Romans chapter 11 vs 4 to 10 : 'Whilst Samson Slept' - Dr J Stewart Gillespie 

2 groups of people: 

The Remnant (11:4-7) 
The Rest (11:7-10) 

Whilst we have 2 groups I want to think about 3 conditions: 

Sleeping (11:7-8) 
Stumbling (11:9) 
Sold out for God (11:4-7) 

Conditions (1) and (2) really apply to the one group of people – the rest 

But perhaps we can see that there is decline in their condition 

From bad to worse? 

Sold out for God: 

The Remnant of Grace: 

Communicating with Power (11:4) 
Consecrated to a Person (11:4) 
Committed to a Purpose (11:5-6) 

Communicating with Power (11:4) 

Gods power was seen in these discouraging and disappointing circumstances of 1 Kings 18 & 19: God is Sovereign, not just when things go well but when things seem to go badly too! 

Against the canvas of disaster, disappointment and discouragement God is able to paint the picture of revival with the bold colours of commitment and consecration. 

One good thing out of tribulations? 

'chrematismos' (11:4) – dealings with God 

Obadaiah had dealings with God (1 Kings 18) 

Elijah had dealings with God (1 Kings 18) 

7000 refused to have dealings with anyone other than God (1 Kings 19) 

7000 with a spiritual appetite, who hungered and thirsted after the living God, who hungered for the living Bread, whose hearts panted after the water brooks (Ps 42) 

A nation on the whole happy to continue with something that not even Satan could make work, 7,000 set apart to God! 

Gods people ought to be a people with whom God speaks: 

Elijah 'still small voice' 
Samuel – heard the call of God in days of no open vision 
David – 'sweet psalmist of Israel' 
“If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11) 
“But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Co 14:24-25) 

Consecrated to a Person (11:4) 

“reserved to myself” - the idea of a remnant does not lie so much in God possessing the left overs from better days, but rather reserving with purpose a people for Himself. 

Not only what remains but what is reserved for Him 


These 7000 have been chosen: 

7000 – a definite number 
7 – a perfect number 
7 – Divine perfection 
7 – often linked with the working of the Spirit of God (Zech 4:2,6,10) 

Here were a group who: 

Heard the WORD of God 
Have WORSHIPPED the Living God 
Followed the WAYS of God 

Committed to a Purpose (11:5-6) 

Notice the idea of purpose linked with the remnant: “according to the election of Grace” (11:5) 

Not simply the end but the beginning 


Sleeping (v8): 

Not all were sold out for God. 

You just become a sitting duck for Satan. 

4 times in Judges 16 Samson slept! 

He got away with it on 3 occasions! 

It was all just a joke (16:10,13) – a game. 

Samson was just winding Delilah up and she was just trying to wind him up! 

Wasn't she? 

With all this talk of: 'the Philistines are upon you Samson' – as if he would have fallen for that one! 

Whilst Samson slept on those first 3 occasions he was oblivious to at least 3 facts: 

The enemy had valued his soul: 1100 pieces of silver – Samson didn't know about that! Well he wouldn't – he was asleep. 
The woman he loved was a traitor: she was waiting to take the silver – Samson didn't know about that! Well he wouldn't – he was asleep! 
Every time that Delilah had said: “the Philistines be upon thee Samson” (16:9, 12, 14) there were hiding in the chamber a gang of cut throats waiting to take take his eyes out. He didn't know that! Well he wouldn't would he? He was asleep! By the time he could see it, it was too late, they were taking his eyes out! 

Let us appreciate this dear believer: 

The Christian life is lived out amidst spiritual enemies and realities we cannot see. We know very little of what is actually going on (cf. Job). What is going on here? Well you may ask! “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12) – ever seen them? 

Therefore we must live that life in faith, living in the awareness of the unseen which is eternal. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co 4:18) 

By the time we can see what is unseen – it will be too late to change anything, either for the better or the worse. So grasp it by faith now! (1 Co3:13ff) 

The Devil is not lingering in the corners of your room to make you a hot chocolate as you fall asleep, he is waiting with a gully knife to take your eyes out, to make you a laughing stock and bring an end to any influence for good and for God that you have in this world! “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1Pe 5:8) 

“be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap” (Gal6:7) - God does not take lightly to being ditched for the love of a treacherous, Philistine harlot. 

“What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” (Jonah 1:6) 


In case you think Gods judgment too harsh in verse 8 – god shuts them up to themselves: 

eyes unresponsive to light 
ears unresponsive to sound 

When he finally became aware of these realities: too late! 

The 4th was his final slumber: 

Disclosure (16:18) – to the most dangerous person to whom Samson could ever disclose his heart to. He had no idea of the danger that he was in. 

Denial (16:17-18) – Samson commits the sacred things of God, the sanctity of his Nazarite vows into the hands of an ungodly Philistine. He casts his richest pearls before the swine. 

Destruction (16:19ff) 

Stumbling (v9-10) 

They fell where they fed: 

“snare” : Planning : 'pagis' – to set up, to fix, cf. 1 Tim 3:7; 2 Tim 2:26 – deliberately set up to catch us out 
“trap” : Person: 'ther' – wild beast, thinking about creature in the trap, thinking of you as the target 
“stumbling block” : Purpose: 'skandalon' : the trigger of the trap, what does the trap need me to do to trigger it? What action / activity is it I am meant to be enticed to do in order to ruin me? 
“recompense” : Product: the reward from the trap, what are the consequences? 

cf. Numbers 25 : enticing Gods people into sexual immorality, idolatry and this bringing upon themselves the judgment of God. All part of a definite plan (Rev 2:14; Num 31:16)

Part of our bible study teaching series of messages preached through Paul's letter to the Romans. Free to download audio mp3 recordings of this sermon and other sermons are available at the end of this blog and on the website page. 

Yours by Grace in Christ 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie