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Eaten-Up

Victory out of
Apparent Defeat

Scripture

Judg 14:14 "And he said unto them, 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."

Text

Judg 14:14 "ÖOut of the eater came forth meat Ö"

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Background

Samson lived in a strange time.
But he was a man of faith.
It may not sound like when we read about him in the Bible, but he was a man that trusted God.

Not many generations after the flood
Abraham was born in Ur of the Chaldees just a few miles north of present day Kuwait.

When he was 70 years old
God called him out of Ur and into the Promised Land in present day Israel.

God promised Abraham
that He would make of him a great nation by giving him a son in his old age.

Isaac
was born of Abraham and Sarah

Jacob
was born of Isaac and Rebekah

12 sons
were born of Jacob

Through Godís own might
Jacob and his whole family ended up in Egypt and stayed there until Moses came to deliver them.

God then raised up Moses
who came and led Israel out of Egypt into what could have been a 2 week journey but resulted into 40 years in the wilderness.

Joshua
then led them into the Promised Land.

And after the death of Joshua and Caleb

Judg 2:10 "Ö there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel."

The people of Israel
then fell into willfulness and sin, and their enemies came in and made them their servants.

Each time this happened
God would raise up a Judge or Military Leader or War Chieftain to bring them out of their situation.

This was long before
the time of Samuel, David, Solomon and all the Kings of Israel and Judah.

During this era of Judges
we read in the Bible

Judg 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."
Judg 13:2 "And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not."
Judg 13:3 "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son."
Judg 13:4 "Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:"
Judg 13:5 "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."

Manoahís wife
was to have a miraculus son named Samson who was to be a Nazarite, separated unto God.

The word ďNazariteĒ
means to be separate.

Samson was not to live like the rest.
He was to be separate unto God.

He was not to live like the world.
He was to be separate from the world, but also separate unto God.

There are many good Baptist People
who are separate today.

They are separate from worldliness,
not drinking
not smoking
not cursing
not dressing immodestly
not dancing
not promoting Hollywood
not into worldly music
not into adultery or fornication
not going where all these things take place

This is good.
but this has no value by itself.

There are many people
who are lost and know not God at all but are separate.

Bro. Russell and his group
go to a Nursing Home every week to see many people who never drink, smoke, dance, promote Hollywood, commit adultery, but many of whom are lost.
The "do nots" do not get the job done.

Our Daughter-in-law
has kept children in her home for years who never drink, smoke, dance, promote Hollywood, commit adultery, and yet many do not know God.

Separation by necessity or on purpose
has no real value in itself.

We should not be simply separated from the world,
But we should be separated from the world and separated unto God.

I am for separation
and my wife and I attempt to live a separated life.
And we attempt to live that life unto God.

But that still does not give us license
to demand that every one else do the same.

I teach it and preach it.
but if you are not convicted of God to receive it, then I will try to patiently bear with you.

The real secret to a separated life
is allowing God to crowd out everything that should not be there.

As Christ increases in a life
all other things decrease.

As a person Asks, and Seeks and Knocks
at the door of the Saviour all other things lose their value.

And we
ask for them a lot less often, seek them much less than we used to, knock on their doors with much infrequency.

Samson was to live a separated life.

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God Uses What He Can Get

Judg 14:1 "And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines."
Judg 14:2 "And he 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."
Judg 14:3 "Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well."

Samson was
being disobedient to his parents and to God,
being willfur in his attitude.

But God
was going to use this disobedience in a very wonderful and supernatural way.

Look at the next verse Ö

Judg 14:4 "But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel."

God did not encourage Samson
to marry a heathen woman so that He could accomplish a secret plan.

God saw that Samson was set
on marrying a lost woman and God was going to use it to the best advantage of Samson, of Samsonís family, of Israel and even the Philistines.

Only God
can work in wonderful ways in the darkest of circumstances.

Even in his death
God used the situation.

Though blinded
Samson put his hands on the 2 pillars that held up the Temple of Dagon and pushed them over and brought the whole building down killing all the leading Philistines of the time.

God can use what you give Him
Raise your hand if you want God to use what little you give Him.

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The Roar

Now lets go back and pick up our text and employ it in our lives today.

Samson said,
Dad, Mom, you have got to get this girl for me to marry.

I know that she does not know God
but, I can teach her,
but, she is pretty
but, she has this wonderful smile
but, she walks like an angel
but, she thinks that I am a hunk
but, she loves me.

Now, he didnít say this all at once
he wore his parents down with it all.

He may have told them...
How they made him take this Nazarite vow.
How they made him go to a school he didnít like.
How they made him forced him to dress a certain way.
How they made him say yes sir, no maím.
How they made him not have any fun.

And now
all he asks is to marry this wonderful girl.

The next thing we read
is that they are on their way to get the girl.
He must have worn them down.
He must have made them feel guilty.
He must have pointed out failures in their lives.

Judg 14:5 "Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him."

When God uses a person
in a special way the devil always seeks to destroy him.
1 Pet 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

Judg 14:6 "And the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done."

Now, I personally think
that Samson was just an ordinary looking person.

I donít think
he looked very strong.

Neither I donít think he was a sissy,
who prissed around with a limp wrist.

But I think the Philistines
couldnít see any great quality about him either or else why would they keep wondering why he was so strong?

Samson was strong
because of the Spirit of God.

