Samson fell for an attractive liar. He lacked wisdom and lost his hair, his strength and his sight. Abraham discovered faith and truth through obedience. He developed foundations for his life of promises. He saw things to come when all is new. (Proverbs 11:22; Judges 16; Hebrews 11:8-10; Revelation 22:1-4)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Gary Groenewold
6:30 PM on 5/21/2023
P. Schaller –
Would you like to just take a minute or two and just have a prayer with your neighbor. So, would you do that? You
can move around if you want. Take a minute and go to somebody and have a prayer with them.
Turn with me to the book of Judges 16. I think we are living in a time where people lack wisdom.
We are living in a time where people don’t really understand what is going on. We are living in a
world where people are very naive and also misled. And I want to give you an example of a man
of God, – his name was Samson – was actually attracted to a woman. I think he had three of
them in his life in the Scriptures. He would be attracted to these women, and in this case,
Delilah, which we all know that word, that name. And he talked to her in chapter 16. It must be
that she was attractive to him. That he could look at her, and he was drawn to her as a woman.
And the funny thing about the story is that he realized also that she wasn’t to be trusted. That
she would lie.
So, there you have a combination of two important elements. One, I’m attracted to her and then
two, she’s a liar. I can’t trust her. But I can’t help it. I can’t help it. Why can’t you help it? Cause
I’m immature. I’m naive. I lack wisdom. I don’t have the conviction. I don’t know how to handle it.
Really? Yeah. That’s what the story is about. That’s what happened.
There’s a proverb on it. It’s in Proverbs 11:22. This message will not be long, but I hope powerful
and relevant. Proverbs 11:22, actually a verse that comes up sometimes and I quote it. It’s actually
pretty graphic. vs. 22. You have a pig. And you have a gold ring in its snout. That gold ring is
awesome. That gold ring is money. But it’s in a swine’s snout. If you have the pig live in your
house – and I have been in a house where there was a pig living there which is really unusual.
But you can’t have a pig live in your house. You can but it’s messy. Pretty nasty. But you got
gold in its face. You got a piece of gold in its snout. And same way in vs. 22b. We can put the
word “attractive” there. Attractive woman. What kind of woman? Attractive. Compelling. You’re
drawn to her. You like how she looks. You’re fascinated or attracted to her yet she has no
discretion in vs. 22.
So, What do we need in this life in order for us to live this life, and have the power and the
authority in our soul and to know the difference. And to say, Delilah, not going to happen. Bye
bye. It’s over. I’m done. I’m finished. I’m not going to deal with you. I’m not going to look at you.
You’re not in my phone. I don’t have any contact with you. It’s over. I’m done. I’m finished.
Because even though there is something about you that fascinates me, I’m wiser than that. How
did you get the wisdom? Where did that come from? Going to church.
Many years ago when we started going to church, and we learned in this church that we go
three times a week. I’ve done that all my life, 50 years. Fifty years of going to church 3 times a
week and of course, in our case, many of us that are ministers, it’s a lot more than that. What
have we gained? Not being perfect, but we’ve gained something. We’re able to say not always
but by the grace of God, no to Delilah. You’re able to get clean. You’re able to live clean. You’re
able to live in faith. But that worm of corruption, that sin nature, it bubbles up in our hearts.
Nobody is removed from this. You cannot handle that on your own. And I believe that life in
general is not made for us to handle on our own. I believe that with all my heart. I believe that
life is not so I handle it by myself. I need a shepherd. I mean a real shepherd. I mean a shoutin,
yellin, persuasive, compelling, wise, compassionate, loving – I need a man of God in my life. I
need the Word of God in my life. I need a message that takes me beyond and transcends.
That’s what I want to say today, tonight, and we’ll go back to Hebrews 11 and read about Abraham
as we did this morning. Now, that thing that I just shared relates to some.
There’s people in Nepal and India that are living in a Hindu culture, their parents, grandparents, great
grandparents for thousands of years undoubtedly they were hindus all that time. And to leave
Hinduism is a big deal. To leave my home and my tradition and my culture, to leave my mother
and my father and to be a first generation Christian is a big deal. How did Abraham do it?
It’s Hebrews 11:8. By faith. That’s like us. When I started to go to the church and I started to read my
Bible and hang out with wise people and listen to messages and rap sessions and be built up in
it and learn to become a hearer, then actually I didn’t know where it would take me. Just like all
of us. Like Abraham. Not knowing where it would take us.
