Keys from the story of Sampson, about the grace of god, how he loves us even in the midst of defeat and disgrace. This story is about the goodness of God to someone who's fallen over, fallen down. You are not beyond the reach of God no matter where you are today. The best days of our life are ahead of us if we're in the hands of God.
I want you to look with me in Judges 16. If I was to mention to you the name Samson, what would come to mind? What words would come to the mind straight away? [Delilah] Isn't that interesting? Delilah is the first thing that would come to mind.
I'm glad you said that word, because it indicates that our tendency is to look at life from a very negative perspective. That story is not about Delilah by the way. It’s about a man of faith, a man who believed God, in spite of massive failure; and the thing is, he's named a hero of faith, not because of all he did before he met Delilah, but what he did after he was restored.
So our first response, when we think of the name Samson, is immediately you think Delilah; and immediately you think of the sexual sin, the bondage, the troubles he got into; and so our mind tends to look at him, and in a way we kind of feel sorry for him, and we feel like: well, we wouldn't do that. We've just seen what happened to him; we wouldn't do the same, and tend to look at it out of a negative and prideful perspective, but the Bible has a different perspective on him.
If we were to check up in Hebrews 11 verse 32, we would find that the Holy Ghost specifically encouraged someone to write down, and He recorded out of four thousand years of history, men who God liked, men who impressed God, men who pleased God; and out of all of the people that did something for God in history, the Bible records or pulls out about a dozen of them, and right there stuck in the middle is Samson!
Not a mention of Delilah in the New Testament, not one mention of her. Why is that? Because when the Holy Ghost looks on Samson, the Holy Ghost records he was the man who rose out of failure and setback, and trusted in the grace of God. He dared to believe that grace could come to him. He dared to believe that in the most impossible and difficult setback, where everything in his life had been stripped away from him, where his life now was in ruins, and he's no longer fulfilling his purpose, he dared to believe that God was still good, and would help him at that moment.
It's great when life is going well, to think good of God; but you know when you're right down there, and things are in trouble, and there's pressure on you; that is when you need to know that this God we serve, is a God who loves us. He's a God of grace, and He's a God who can reach right down to you, wherever you are; and everyone's said: it's over, you're history, you've failed; and God says: I see the fire of faith in that man's heart; I can pick him up out of there, and I can cause his end to be stronger than his beginning. Now that is a great message, and Delilah's got not much to do with that. It's all about God. You've got to focus on the right things.
It says in Judges 16:4 - it says: afterwards he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, the Valley of Vines, whose name was Delilah.
Delilah means literally - it means to bring you low, to dry you up, to make you feeble - how about that? To bring you low, dry you up, make you feeble; so every person has got a Delilah, something that brings you down, makes you weak, makes you feeble. Your faith starts to falter.
It could be some little wee habit you've got in your life, it could be some area in your heart, whatever it is, the devil knows about it. I can tell you now, and he will have assignments, that will go descend a Delilah into your life.
Your Delilah is whatever you trade with, to feel better. Your Delilah could be the television, it could be the Internet, could be romance novels, it could be all kinds of things. Your Delilah is whatever you trade away your purpose and destiny, to feel a little better about yourself.