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Caught Sleeping While The Philistines Are Hiding In The Shadows
"Hast thou not slept enough? Is it not far in the day? Dost not thy Master call? Are not the Philistines upon thee? When wilt thou arise?" - Matthew Henry
"Sloth renders a man utterly unconscious of all his interests."
"But if thou wilt be diligent, thy harvest shall be as a fountain; and poverty shall flee far away from thee."
- both quotes are from Adam Clarke
"Time should not be slept away, to the neglect of the affairs of life, nor of the concerns of the immortal soul and a future state; men should not be slothful in things temporal or spiritual..."
- John Gill's Exposition of The Entire Bible
"...the more a slothful temper is indulged the more it prevails..."
"Spiritual poverty comes upon those that are slothful in the service of God..."
"How long wilt thou waste thy time? and when wilt thou be a better husband of it? How long wilt thou love thy ease, and when wilt thou learn to deny thyself, and to take pains? How long wilt thou bury thy talents, and when wilt thou begin to trade with them? How long wilt thou delay, and put off and trifle away thy opportunities, as one regardless of hereafter; and when wilt thou stir up thyself to do what thou hast to do, which, if it be not done, will leave thee forever undone?"
- the above quotes are from Matthew Henry
In Judges 16:9, 16:12, 16:14, and 16:20, we find the same statement repeated over and over again. That statement is - "The Philistines be upon thee." These were the words of Delilah to Samson each time that she tricked him. In each situation, it is either implied or directly stated that he fell asleep before she bound him or finally had the seven locks of his hair shaved off.
"The Philistines be upon thee" - This statement meant that they were ready to fall upon Samson or seize him. The servants of the lords of the Philistines were placed on purpose in the shadows so that when the opportunity arose, they might rush out and fall upon him.
If he had not fallen asleep and been made oblivious to his surroundings and the plots of the enemy against him, he would not have experienced the end that he did. Because he fell asleep both physically and spiritually, his enemies were able to overtake him.
King Solomon, in the Book of Proverbs, voiced a warning to all those who are prone to slothfulness or the love of slumber. He didn't call their enemies - "the Philistines" - and he didn't use the words - "The Philistines be upon thee" - but he did picture these foes as a similar terror.
In Proverbs 6:9-11, we read - "How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." Here, he alluded to the enemy in two ways - as the "traveler" or thief in the night and as the "armed man." The "traveler" comes with slow but sure approaching steps - sometimes silently and insensibly and sometimes swiftly and unexpectedly. He comes upon family and friends unawares. He walks backwards and forwards - seeking one to plunder. The "armed man," on the other hand, comes with irresistible fury - as one prepared to destroy. He appears with great terror and force as one not to be resisted. Both enemies denote the unavoidableness of being brought into poverty and want by sloth.
"The Philistines be upon thee." Or should we say - "The traveler is creeping upon you" or "The armed man is ready to terrorize and destroy you and yours."
The cause? "...Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep..." The slothful person desires a few sleeps more... a few more tossings and tumblings. He is indulged in sloth and ease - lethargy and carnal security. "Drowsiness" has overtaken himc (Proverbs 23:21). He follows a life of revelry...has a disinclination and unwillingness for work...and is long sleeping - which holds him in a state of lethargy. His "slothfulness casts him into a deep sleep"(Proverbs 19:15) - a state of utter indifference, unconcern, and carelessness. He becomes like one asleep in his business - mindless of his affairs...dozing away his time...burying his talents...and living a useless life. His "field" or "vineyard" is all grown over with thorns and covered with nettles (Proverbs 24:30-31). Solomon said that by "considering" and "looking upon" the lifestyle of the sloth, he "received instruction"(Proverbs 24:32).
How about you?
By reading this message, are you getting the point that the Holy Spirit is making today?
Are you guilty of wasting your time...loving your ease...burying your talents...and delaying, putting off, or trifling away your opportunities?
God has a warning for you. "The Philistines be upon thee" "The traveler is creeping upon you" or "The armed man is ready to terrorize and destroy you and yours."
Wake up, O Slothful One!
"Hast thou not slept enough? Is it not far in the day? Dost not thy Master call? Are not the Philistines upon thee? When wilt thou arise?"
Just remember - while you are wasting your days away in ease and pleasure, the "traveler" and the "armed man" are planning your physical and spiritual death and destruction. Before you know it, you will be "clothed with rags"(Proverbs 23:21) when God intended all along that you be adorned with the "robe of righteousness" and the "garment of praise."
What's it going to take to awaken you from your carnal security?
Does your enemy have to steal all of God's blessings and totally impoverish you - leaving you with a wasted life - before you come to your senses?
May God Bless His Word.