steps towards us. That’s why He gives us the miracle of Christmas, the birth of the Son of God. Jesus came from heaven to earth and was born as a man. One of His names is called Immanuel, which means, “God with us.”
C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, wrote this, “The Son of God became a son of man so that the sons of man might become the sons of God.” He came to where we are so that we might go to where He is.
Thank God that He doesn’t stay far, far away and say, “Climb up here.” No, He knows that no matter how hard we try, we can never get to Him on our own, therefore He comes down to bring us up. This is the meaning Christmas, the incarnation of God. God is with us. God is with you.
II. The Intervention of God – God Helps Us
This world is full of problems. Whether 2,000 years ago or today in year 2016, the world is suffering. We are destroying ourselves even before the Final Judgement Day. Some people complain that why aren’t God doing something about it? The answer is, He did! Christmas is the intervention of God, He came personally to help us.
Rom 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
The devil would want you to believe that God is against you, that He is angry with you and mad at you. The truth is, God is not against you, He is for you. God is not mad at you, He is mad about you. Even though you turned away from God, He doesn’t turn away from you. He came to you because He is for you.
Another translation puts it this way, God is on your side. He is here to help you. If God is for you, who can be against you? If God has given you His own Son, what else will He withhold from you? Our God is prosperous – the whole world belongs to Him. Our God is generous – He’s given you His best in the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will freely give you all things. Our God is miraculous – He is able to do, exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that you can ask or imagine. Prosperous, generous and miraculous. What a Saviour we have!
Some say, “This sounds too good to be true. Why would He be for me? Nobody likes me. I don’t even like myself!” The answer is simple, it is because God loves you with an unchanging and unconditional love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God is for you, He doesn’t want you to perish in sin. Jesus came to save you from your sin and to give you a new life. This is good news; this is the meaning of Christmas. God has intervened our world to help us, and if you will let Him in, He will intervene on your behalf too.
III. The Invitation of God – God Saves Us
Jesus was born to be the Savior of the world.
Matthew 1:21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
Luke 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
John 1:11-12 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
When Jesus came, there were many who rejected Him, many who chose to go on their own way. But as many as received Him and believed in Him, they become children of God.
Christmas is a sign from God to you. You’ve been searching for answer, Jesus is your answer. He is the way, the truth and the life. He has come to be with you, to help you, and to save you.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The Sign of the Saviour
Signs are meant to point you somewhere. The signs of God are meant to point you to God. Throughout the history of mankind, God has given us so many signs.
But there is something unexpected here. We are talking about the sign of the Saviour of the world. The message was announced by an angel of the Lord. What was the sign?
Luke 2:12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
We’d expect the Saviour of the world to arrive with a grand entry. Just suppose you brought an overseas friend to the National Day Parade. Your friend had never seen the President of Singapore. So you’d tell him what signs to look for, to recognize when the President arrived. What would you have told him? Probably things like, the black Mercedes slowly driving into the parade square, escorting with traffic police motorcade, etc. And this is just the president of Singapore! Not the super power nations like America, Russia or China.
But what was the sign of the Saviour? A baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger!
No wonder the world at that time missed the sign. The Jews were waiting for their Messiah, the Saviour. But when He came, they missed Him altogether! They wanted something grand, spectacular, impressive, like a knight wearing shining armour riding on a white horse. They wanted a sign, but not the sign of a baby in a manger!
Why did God choose such a simple sign for the Saviour? God is sovereign and He is in total control. He did not simply “allow” His Son to be born in a stable, He actually planned it and ordained it!
What does the sign tell us?
I. The Sign of Humanity – “You will find a baby”
Jesus Christ the Son of God was born as a baby. This brings us face to face with the truth of the Incarnation - God embodied Himself in human flesh. Although Jesus was fully and truly God from all eternity, He took on humanity when He was born as a baby on Christmas day.
Take note, He did not cease to be God, although He did temporarily laid aside the outward glory of His Godhood. Neither did He become half-God and half-man, for He remained fully God and fully man. We can’t comprehend it, but the Lord Jesus Christ was the God-man, divinity and humanity joining together in His one Person.
Why did God do that?
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil – 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
This is the central truth of Christianity. Jesus became man to die for our sin as a man. What we could not do, he did for us through his Son. If He had not been born, He could not have died for our sins. And He would not have risen from the dead. But thank God, He came, and we are saved when we put our faith in Him.
But this is what Christians believe. And this verse teaches us that the Lord from heaven entered this earth as a tiny, helpless baby.
II. The Sign of Helplessness — “Wrapped in cloths”
It sounds like a contradiction; how could the almighty God be described as helpless? But when Jesus was born as a baby, He was weak and helpless just like any other babies. He had to be wrapped in cloths to be protected from the harsh elements. Why did He do that?
