The Five B’s of Purity Part 1 of 2
by John Lowe
Samson was a great champion for God, but his feet led him into trouble.
TITLE: The Five B’s of Purity
Scripture: Psalm 24, especially verses 3–4a: WHO MAY ASCEND INTO THE HILL OF THE LORD? OR WHO MAY STAND IN HIS HOLY PLACE? HE WHO HAS CLEAN HANDS AND A PURE HEART...
Call to Worship: Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy. As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct (Lev.20:7 and 1Pet.1:15, ESV).
• To God Be the Glory #33
• Now I Belong to Jesus #477
1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Whatever happened to PURITY? It’s a rare commodity today, but as believers, we should be reflecting the character of God. We need to BE CLEAN because God is clean. The prerequisite for service is cleanliness. It’s also the prerequisite for blessing. But how on earth are we going to remain pure in a world like this? I want to suggest that we do it by “being careful” in five ways.
FIRST, WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL OF WHAT WE SEE.
2 Sam.11:1–5 is where the story of David and Bathsheba begins. There we read:
1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.
3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”
4 So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.
5 And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am with child.”
David’s sin began with simple sight. He rose one night, walked on the rooftop, and looked on the houses below. On the south side of Jerusalem, directly across the valley from where David’s city was located. is the little village of Silwan, with houses built one on top of another. That’s where David saw Bathsheba. If he had not seen her bathing, he would not have committed this sin.
It’s true that David didn’t go out looking for Bathsheba. He accidentally saw her. But sometimes accidents happen on purpose, don’t they, like when you’re alone, flipping through the channels on television? You need to be careful what you see. My daughter Mary has five children and she monitors what my grandchildren watch. In fact, they are only allowed to watch shows and movies that do not contain bad language and sexual subject matter
Job must have had a problem with what we call the “lust of the eyes” in view of the fact that he said,“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1). The words “Covenant with my eyes” conveys the reality that lustful acts are preceded by lustful looks and thoughts. Job determined in his heart to exercise the willpower necessary not to think lustful thoughts about young women. He disciplined himself not to take the second look that leads to lust. Long before the invention of television, a famous philosopher wrote: “Suppose someone invented an instrument, a convenient little talking tube which, say, could be heard all over the whole land. I wonder if the police would not forbid it, for fear that the whole country would become mentally deranged if it were used.” His words have literally come true.
David Frost, who made his living on television, said, “Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.” Many movies and TV programs aren’t fit for human consumption, let alone for a Christian. We must be careful what we see. I found this poem written with the 23rd Psalm in mind, but talking about our TV sets:
“The TV is my shepherd; my spiritual growth shall want.
It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for His name’s sake.
It keepeth me from doing my duty as a Christian, because it presenteth so many good programs that I must see.
It restoreth my knowledge of the things of this world and keepeth me from the study of God’s Word.
It leadeth me into the paths of failing to attend church.
Yea, though I live to be 100, I shall keep viewing my TV so long as it shall work, for it is my closest companion.
Its sounds and its pictures, they comfort me.
It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family.
It filleth my head with ideas which differ from the Word of God.
Surely no good thing will come of my life because of so many wasted hours, and I shall dwell in my regrets and remorse forever.”
We need to be careful what we see on TV and wherever the temptation to sin would enter our mind by sight.
AND SECOND, WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHERE WE GO
Judges 16:1 says, “Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a harlot, and he went in to her.” Samson and Delilah are among the most well-known couples in the Bible. Samson is known for his strength; Delilah is known for her seductive manipulation. Delilah lived in the small village of Gaza near Samson’s hometown. She was possibly a Philistine. She may have been a temple prostitute. Apparently, Samson had been visiting her frequently, and their relationship became known to the Philistine leaders. They went to Delilah with an offer she could not refuse. Samson’s background, his upbringing, and his own experience should have taught him to stay away from foreign entanglements, but the record is clear that Samson felt an emotional attachment to Delilah. No evidence exists that she felt personal admiration or affection for him. To the contrary, clearly she was motivated by greed; she was perfectly willing to use all her charming seductiveness (which apparently was considerable) to earn a large cash bonus.
The ingredients for disaster were in place: a morally weak man with uncontrollable sexual passions; a seductive temptress motivated by greed; a group of foreign leaders with unlimited funds, and the strong conviction that their national security, perhaps even their national survival, was at stake. Her methods were simple, and though it took time, they eventually worked. She was playful and teasing. She was coquettish and provocative. She was alluring and enticing. She coaxed and sweet-talked. She pouted and demanded.
There was a fortune waiting for her if she could discover the secret of his strength. She was determined, and she ultimately succeeded in prying Samson’s secret from him. Convinced that he had finally told her the truth, she sent for the Philistine leaders. She lulled her lover to sleep and had his hair cut off. With utter heartlessness she watched as he struggled out of a deep sleep, thinking he would fend off his attackers as easily as before, only to discover to his horror that his strength was gone. No doubt she was counting her money as they led him out.
Samson was a great champion for God, but his feet led him into trouble. In this verse, it says he went to Gaza, one of the Philistine cities. Samson had no business there. Samson’s problem is that he went to all the wrong places. If we go to the wrong places, we’ll see the wrong things and become the wrong kind of people. Be careful what you see and be careful where you go.