Read Judges 13:1-5
No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines. Judges 13:5
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3
At a time when Israel was influenced by the Philistine beliefs, intermingling and embracing their ungodly lifestyle, and accepting their domination, God birthed a child through a barren woman to begin delivering Israel from enemy rule.
From his birth Sampson was to be a life-long Nazirite living distinctively different than others. As a Nazirite he was to avoid drinking wine, avoid physical contact with dead bodies, and was not to cut his hair. This pattern of living would allow Sampson’s life to stand out in direct contrast to the ungodly lifestyle assimilated by the Israelites.
Why the restriction of wine for Sampson and what’s the relevance of this story for us today? I think we miss the point if we use these passages to conclude whether or not to refrain from or enjoy drinking a glass of Merlot. The story’s message focuses on our need to accept God’s Word and instructions as truth and live accordingly. The Israelites were intoxicated having accepted beliefs and values that were in direct violation to the lifestyle God directed.
For Sampson, avoiding wine was a protection and strategy in preventing toxic pollutants from infiltrating his thinking. This same message is given in Romans 12:2…”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Satan’s attempts to deceive are as alive today as they were in the Garden of Eden. The serpent encouraged Eve to believe the fruit was good for her offering her wisdom. She accepted his reasoning believing God was withholding from her. As Eve bit into the fruit, the Israelites bought into the lie that it was reasonable and beneficial to live under Philistine rule. What lies are we rationalizing and buying into today?
Even at a time when Israel contaminated their minds and hearts with enemy beliefs, when they had no awareness of their need for God, no desire for Him, and no interest in his lordship, God pursued them. He was at work behind enemy lines birthing a deliverer to call them back to the protective shelter of His truth and unending love. He continues to call to us today.
We read God’s instructions for a godly life in the Bible. Jesus lived a life fully embracing and living out God’s truth. The Holy Spirit dwells within every believer revealing truth and exposing deception. Ask the Holy Spirit today to reveal any enemy lies you have embraced. They may include:
- Cultural values
- Childhood beliefs
- Negative words spoken by others
- Thoughts that bring fear
- Thoughts that question God’s goodness, love, or faithfulness