Philippians 2:7-8 Jesus made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
Jesus became a helpless baby, pointing us to the day when He had grown up as man, standing before the Jewish authorities, bound and guarded as if He was a criminal. When falsely accused, he made no reply. When reviled, he refused to answer in kind. He stood before his accusers with his hands tied, awaiting the verdict that would end his life. It is no coincidence that he entered the world as he left it - bound and helpless.
He was bound that we might be set free. He died so that we might live.
III. The Sign of Humility – “Lying in a manger”
What is a “manger”? It is something like a stable or perhaps a feeding-trough. In the first century, stables were often nothing more than a circle of stones around a hollowed-out cave in the side of a hill. Mangers were not the beautiful, clean places we see in our Christmas pageants. They are lonely, dirty, smelly places made for animals.
Obviously the Saviour of the world didn’t belong here in the manger. The Son of God from heaven deserved the best the world had to offer. He came from heaven to earth - and ends up in a stable? How can that be? Suppose you had all power and all money and you could choose the time and place and manner of your son’s birth. Would you choose to have him born outside, in a stable? That doesn’t make any sense.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
This is a divine exchange! Jesus became poor so that you might become rich. He became weak so that you might become strong.
Whosoever will can come to Jesus. He was born like this in order that the humble might feel invited to come to Him. The very manner of His birth—turned away from the inn, born in a stable—was an invitation to the rejected, the abused, the mistreated, the forgotten, the overlooked, to come to Him for salvation. “We might tremble to approach a throne, but we cannot fear to approach a manger.” If Jesus had been born in Paris or in Beverly Hills, only the rich and famous would feel at home with Him. But since he was born in a stable, all the outsiders of the world (and there are far more outsiders than insiders) would instinctively feel a kinship with Jesus.
In another story, we would find wise men from the east coming to worship the new born Saviour. They brought with them precious gifts to offer to Him.
Therefore, whether you are rich or poor, young or old, you are welcome by the Saviour.
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.”
God’s signs can come to anyone and everyone, not just a select few. Whosoever will may receive, whosoever listen will hear. In the first Christmas, God sent the greatest sign of His love through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ.
God offers His signs to each of us. Nobody needs to be left out. God’s love is for all, and He reaches out to all. Today, whoever you are, whatever you have done in the past, whether you are Christians or non-Christians, God’s love includes you. He speaks to you, He gives you His signs to lead you to Him, so that you may receive healing and hope, blessings and salvation.
16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.
17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more."
Baby Boys of Bethlehem
This is not the typical story for Christmas sermon.
It’s a story of a tyrant king trying to murder the new born king. In his failure, Herod unleashed his murderous fury on innocent two-year olds. Such demonic cruelty, injustice, and oppression! Most people prefer a more sanitized Christmas, speaking only of the wonderful and fuzzy feelings of a festive holiday season.
But human suffering is real, and our faith would be shallow if we cannot face the reality of human sufferings.
We may not have the answer, and even if we do, we fumble for words. But Christ has the answer, indeed Christ is the answer!
Christmas is the birth of Christ, and Christ was born for a reason. He was born with a mission, to be the Saviour of the world.
Why do we need a Saviour? Because we need to be saved.
I. We Need to be Saved from Sinfulness
Matthew 2:16 Herod became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under.
The Bible says that all have sinned. But sometimes we forget how sinful is sin and how wicked is wickedness.
It is in a story like this that we are reminded of the sinfulness of human heart.
Today Bethlehem is a bustling town of 28,000 people. Back then it was a tiny village six miles south of Jerusalem. Its population in Jesus’ day was no more than a few hundred people.
How many baby boys were under the age of 2 in Bethlehem? Maybe around 20 were killed. But of course, even one is too many!
Hard to imagine, 20 baby boys, rounded up by Herod’s soldiers, slaughtered on the spot, run through with swords and spears. A brutal, vicious, bloodthirsty murder of innocent babies.
Why would a man do this? How could he be so cruel?
As we look at these verses we are struck with an enormous sense of evil. In fact, it’s hard to find the right words to describe the act— barbaric, despicable, hideous, inhuman, unspeakably cruel. It is an act worthy of Hitler, Pol Pot, or ISIS.
Herod the Great was a killer. Human life meant nothing to him. He even killed his family: mother-in-law, wife, two sons.
He killed out of spite and he killed to stay in power. He wouldn’t have thought twice about killing a couple dozen baby boys in a little town like Bethlehem. The great historian Josephus called him “barbaric.” Caesar Augustus said, “It is safer to be Herod’s sow than his son.”
