The Danger of Prayerlessness

Photo by Davis Arenas: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-rock-on-top-of-mountain-11520508/

Judges 15:18 And {Samson} was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

Judges 16:28-30 And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

These are the only two recorded prayers that Samson prayed.

Several years ago I heard Pastor Adrian Rogers say:

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.”

That is so very true! The Bible warns us that …

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God gives us life as a gift from Him. Physical life is a precious gift, and spiritual life is a wondrous, miraculous gift. Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins. The Bible says:

2 Corinthians 5:21 {God the Father} made {Jesus Christ} to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus Christ was and will always be within Himself SINLESS. Yet God made Him to be SIN, that we might be made RIGHTEOUS. Sin will kill you! When Jesus taught us to pray, part of that “Lord’s Prayer” says:

Matthew 6:12-13 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Saved by Grace, the Christian is supposed to daily call out to God for our daily bread. We are sustained not by the POWER of our hand, but by the PROVISION of our Heavenly Father. We pray for our bread. But we also pray forgive us our debts. We daily look at the garden of our lives, and pull out any weeds of sin by prayer. We CONFESS our sins to God. The Apostle John said:

1 John 1:6-10 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

God’s People Are To PRAY And OBEY

Those who fail to PRAY, usually fail to OBEY. When we sin against God we do not hurt God. When we sin against God we hurt OURSELVES. Read with me:

Judges 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

The “wages of sin is death”. Israel is God’s people. God saved Israel. God established Israel in the nation of Canaan. And God told them to follow Him if they wished to be blessed. But Israel decided they wanted to follow the path of sin. So God raised punished Israel by allowing the Philistines to conquer them for 40 years. If you do not do what God tells you to do dear Christian, you will find yourself conquered by the Philistines!

But God is grace filled and merciful. With the punishment God also brings a solution. God raised up a Judge from a woman who was barren. God loves to bring blessing out of brokenness. God sent an angel to this woman who said:

Judges 13:3-5 Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. 4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: 5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

God often brought blessings where there was barrenness. Abraham’s wife Sarah (Genesis 16:1) was barren, the Prophet Samuel’s mother Hannah (1 Samuel 1:2) was barren. John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth (Luke 1:7) was barren. God can bless those who rely on Him. We do not know the name of Sampson’s mother, but we know she was barren. But God was going to bless her. The Angel told her:

vs 4 drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not
any unclean thing

This woman was going to bear a child that would be special. The Angel said:

vs 5 the child shall be a Nazarite unto God
from the womb

Word Study: The Nazarites (which means “consecrated ones”) were men or women who were set apart as special workers for God. The “Law of the Nazarite” is found in Numbers 6:1-21.

Samson along with the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) were Nazarites for life. The Apostle Paul took the Nazarite vow for a short time (Acts 18:18).

One of the key provisions of the Nazarite – whether man or woman – was that their hair not be cut. We are told:

vs 5 no razor shall come on his head

God kept His Word to Samson’s mother. We read in:

Judges 13:24-25 … the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him

God was going to use Samson (his name means “Strength Of The Sun”) to begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Ellicott’s Commentary notes that:

The Rabbis say that he was “named after the name of God, who is called Sun and Shield of Israel” (Psalm 84:12).”

Samson would start Israel down the path of freedom from the Philistines, but he would not complete the work. Why? There were two reasons:

It Is Dangerous To Fail To OBEY, And Foolish To Not PRAY

Samson’s HAIR marked him as a Nazarite, set apart to serve God. God wants more than the appearance of righteousness. As God’s people we are to share the Gospel with the lost – but are NEVER to intimately bind together with the lost. The Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 5:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

And again,

1 Corinthians 6:14-18 … Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Sexual sin – like all other sins – can destroy you. Though Samson kept the Law of the Nazarite (he did not cut his hair, nor did he drink wine or strong drink), he compromised himself sexually. Though Samson was called of God to overthrow the Philistines:

Judges 14:2 … {Samson} came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

In the ancient world marriages were arranged by the parents. When Samson demanded this, his parents tried to talk him out of it. But Samson wouldn’t listen. The Bible says:

Judges 14:7-8 … {Samson} went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. 8 And after a time he returned to take her …

The Jewish betrothal could last up to a year. After the betrothal period Samson returned to take her back to his home as his wife. Samson didn’t pray about it. He just did it. Samson married the enemy.

