Text: Judges 16:30
By: Joel Uto
Judges 16:30 – Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So, the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.
Samson’s statement, “Let me die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:28-30), is really pathetic and we want to admonish ourselves from it.
The story of the life of Samson should come to mind and how he died. He was a Nazarite and as such he was not to drink wine, eat any unclean food and no razor to touch his head.
However, Samson seemed to take lightly, God’s commands.
He touched uncleaned animal. Judges 14:9 – He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion. Leviticus 11:9 – ‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat.
He married outside the family of Israel. Judges 14:2 – So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.”
Probably, he drank wine. Judges 14:10 – So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so.
He was a whoremonger. Judges 16:14 – So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.
His hair was cut through his own negligence. Judges 16:19 – Then, she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then, she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
Consequently, he did not become aware that God left him.
Judges 16:20 – And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So, he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.
Hence, he was blinded and imprisoned. Judges 16:21 – Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
Eventually, he died with the Philistines. Judges 16:30 – Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So, the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.
The Philistines are the enemy of God’s people (Israel). Samson physically died with them.
Many Christians die spiritually with the Philistines today slowly, imperceptible as with Samson, not aware of the departure of the Lord from you.
Philistine is equal to the world in our time – Love not the world neither the things therein. Some churches in the eyes of God are not really churches of Christ; they agreed with the world.
Revelation 3:1,17 – “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things say, He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
This calls for the church to be spiritual in all ramifications.
WHY DO GOD’S PEOPLE DIE WITH THE PHILISTINES?
- Many have forgotten the worth of their own soul. Matthew 16:26 – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Also, they have forgotten that it costs Christ His life to cleanse us from our old sins. II Peter 1:9 – For he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins (cf. I Corinthians 6:20).
This being so, elders are to carefully watch over the flock because of its value. Acts 20:28 – Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
And the flock are to be obedient.
- Not grounded in the faith. Luke 8:13 – But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
The Christian must grow in knowledge of God’s word – II Peter 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (cf. II Timothy 2:15).
Do you avail yourself for the services of God always? If not, whose fault, is it?
God puts no premium on ignorance – John 8:31-32, Hosea 4:6, Acts 17:30.
Having become Christians for some time (years), we should know that the only way, we are set apart, is living by the truth – John 17:17.
It should be clear to us that coming to Jesus Christ is to learn of Him. As we choose to listen to Jesus Christ, like Mary, we have chosen the good part – Luke 10:42.
- The Word is choked out of our lives by cares, worldliness, pleasures, riches….
Luke 8:14 – Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
Are we spending more time to pleasures, self-gains than we do in services to our Saviour?
Satan can win our hearts by just diverting our attention away from spiritual things to material things, all of the time.
Service to God should always come first in our Christian lives – Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (cf. John 6:27). Let’s create a balance between the service of God and others.
Like Samson, many consider the way of righteousness too narrow that they willingly go into sin.
How do you control your desires, your eyes, the light of the body, words from your mouth, often times? Every sin committed leaves a mark even after repentance, so we must be careful about the Christian life.
James exhorts us to keep our religion pure.
James 1:27 – Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world
Sin, once tasted, is hard to get out of mind, as it affects the heart.
- Rejection of reproofs and admonishments.
Ephesians 4:19 – who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. I Timothy 4:2 – speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.
Teaching and sermons reprove us.
II Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Teaching and sermons should not be shunned.
We should appreciate the word of God that come to us. We should count those who correct us as friends. Galatians 2:11 – Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed (cf. II Peter 3:15);
SOME SIGNS THAT WE ARE DYING WITH THE PHILISTINES?
- When we worship by rote (from memory without thought or meaning). Isaiah 29:13 – Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.
For example, you do not try growing in what or how you give unto the Lord; singing lacklustre; sleeping during teachings and admonitions; casual attitude which reflect on our dressing and demeanour – God deserves the best from us when we come to Him.
- When we shun opportunities to be with Christians. Hebrews 3:13 – But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
It is imperative that all of us should be in all arrangements put in place for studying the word, do good works; but we are not always found. We may be dying with the Philistines and have not realized it!
- Spending more of our time chasing money, wealth than serving God.
I Timothy 6:9-10 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
We should be conscious of greed (covetousness) –
Luke 12:15. Christ warned us of it. There is nothing wrong to have money or things but keep priorities in order.
- When we are not stirred to repentance, when the sin we are involved in, is mentioned.
Acts 24:25 – Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time, I will call for you.” (cf. Acts 17:32; Romans 1:32).
People would die with Philistines because they live in sin, by way of excuse and justification of participating or by condoning sin of others. Such as keeping quiet or silence or by lending your name and influence to it.
- When we are not moved to restore erring brother or sister.
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted (cf. James 5:19-20).
- When the works of the flesh are considered as a matter of opinion.
Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Dancing, immodesty, discussing movies, justifying drinking intoxicating beverages by pointing to such practices in foreign countries. One may be dying with the Philistines.
- Do any of these signs describe your actions or attitude?
- Let us not get comfortable in our attitude toward sin. This could be slowly dying with the Philistines and not aware that the Lord has departed from us.
- God has provided life for us and the necessary sustenance for us – Deuteronomy 30:19; Acts 20:30. The choice is ours Let’s make the right one.
- The blessings provided are only to be had in Christ Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:27.