It’s easy to read about a man like Herod and to turn him into some kind of monster. But sin is in all of us - not just the temptation to sin, but sin itself dwells in us.
We don’t like to hear this truth, which is why we don’t like to think about stories like the slaughter of the infants of Bethlehem. They force us to confront the truth about who we really are.
You may think that you would never do what Herod did. Don’t be so sure!
Ordinary men have done horrible acts in the face of survival. Atrocities have been committed when tempted with huge profits. Lowly compromises have been made for self-interest.
Apart from the grace of God, there is no sin we won’t commit.
The slaughter of the infants reminds us again why Christ had to be born.
Jesus came to be a Savior, and we are all sinners desperately in need of a Savior.
II. We Need to be Saved from Suffering
Jesus was born into a world of suffering.
The slaughter of the innocent baby boys epitomized the helplessness and hopelessness of the common folks.
But perhaps the greatest struggle with the problem of suffering is the question, “Where was God? Why didn’t He do something?”
We read of angel warning Joseph and Mary, guiding them to bring baby Jesus out of harm’s way. What about the other baby boys? Does God not love them as well? Why weren’t their parents warned?
In our own lives, we too may question God when bad things took place. Why didn’t God warn us or prevent it from happening?
I don’t pretend to have the perfect answer to the question of suffering, but a few points to note:
1. God speaks, and He’s been speaking, but we refuse to listen.
The Bible says that God has been calling out to the world to repent and return to Him, yet man will not listen. In other words, we refused to listen to God about sin and morality, but we blamed God for not warning us about danger and calamity. Sin brings suffering. We can’t choose between sin and refuse suffering.
2. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as the answer to suffering.
Christ suffered so that we can overcome suffering. His body was broken so that ours can be made whole. He died so that we may live.
This doesn’t mean that we are spared of all sufferings, for we are still living in this sinful and fallen world. This world is imperfect, that’s why we look forward to a better world to come.
3. God will put an end to suffering, once for all, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
God intervenes and saves many from danger, but not all the time and not all people. If it is all the time and for all people, then it’d be the final judgment day. That day is not yet, giving us a chance to share the gospel and save as many as we can.
Today, you may think that your suffering makes no sense. But put your trust in Jesus Christ. Obey Him, follow Him.
One day, you will find yourself walking with Him in heaven, free from the bondages of this world. Free at last, free forever.
III. We Need to be Saved from Sorrow
Matthew 2:18 A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.
There are many types of sorrow, but this is the sorrow of death.
The pain of losing your loved ones is unbearable. But the greatest would be for a mother to lose her young child.
We cannot comfort such sorrow, only God the Father and His Word can.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God the Father knows the pain of losing your child, in fact, the only child! And He did it because He loves the world, He loves you.
Some may point out that Jesus rose from the dead, so the Father did not actually lose Him. But that is the point, the Father gave the Son so that you shall not perish but have eternal life. When life on earth ends, life in heaven begins. If you love your family so much, all the more so you’d want to make sure they believe in Jesus. That is the only way that your family can be together forever.
Christ the Saviour was born to save you from sinfulness, suffering and sorrow.
Many have personally tasted of His saving grace, lived a transformed life of holiness instead of sinfulness, blessing instead of suffering, joyful instead of sorrowful.
Has the world changed since the first Christmas?
Yes. On one hand, it has changed for the worst, as Satan doubled and tripled his effort to destroy the world. On the other hand, it has changed for the better, because Christ has come, and He is coming again. Moreover, His disciples all over the world, living as salt and light, sharing His love and hope.
The Herod of 2000 years ago failed to destroy Christmas, the Herods today still fail.
Remember, God always wins!
Let's be encouraged, be hopeful, trust in God and commit ourselves to Jesus Christ now and forever.
1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was sterile and remained childless.
3 The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son.
4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean,
5 because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him,
25 and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
The life of Samson is a lesson on wasted potential. Never had there been a life so promising and yet so disappointing.
He was born at a time when Israel was oppressed by the Philistines for 40 years. Samson means “sunshine.” And in the darkest days of his nation’s history, sunshine came into the world.
But unlike most of the previous judges, Samson didn’t deliver his people from foreign domination. He began the work of deliverance that others would finish. It would take the prayers of Samuel and the sword of David to finish the job that Samson started.
He was a Nazirite, which means consecrated, separated, or set aside. He was to have no wine or fruit of the vine. He couldn’t come near or touch a dead body, whether animal or human. And he couldn’t cut his hair.
Normally a Nazirite vow was for a limited period of time, but in Samson’s case, the vow was to last all his life. The calling of God was upon him, setting him apart for the great work of God.