After marrying the Philistine woman, Samson posed a riddle to the Philistines. Samson had killed a lion, and later saw that there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion” (Judges 14:8). Samson told the Philistines a riddle, and gave them seven days to solve it. His riddle was:

Judges 14:14 … Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

When they could not figure out the riddle (the lion killed was meat, and the honey in the lion was the sweet), the Philistines went to Samson’s wife. The Bible says:

Judges 14:15 … it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson’s wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire …

Samson’s wife begged him to tell her the meaning of the riddle – and he did. Of course, she told the Philistines. Not only did this cause the end of the marriage, but caused the death of many. The Bible tells us:

Judges 15:14-17 … And when {Samson} came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. 17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.

Samson named the place where he killed so many Philistines Ramathlehi, which means “the casting away of the jaw bone”. His Philistine wife betrayed him with her mouth (jawbone), so he used the jawbone of an ass to destroy the enemy. Did Samson learn anything from this? No. In his first recorded prayer he said:

Judges 15:18 And {Samson} was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

Samson is almost arrogant in what he prays. He does not confess his sin of intermarrying with a Philistine woman, nor does Samson glorify God for his victory. Thirsty from killing 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass he cries out to God. God in Grace blesses Samson. Matthew Henry’s Commentary notes:

Samson prayed to God in this distress. Those that forget to attend God their praises, may be compelled to attend him with their prayers. Past experiences of God’s power and goodness, are excellent pleas in prayer for further mercy. He pleads his being exposed to God’s enemies; our best pleas are taken from God’s glory. The Lord sent him seasonable relief. The place of this action was, from the jaw-bone, called Lehi. And in the place thus called, God caused a fountain suddenly and seasonably to open, close by Samson.”

Samson Kept Playing With Sin – And It Caught Up With Him

Samson didn’t learn from his past mistakes. We read:

Judges 16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

Gaza” is a stronghold of the Philistines. Samson has played with sin, so getting away with it decides to play again. He goes into a well known bawdy house and spends the night. When he does, his enemies the Philistines plot to kill him in the morning. We read:

Judges 16:3 … Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron …

Gaza was a gated city with walls about it. Samson got up at midnight, and went to the barred gates and tore them down with his bare hands. As sentries were normally placed on the gates, he probably killed these sentries. The Philistines couldn’t do anything to stop Samson. But SIN can.

Judges 16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Samson did not marry Delilah, but visited her in sexual sin. The Benson Commentary notes:

Here Samson met with Delilah, who, whether she was a Jewess or a Philistine, was probably a harlot …”

This is the THIRD TIME Samson has fallen into sexual sin. We do not know whether Delilah is a Philistine, or if she is just a harlot who worked amongst the Philistines, but she was open to their advances. The Philistines asked Delilah:

Judges 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was sold to the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). There were five lords of the Philistines, and each promised 1100 pieces of silver or two talents – about 150 pounds of silver. A single talent was equivalent to 20 years of wages, so two talents would be enough wages to give Delilah a comfortable life for at least 40 years.

Delilah agreed to the deal!

She began to ask Samson the secret of his strength. We read:

Judges 16:7 Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

The seven green withs literally means seven bow strings worth of fresh cat gut or animal sinew. The 5 lords of the Philistines brought her the fresh sinew, and she bound him – probably when he was asleep. The Philistines attacked, and he broke the sinew. Delilah asked Samson again to tell her the secret of his strength. He said:

Judges 16:11 … If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

Again, she bound Samson. The Philistines attacked, and he broke them off his arms like thread” (vs 12). Once more Delilah asked him the secret of his strength. Now Samson says:

Judges 16:13 … If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.

The Benson Commentary interprets this as:

If my hair, which is all divided into seven locks, be fastened about a weaver’s beam, or interwoven with weavers’ threads, then I shall be weak as another man. It is probable there was some loom or instrument of weaving in the room where Samson now was”

Of course, this does nothing to Samson. When the enemy attack, he ignores the web in his hair. But then Samson tells her the truth. If his hair is cut, he will lose his strength. The Philistines take Samson, and gouge out his eyes. Sin has conquered the Nazarite Judge.

As time passes, Samson’s hair grows. He is in captivity, a play thing of the Philistines. One day the Philistines decide to make sport of Samson again, so they bring him into one of their massive Coliseums. Tied between the pillars of his enemy, Samson prays. This is the SECOND and only prayer you see recorded in Samson’s life.

Judges 16:28-30 And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

What a sad end to what could have been a stellar life for God. Beloved, let us pray. Let us not rely on our strength, but on the strength of God. If you belong to Christ, prayer is so very important to you. Every day while you live on this earth, live for Jesus. Obey the Lord your God. Pray, and confess sin. Keep your eyes on the Lord, and your heart focused on glorifying God your Savior.

May God the Holy Spirit take this and use it for the glory of God and the furtherance of Christ’s Kingdom. Amen and amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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