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BREAKING THE CHAINS OF BAD RELATIONSHIPS
Judges 16:4-22
4 After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him.
Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."
6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you." 7 Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
9 Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room.
And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!"
But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire.
So his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me how you may be bound."
11 He said to her, "If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!"
For the men were lying in wait in the inner room.
But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread.
13 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound."
And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web[and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man."
14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web].
And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!"
But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.
15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, "I love you,' when your heart is not with me?
You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is." 16 It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death.
17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb.
If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man."
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart."
Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands.
19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair.
Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him.
20 She said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!"
And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free."
But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.
22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.
(NASU)
 
INTRODUCTION:
Our ultimate destiny in life has a lot to do with who or what we choose to be connected to.
And just like being connected to the right person can inspire us to greatness, being intimately connected to the wrong person can lead us to personal destruction.
The people we choose to be connected to can either propel us towards our blessed destiny, or they can hold us captive by reminding us of our messed-up history, they can either encourage us to fulfill our God-given greatness, or they can discourage us, pushing us down into a pool of self-pity.
They can inspire us to move forward into our future, or they can pull us down into the depths of failure and frustration.
They can help to bring out the best in us, or they can hurt by bringing out the worst in us.
One of the greatest lessons you can learn in life is to learn how to choose the right people to be connected to.
Charles Swindoll was right when he said that it’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by so many turkeys!
We need to understand today, that as we make the commitment to putting Christ first in our lives and as we make the commitment to following his plans and His purposes, not everybody around us is going to share the same passion for Jesus that we have.
How many of you know that when Jesus walked this earth, He was constantly surrounded by folks who had their own agendas and their own ideas about what Jesus should and should not do?
Jesus was constantly surrounded by folks who were not interested in advancing the Kingdom of God, but they were only interested in advancing their own interests and their own desires.
And, likewise, you and I are surrounded by folks who have their own agendas and their own ideas about who and what we should be and how we should live our lives, and we need to understand that once we make that commitment to following Jesus, once we make our minds that’s it’s all about Him and not about us, once we make that decision to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, that at that moment we’ve got to make up our minds who we’re going to be connected to.
If you’re trying to walk in the spirit, you can’t be intimately connected to somebody who walking in the flesh.
If God has given you a vision for your life, you can’t hook with somebody who has no vision for their lives and tries to kill the vision in your life.
If you’re trying to live by the Word of God, you can’t be in an intimate relationship with somebody who lives by their own wisdom and philosophy.
God desires that not only our vertical relationship with Him is right, but also that our horizontal relationships with other people are right, and if a person hasn’t made a commitment to getting their vertical stuff right, then their horizontal stuff is going to be all messed up.
And my brothers and sisters, if you find yourself in the midst of a relationship in which you’re being manipulated and used, if you find yourself in a situation in which you’re being played and abused, there’s good news for you in this text today.
God’s got a word for somebody looking at me right now who’s sick and tired of getting caught up and hooked up with folks who do nothing bu weigh you down and wear you out.
Well, in our text today, Samson hooks up with a woman who caused him to get caught up in a bad relationship, and guess what, her name was Delilah.
Most of us are familiar with the context of this text.
We know in Judges 16:1-3, Samson, this holy man, hooks up with a hoochie in Gaza and God has mercy on Samson and allows him to escape from those who waiting to take his very life.
And by time we catch up with Samson in verse 4, we see him hooking up with this woman from the valley of Sorek who name was Delilah.
And by the time we come to the end of chapter 16, we see Samson, this strong, Nazerite man of God who defeat armies and kill lions with his bare hands, caught up in the midst of another bad relationship.
And the question I want to ask brother Samson this morning is…why in the world would you mess with a woman like Delilah?
And more importantly for all of us this morning is…HOW DO HOLY PEOPLE END UP IN UNHOLY RELATIONSHIPS?
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M CAUGHT UP IN A RELATIONSHIP THAT’S NO GOOD FOR ME? WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OR THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PERSON WHO MIGHT LEAD ME INTO A BAD RELATIONSHIP?
Well, I want to look at sister Delilah this AFTERNOON and identify two or three characteristics of a person who might pull us down into a BAD RELATIONSHIP.
How to Know If you’re caught up in a Bad Relationship:
 
1) If the person you’re connected with is GUIDED BY GREED, then you’re caught up in a bad relationship.
Write that down… In this text we discover that greed caused Delilah to betray her lover, Samson.*
* – we clearly see this in verse 4 through 6: /After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him.
Then we will each give you *eleven hundred pieces of silver."*/*
*/So Delilahsaid to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you."/
Samson was hooked up with a woman who was guided by
greed.
And I know that Delilah was guided by greed because she was offered and
she accepted a whole lot of money to betray Samson.
In order to understand how much money was being offered to Delilah, you have to understand that this text says that the LORDS OF THE PHILISTINES came to Delilah and each offered her 1100 pieces of silver.
Now, the text doesn’t explicitly tell us how many lords, or how many men came to do this dirty deal with Delilah, but we do know from Biblical research that the Philistine nation was made up of 5 major cities and each of these cities had its own king, its own ruler or its own Lord.
And so, although the text doesn’t explicitly tell us the exact number of men that
came to Delilah, most Bible scholars believe that at least 5 Philistine lords
approached Delilah about betraying Samson.
And so, based on Biblical research
and using our sanctified imagination, if at least five philistine lords offered Delilah
1100 pieces of silver each, then Delilah was being offered at least 5500 pieces of
silver to betray Samson.
And 5500 pieces of silver back in those days was enough
money to set you up for the rest of your life.
And so when she discovered how
much money she was being offered, she decided these revenues meant more than
her relationship, this cash meant more than her commitment, this silver meant
more to her than Samson, and she decided to sell out her man for 5500 pieces of
silver.
Samson found himself in the midst of a bad relationship because he was in
an intimate relationship with a woman who was guided by greed.
People who are
guided by greed are people who are more concerned with what they can get than
what they can give, their goal is to do whatever it takes to acquire money and
possessions, money is their god, materialism is their philosophy, getting more
things is their goal and selfishness is their guiding motivation.
What is greed?
Webster’s dictionary defines *greed* as the* *excessive or insatiable desire for Wealth or for gain.
Greed is the unquenchable desire in our hearts to get more things, to grab for more things, and to gain more things.
Greed is the passionate pursuit of perishable Products and possessions.
Greed is the attitude that’s not satisfied with the blessings and provisions of God, but instead of trusting in the Lord to supply, greed drives a person to work in the power of their own flesh to get what they think they need.
A word that is closely associated with greed in The Bible is the word COVETEOUSNESS, and covetousness is defined as /“an intense desire to possess something (or someone) that rightfully belongs to another person.”
/
Greed caused Cain to kill his brother Abel
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