As a result, Samson was given great strength of the Lord. On one occasion he slew 1,000 Philistines with just the jawbone of a donkey. On another, he lifted the gates of the city up a hill on his shoulders. Then there was the time he was confronted by a wild lion, and tore it apart with his bare hands.
What did he look like? Like Schwarzenegger? No. Probably just average. How do we know? Because Delilah asked him the secret of his strength. It wasn’t obvious that he had great strength. Samson’s great strength came only when the ‘Spirit of the Lord came upon him’.
Samson seemed like quite a fun guy to be around. He was sharp witted. He loved riddles and had a great sense of humor. No wonder his name was sunshine, he would brighten up a room whenever he was around.
And yet this is not a happy story, it is a tragedy. He went from hero to zero, from victor to victim. His life was to be marked by disobedience, defeat, disgrace, and destruction.
His life was a bundle of contradictions. He was bold before men, but weak before women. He had the Spirit of God upon him, but lived for the appetites of the flesh. He was called upon to declare war upon the enemies of God, but many times we find him making friends with the enemies of God. He fought the Lord’s battles by day, and broke the Lord’s commandments by night.
Sunshine was his name, which speaks of light, yet he ended his life in darkness having had his eyes gouged out. At times he soared to incredible heights, but also sunk to incredible depths.
If you had told Samson at the beginning of how his life would end, he would have sneered and laughed you off. Who would have thought that he would went that far. Samson paid a high price for his low living.
What are the causes of his failure?
1. Dominated by Desires
1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman.
2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
‘Down’ is a geographical term, but it has more meaning than that to me. When you run from God, you’re going down! Read the story of Jonah, he went down over and over again until he went God’s way.
Samson was going down spiritually because he was dominated by his sensual desires. He had a weakness for woman. Not only that, he lusted after Philistine women, who were ungodly and unbelieving women.
2 Corinthians 6:14-15
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Different faith, different values, different direction in life!
Law of gravity makes it so much easier to be pulled down then to be pulled up.
Samson’s marriage to the Philistine woman turned sour, and it also opened him up to a life of sinful pursuit of sensual pleasures.
Judges 16:1 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.
Judges 16:4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.
It keeps getting worse. Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.
1 Corinthians 6:15-18
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!
16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
How unique are sexual sins! The consequences go on and on. Forgiveness is still possible, but the consequences continue.
2. Wanted Own Way
Judges 14:3 His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.”
Samson was blessed with godly heritage. His parents were God-fearing and gave him the right counsel. Sadly, Samson would not listen. He insisted on wanting his own way.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Samson thumbed his nose at his parents, and died young!
3. Careless with Consecration
Couldn’t be careless, a cavalier attitude of haughty disregard.
Samson was a Nazirite from birth, he knew it was the secret of his supernatural strength. Yet he broke the vow one by one, keeping only the minimum.
He wanted the strength but not the sacrifice!
Judges 14:5 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him.
‘Vineyards’ = he went to a place he wasn’t supposed to be. You say, that’s just a little thing. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. It is when we are just flirting with sin, playing with fire that the slippery slope takes over.
8 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass. In it was a swarm of bees and some honey,
9 which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.
‘Carcase’ = more disobedience. He keeps violating his vows. He is losing his focus. He is sinning in high gear! And it’s a downward spiral.
The deeper you go into sin, the blinder you get! Samson was blind long before his eyes were gouged out!
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.
4. Presumptuous with Power
The power of God was given to fight the Philistines and deliver his nation. But he misused it for personal pleasures and revenge. Samson was not fighting God’s battles, but his own. He was misusing his gifts.
First he married a Philistine woman, thrown a wedding feast, and all the guests are Philistines. He was joking, laughing and playing games with them. He was with the wrong crowds!
Samson played game with the Philistine guests, asking them to solve a riddle. They couldn’t solve his riddle, so they threatened Samson’s wife.
16 Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?”
17 She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.
Samson could stand before an army, but not before a crying woman.
Time and again he defeated the Philistines, so he thought he had everything under control. He was prideful and presumptuous.
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.
5 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.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
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 tired to death.
17 So he told her everything.
19 Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man 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 in the prison.
22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,
28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,
30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
In Heb 11:32 we find Samson listed in the heroes of faith.
Finally, at the lowest point of his life, Samson repented. Our God is the God of second chance!
He died young, he died needlessly. He could have done so much more for God. He is in heaven, but he missed all the rewards of God.
The high cost of low living! Don’t play with sin. Sin will have no mercy on you, so don’t have mercy with sin.
Sin starts small, but it grows big.
Today, there is mercy with our God!