And when you say goodbye to Delilah, you don’t know where that will take you. And when Jonah
left the presence of God, and went down to Joppa to catch a ship, he didn’t know where that
would take him. But he went down in the bottom of the ship, he went down into the bottom of the
sea, he went down into the fish and they threw him overboard. And he went down and he didn’t
know. But when you have God in your life, when God is teaching us, when God can speak to
that fish and the fish can make it’s way up. It doesn’t even know. It’s way down in the bottom
and you are in it, and it’s going up, up, up, up, and shoots you out on the beach. And when you
land on the beach and you just say in your life, you just say there’s no doubt, there’s no question
I’m going to Nineveh. God is sending me. It’s obvious to me. I’m a man of God.
You are a man of God. You are a woman of God. That if you make your bed in hell, God is there. At his right
hand he will lead you and he’ll never leave you, never forsake you.
Abraham was on a journey, and we need the roots in our life. We need roots in our life so that
we can make these decisions of faith. And maybe – we had a brother here this morning who has
made good decisions, and he is going to Bible school and he wants to go on. He’s aggressively
going and he’s hearing and believing. And he’s embracing these things like Abraham did. Like P.
Gary said, it was amazing in Nepal and India. It was amazing as these people are making great
faith decisions. They’re saying in their hearts, they’re believing God. I might get in trouble, but
I’m believing God. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m believing God. I’m not sure how it will
turn out, but I’m believing God.
I’m mixing faith with what I hear, and I’m believing God. One of the little boys that was playing the guitar was an orphan. P. Gary told it right. His mother had to get rid of him, so she took him to the woods and left him in the woods with other
throwaways. The little boy was in the woods. It was in the newspaper that children were
abandoned in the woods there in Nepal, right in Katmandu in that area. P. Rajan went down in
the woods to find them, and he brought them out. They have a little orphanage there and now
he’s the song leader with a huge, big smile. Works of faith. Decisions of faith.
P. Gary and I were talking like getting on the airplane, we feel like mice. We feel very small and
vulnerable. We get on the plane and we go like we feel small, and we’re more afraid and we’re
timid even though we have done this for years, actually decades. But still like what’s going to
happen and pray for us and may God bless it. Then, when we come back, we’re like lions.
There’s nothing we could not do. That’s the way we are as people.
I wonder if Abraham felt insecure. Did he doubt? Is he an example for us? Chapter 11:9, I was
thinking about P. Jon and Diane Post. They lived how many years in Nepal? Eight years they
lived there. They know all about it. They did great work. That’s the fruit of your labor and
investment in the Body and so on.
Look at vs. 9. But that’s okay. We were in Israel one time and we were in Bethlehem. We went
there to see the place where Jesus was born. We were out in the fields looking at the caves or
we got the mood and the feeling of the shepherds that night when Christ was born. Then off a
short distance away was a huge mausoleum built to King Herod the Great. I asked the tour
guide, do many people go to that mausoleum? He said, no, nobody goes there. But millions go
to this site where Christ was born. Millions and millions of people fro around the world come
here to Bethlehem where Christ was born. Nobody goes there. I never heard of it before.
What does it mean to live by faith? It means that we’re looking for a city, vs. 10. How deep are
the foundations? I can say no to Delilah.
That’s how deep it is. Delilah, I’m not interested. I don’t trust you. You’re a liar, a deceiver. I don’t trust you. You’re not good for me. May God save you. May God have mercy on you. You need help. You need to go to a counselor. You need to go to John Hadley and get some good counsel, Delilah, and get your life straightened out. What do I need? A city that has foundations that can say no to the devil. A city that has foundations that
can say, no, not going to happen. No, I can’t believe that. I don’t embrace it.
Why did Abraham think this? Because he had an imagination. His imagination was that I know
that life is not just here. I know that God did not make us to die. He made us to live. I know that
this world is so narrow and atheism, are you kidding me? You’re an atheist. You’re such an
arrogant, stupid person. You’re an atheist. Let me put down a number here. What’s an atheist? I
mean I’m a little bit worked up about it. Here’s the history of the world. Thousands of years, man
has believed in God. I’ll put here man and we got how many? Ninety-six percent of the world’s
population believes in God. Do they believe in God. Yeah. So, you don’t believe in God. You’re
four percent and you’re atheist and you’re contradicting all of human history. Not only the
present, but all of human history. All of mankind is believing in God.
Why? Because they have an imagination. And what do you say about my imagination? You’re shutting me down to a very little narrow world where there is no God. The only reality is the material world. Are you kidding?
