The sad case of Samson reminds us of the warnings of the book of Proverbs, against that treacherous form of sin. Evil company is always dangerous, but association with persons of impure life is deadly. May the young men of the household lay this days lesson to heart; it has been hard to write, but a sense of duty forced it upon us.
Treasure up this warning as a precious thing, it may save you from a wretched old age.
Have right principles at your fingers’ ends, and in your heart’s core.
As good women are our greatest blessings, so are bad women among the worst curses in the world. Flee from them, listen not to their words. To show how wicked they are, Solomon tells us a tale of real life, which we will read with earnest prayer, that none of this household may ever imitate the foolish victim.
Without grace in his heart, or sense in his head,
He had better have gone miles round than pass the spot,
Late hours lead to no good.
Had she been a fit companion she would have been at home.
O the wickedness of those who mix up religion with their filthiness; but this was a part of the bait with which to entrap the foolish young man.
This was another falsehood, she cared no more for him than for anybody else. O beware of these deceivers.
What a servant of Satan was she! There are many like her, who take fools in their nets.
The ox has no idea of what is coming, or he would never enter the slaughter-house: wicked young men little know the terrible remits of sin,
The drunkard smiles when set in the stocks, as if it were rare fun; so do foolish men dream that sin is pleasure.
His vital parts shall suffer for his folly, pain shall succeed his pleasures;
The life both of his. body and his soul shall be ruined by his vice.
Strong language, but none too strong. If young people knew what follows upon unclean actions, they would sooner burn their flesh with fire, or sleep with venomous reptiles, than have any communion with unchaste persons. Young women should loathe those gay fellows whose actions will not bear to be spoken of; and both young and old, male and female, should abhor any indelicacy of thought, word, or deed, in books or mirthful play.
Flee from idolatry.”
Very little was her blessing worth, since she had been so ready at cursing. Her silver was her god while it was in the form of shekels, quite as much as when it was fashioned into an image, or else she had not cursed because of the loss of it. Her son Micah, who became so ostentatiously religious, was a thief to begin with. A superstitious dread made him restore what his conscience did not forbid him to steal. The man was made of the right material to become a Ritualist.
An image was to be made contrary to the divine law, and yet it was to be dedicated unto Jehovah. Good intentions are no excuse for disobedience. Image-makers, now-a-days, tell us that they do not worship them, but worship God through them; if this be accepted as an apology, there remains no idolatry in the world. But God thinketh not so.
Children imitate their parents. The mother makes one image, the son has a house-full of gods, and the grandson becomes a priest. If we once leave the spiritual worship of God, there is no telling how far we shall wander.
Which means that every man did what evil he liked.
It was but poor pay: two hundred shekels had been spent on an image, and now ten is thought enough for the priest. A rich idol they must have, even though the priest be poor as charity. The pay was worse when we remember that the Levite was selling his soul for the pittance. How degrading for a servant of the living God to be waiting upon dumb idols.
So superstition always talks. This was an ordained man and one of the regular clergy, therefore a blessing must attend his performances. Though the images and ephods were all forbidden, and the whole worship was a direct opposition to the Lord’s true worship at Jerusalem, yet they looked for a blessing because the priest was in the succession; even as in these days, those who set up crosses, and pictures, and altars—and so insult the Lord Jesus, nevertheless expect peculiar favours because of some imaginary apostolical succession. “God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Outward formalities and performances not commanded in Scripture, we ought not to sanction by our presence, but avoid them lest we partake in the sin of them.