“Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. So he went down and talked to the woman; and she looked good to Samson. When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. So he scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.”
Judges 14:5-9 NASB1995
Before Samson was even born, his parents dedicated him to the Lord, with something called “a Nazirite vow.” The short version of what this means is that, throughout his whole life, Samson was supposed to follow three basic rules:
1. Don’t drink alcohol.
2. Don’t touch anything dead.
3. Don’t cut your hair.
Pretty simple, right? But you know what guys like Samson say: “Rules are made to be broken.”
Today in Judges 14, we’ll read how Samson first got to use his God-given strength to do something pretty cool. But that wasn’t good enough for him. When he came back later, he conveniently ignored one of these oh-so-simple rules, and he touched something dead. But more than that, he full-on dug his hands into it! Why, Samson, why? For a couple of fistfuls of honey. (Yes, you read that right.) Even by the standards of Old Testament times, what Samson did was nasty!
Stupid? Absolutely. Just like you and me. Before we judge Samson too harshly, let’s be honest. Even when we believe God has blessed us, we can still turn on him in an instant. Think about what this looks like in your life. What causes us to choose our own way, over what we say we believe is God’s best for us? In my experience, nine times out of 10, it’s because we see something we want, and then, right in that moment, that becomes all we can think about.
Lust makes us think, I want it. Entitlement is that little voice that takes “I want it” and adds “…and I deserve it”:
I work hard. I’ve earned some extra.
I’ve spent a lot of money at this place over the years. I deserve a little payback.
I’m not getting my needs met at home. And sometimes a guy’s just gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.
When we start listening to that whisper of entitlement—I deserve this. I’ve earned this. I need this—we’re simply justifying our lust, instead of turning our hearts toward what we know God wants.
“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
James 4:1-3 NASB1995
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