Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in to her.…
I. A MAN MAY LOSE HIS STRENGTH, AND YET LIVE IN THE EXPERIENCES OF THE PAST. You may have made a profession of faith in Christ; you were "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might"; but you have departed from the Lord, and yet you still retain the forms and habits of your spiritual life. You have a name to live — that is all. You do not know that the Lord has departed from you.
II. WHEN A MAN DEPARTS FROM THE LORD, IT IS CERTAIN THE LORD WILL DEPART FROM HIM. The departure is at first scarcely perceptible — it is in thought and feeling and then in life. I have seen glaciers, like rivers that, flowing down the sides of the Alps, have been stopped and arrested in a moment. There seems no movement, for all appears to be the same year after year. Though not perceptible to the eye, it can be proved by experiment that the frozen river is always moving on and on. So with you — the distance from God may be increasing and widening, but it is so slowly that no one perceives it. At length some circumstance leads to the manifestation of your real state, and the fearful consciousness of your departure from God. The Lord does not all at once depart — there are restraints, remonstrances, difficulties put in the way of backsliding; there are invitations to return. At last, when all is vain, and the man will have his own way, a Divine voice says, "Let him alone."
III. WHEN GOD DEPARTS FROM A MAN, THE CONSEQUENCE WILL BE, THAT THE MAN LOSES HIS STRENGTH. Have you ever seen an eagle in its captivity, wearing its chains, an uncrowned king? How sad the spectacle, how deep the humiliation — what a seeming consciousness of fallen greatness! The eagle was made for the glorious mountains, its home is on the summit of the lofty rocks, its wings are fitted for flight, its eye to look on the sun. How much sadder is it to see the change that has come over this man. How are the mighty fallen!
(H. J. Bevis.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.