That’s why the Bible calls you a fool. You have no imagination. If I sit around and listen to you,
I’m going to become like you. A dried up, negative, pessimistic, unbelieving man with no
I’ll never see my mother again. I’ll never see people again. I’ll never see God. I’ll never see a
heaven. I’ll never see the reality of what this whole thing is about. I’ll never have my eyes open
to the grandeur of an Almighty God who made the world with fish and potatoes and animals and
sky and clouds and rainbow. You idiot, you. Don’t talk to me. I mean I’m making fun. I’m
attacking them. Why not? It’s foolish and the arrogance of it. The arrogance of it. The education
that you need to become an atheist. You have to be educated thousands and thousands of
hours, and be told this propaganda day after day, week, year after year and then in your crisis
you cry out to God, of course. What am I talking about? Abraham looked for a city but not here.
Cause he had it in his heart. He had an imagination for it. He believed it. He realized there’s a
better world. Let me finish with this.
Revelation 21:1, who saw a new heaven and new earth but John. vs. 2-3. Do you have an
imagination? Imagine a great voice like the sound of many waters like Niagara Falls. A deep
sound that is a great sound that goes through heaven. Can you imagine a great voice in heaven
saying behold the tabernacle of God is with who? Is with men. “What is man that you are
mindful of him or the son of man that you visit him?” A man has, he has language. How can you
explain language. Where did language come from? How do you explain language? And he has
ears, and the sound goes through.
My voice goes through the air and it lands on your ears, and
it goes to your brain and you understand what I am saying. These words are the reality. This is
God’s Word that is going to our heart and our mind, and we are saying amen and agreeing. How
can we explain that, but that we are made in the image of God. And that God is saying can you
see it? That the transcendent reality of God is with us every day.
There is an essay by G.K. Chesterton I believe on how he saw a dandelion, a flower, and one
simple dandelion weed. And he saw it. He had like a transcendental realization. He worshipped
God. He saw it. That’s what I’m talking about, about the thin membrane between us and heaven.
“Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God.” When we think about the world that we are
living in and just say, oh, no. God is here. Jacob said God is here and I did not know it. We are
saying God is here and we are realizing that God is with us every day. That we are looking for a
city that has foundations, where there is no – how does it say it here? “God shall wipe away all
the tears. There will be no more death neither sorrow nor crying. Neither shall there be any
more pain, for the former things are passed away.”
Abraham, why did you look for that city? Maybe because when I was a little boy I believe this. I
believed that God made the world, and that he made the world so that he wanted our world to
be without pain. But we have pain. But I don’t think it’s right. He wanted the world to be without a
cemetary. But we have cemetaries. I don’t think it’s right. That’s why Buddhism, by the way, is a
philosophy where you lose your identity. You lose your ego. You’re a drop of water in the ocean
of reality and you are gone. You are just blended in to the whole cosmos.
One little boy that was told by his liberal minded mother about the Buddhism ideology, he said
when I die, what happens? Cause his cousin died. What happened to so and so? His mother
explained and then he cried out. He said, I don’t want to be fertilizer. I don’t want to be fertilizer!
When mom said to the kid, where do we go when we die? You become dust. He said I think
under my bed there’s a lot of people there. Mom, there’s a lot of people under my dead. I don’t
want to be fertilizer. I’m not just going back to the dust. I’m not just disappearing. God made a
city and the builder and maker is God. There is no more crying. No more tears. There is no
more pain, no more heartache. There is no broken relationship. There is no end. It’s just and
who is saying this? A great voice in heaven is saying it. Wow!
Well, just in closing, you and I better have in this time in our life the sense to have in our heart
the sense of a message. We need a message. And we have it. And talk. And talk to people
around you. Tell them and love them. Listen to them and encourage them. This life is passing,
and we are the ones in this world to say there’s more to life than what you can see. And believe
God. Abraham did and great things happened. And out of him came a multitude, like the stars in
the sky in multitude. And wise people that could say to Delilah, no. I’m not looking at you
anymore. I’m not gazing at you. I’m not interested in you. You cannot catch me. You cannot
Genesis 39, when Joseph was in Egypt, you know the story, and he basically said that to that
woman. How could he do it? How could he do it? Where did that come from? How did that
happen? That’s God. That’s Christ in us. And the more we kind of enjoy our life of faith, and our
ability to make those decisions and have conviction in our heart and say no to this and no to that
and have gravity that we enjoy life, the better we have the chance of making it in this life. And
even after we fail, we just get up and go on. You fail again, and you get up and go on. And you
keep going from faith to faith and you overcome and you glorify God and make an invisible God
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.