Judg 14:7 "And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well."
Judg 14:8 "And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion."
Judg 14:9 "And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion."
Judg 14:10 "So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do."
Judg 14:11 "And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him."
Judg 14:12 "And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:"
Judg 14:13 "But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it."
Judg 14:14 "And he said unto them, 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."

The Riddle was tough
Samson killed a lion with his bare hands, who was trying to eat him. When he went back later he found a swarm of bees in the bleached bones.

This seemed like a paradox to him
The eater had become food instead of eating.
The tough guy had become sweet.
All at the hands of One more powerful.

There is a Roaring Lion
that checks his cage door every day seeing if it will open and whom he may destroy.

The devil seeks
to wreck our lives
to ruin our testimony
to rake us over his dinner coals.

Nothing could be worse
than to have the devil ruin a life.

But, a life that has been ruined
is not forsakened by God.

Out of the Eater
came forth something to eat.

Out of the Sweetless
came forth sweetness.

God can turn the worst
into the best.

God can trun the sorriest
into the useful.

God can turn the laziest
into the energetic.

God can turn the sinner
into a saint.

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Illustrations

Remember Joseph
who was sold as a slave into Egypt by his brothers.

The Eater was on his trail.
He was falsely accused by Potipharís wife.
He was forgotten in prison by the Baker.
He was raised in a foreign land by foreign people as a slave.

Pharaoh had a dream
Joseph interpreted the dream and was made second in Command in all of Egypt He confronts his brothers again and we read in Genesis one of my favorite verses
Gen 50:20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

The Eater was on his trail
but out of the Eater came forth something to Eat.

This is the way God works.
God will use the devilís works against the devil.
God will use the devil himself, against himself.

The Eater is on our Trail
but out of the Eater came forth something to eat and out of the Sweetless came forth the Sweet.

God will use
what you will give Him.

He can use the devil.
He can use the devilís tricks.

Wave your Bible
If you want God to use what the devil has tore up in your life.

Remember the Maid in Naamanís household?
She was a young girl of Israel who was taken as a slave to Syria.
Her hold world must have seemed to be Eaten Up by a fierce and hungry Lion.

But
Out of the Eater came forth something to eat.
And out of the Sweetless came forth the Sweet.

God can use what you will give Him.
Little or much

Say Amen!
if you want God to use you for His great purposes.

Remember The Apostle Paul

Phil 1:8 "For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ."
Phil 1:9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;"
Phil 1:10 "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;"
Phil 1:11 "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
Phil 1:12 "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;"

Paul said
all the things that happened to me were for good.

Paul said,
The Eater has been on my trail.
But instead of being eaten he was provided something for me to Eat.

Paul was
beaten with rods
beaten with a whip
imprisoned
shipwreck
stoned
left for dead
disliked by many, even his former friends

But Paul said,

Phil 1:12 "Öthat the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;"

The devil was trying to Eat Paul
but Paul found something to Eat out of the whole affair.
And even found something to nourish many others as well.

Out of the Sweetless
came the Sweet.

Remember Jesus Christ
The devil Roared when he saw Judas betray our Lord.
The devil Roared when he saw the soldiers take Him away.
The devil Roared when he saw Jesus go before Pilate and the Priests and Herod.
The devil Roared when he saw Jesus being beaten.
The devil Roared when he saw Jesus being nailed to the cross.
The devil Roared when he saw Jesus die and the earth grew dark.
The devil Roared when he saw the despair of the Apostles and those that followed.
The devil Roared on Sunday Morning when Jesus came out of the Grave.

He didnít Roar for Victory
but because the angel rolled the stone over on his tail.

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Look Back

Think of the darkest time of your life.
It was just before the dawn of the brightest day.

You thought you were Eaten by the Eater
but as it turned out you were just about to be fed from what had happened.

if you are struggling
right now and it is dark and the Eater is on your Trail seeking whom he may devour. Donít you want the Lord to turn it around and you find something to Eat instead of being Eaten. Say, Amen!

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God can help you

God canít help me.
I gave in.
I was tempted and failed.
I lost.
I let the devil run one of those Philistine women in front of me.
I lied.
I cheated.
I lusted.
I caved in.

God canít help me.
Look at Hebrews 11.1

Heb 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Heb 11:2 "For by it the elders obtained a good report."

How did they get a good report?
Not by never making a mistake.
Not by never giving in.
Not by never anything.

But by Faith
they gained a good report.

Heb 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

Incidentally,
after he built the ark and before this was written he got drunk and was laying in his tent, naked.

Heb 11:31 "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace."

Rahab is not called a Harlot
because she was pristine in character, but because she slept with men for money.

Yet, there she is
listed with the rest.

Look at verse 32

Heb 11:32 "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson..."

Samson?
Yes it says Samson.

"...and of Jephthae of David also..."

David is listed too.
An adulterer
A murderer
A consipirator

"...and Samuel and of the prophets:"

and indeed
many people like you and me.

Heb 11:40 "God having provided some better thing for us Ö"

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Invitation

We have been talking about
eating and being eaten.

But the Bible says,

Mat 4:4 "Ö Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

What does the Bible say?

Eccl 7:20 "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."

What must be done?

John 3:3 "Ö Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
1 Pet 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

We are sinners, but

1 Cor 15:3 "Ö Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"

Call on Christ

Rom 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

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