We follow Samson into trouble. His physical desire for sexual pleasure leads him to betray his own secrets. This is NOT love and it results in Samson in knots.
Samson’s sexual appetite isn’t the only thing that got him in trouble. His arrogance was just as big. Here I am judging him again. I think in these instances “res ipsa loquitur” (the thing speaks for itself).
I was talking about this portion of the story with my husband yesterday and likened Samson’s returning over and over again to Delilah to “battered wife syndrome.” Thinking it over again it seems more along the lines of arrogance.
Delilah isn’t the first woman that ensnares Samson. His wife did at their wedding. The prostitute he visited in Gaza might not have known about the ambush waiting for him but he did. Samson’s “love” for Delilah will keep him coming back to her no matter how he treats her. But his arrogance is what leads him to believe he is invincible.
It is funny to see Samson’s display of strength in Gaza. HOW did he get past those waiting in ambush?!? Didn’t tearing the gates, posts, bars and all make some kind of noise? Did they all fall asleep so deeply that nothing could wake them? Maybe God put them into such a sleep. I would love to have seen the looks on their faces in the morning when they went to get Samson.
A cry goes up in the morning as the men surrounding the city begin to stir. There is a commotion coming from those who are closest to the gates. It’s hard to understand what they are saying because they are all talking at once. Several of the men are running around in circles dashing in and out of the city.
One of the leaders approach, his attention is fixed on the men. “What are they doing? They are going to alert Samson to our presence!” He calls out to the men, “HOLD YOUR PLACES!”
A few seconds before the men respond. This is not a military group but a group of men from the city who hope to gain a great reward from the Philistines for capturing Samson. The leader gets closer and his attention is drawn by something sticking out of the wall. It is loose stones and torn bits of timber. “How did that happen? I better get someone on that before that section of the wall begins to fail” he thinks.
It takes a moment before his mind registers what has truly happened. The gates of the city are missing! The stones and timber he sees used to attach to the sturdy gates. They were impenetrable! They even had bars holding them closed at night to protect the citizens. “What happened here!?”
As the leader is voicing his question another shout rings out. “LOOK OVER THERE!”
One of the men is pointing in the opposite direction of the city. Heads turn in the direction being given. There, on the top of the hill stands a large object. It’s hard to tell what it is from where they are standing but most everyone is thinking the same thing. “It can’t be; can it? Is that the city gates?”
The leader has lost control of the men. Several of them are running towards the object on the hill. Several more are running back into the city in fear. Some are standing rooted to the ground in fear. No one is looking for Samson. No one is trying to organize the group or give directions as to how to proceed from here.
Before even reaching the top of the hill shouts are heard from the men. “It’s the gates!” More men are drawn up the hill by the news.
Anger at Samson rages in the leader’s heart. “NO ONE but Samson could have done this! How could he get by us? What happened to the guards? SOMEBODY is going to pay for this!!!” The leader calls to two men who are standing there like statues. “Go gather carts and oxen. We have to get the gates back down here.” He calls to another group of men, “Gather the craftsmen. We need to get this repaired as soon as possible.”
“But what about Samson? Aren’t we going to go capture him?”
“Look around you!” He shouts. “Do you really think Samson is still here?” He leader shakes his head in dismay. He prays he never sees the likes of Samson ever again. “It’s going to take weeks to repair this damage. I’ll have to organize guards to stand watch until the task is done. Hopefully they will be of more use than this bunch was. Maybe I should hire someone.”
In Samson’s relationship with Delilah we see where both their hearts are at. Delilah’s is firmly fixed on the money she is being offered. Samson’s is on his baser needs. He will pretend to give into her just to get what he wants. He thinks he holds all the power in their relationship. He can come and go at will and she will always be there to meet his needs. He can tell her anything he wants and she will be satisfied. His great strength will protect him from ALL of her tricks. Make no mistake, he KNOWS she is setting ambushes but he is certain in his own ability to overcome her little pranks.
Delilah actually has the power in this relationship. She holds out what Samson wants desperately. He keeps coming back to her, no matter how many times she tricks him into revealing himself. She is frustrated by his deceptions but is confident that, with enough time, he WILL betray his secret. All she needs to do is be persistent.
Both Delilah and Samson’s wife used the same technique on him. I don’t doubt that Delilah brought out the tears too. Neither woman tricked him into revealing his secrets. BOTH of them “pressed him hard” with their words and tears until he gave in. They didn’t need weapons of iron or bronze. All they needed was their “womanly wiles.”
Samson could have halted his own downfall by removing himself from the relationship; but he didn’t. He never took any precautions after answering Delilah’s pleas. He didn’t think he needed to. Instead, he slept like the dead and allowed her to do to him whatever she wanted. I wonder how many nights passed between Samson’s answers and Delilah’s responses. Was he lulled into a false sense of security by her waiting to put her plans in action? I can’t imagine him falling for the “fall asleep on my knees” line the night after he told her about his hair. I know I would have been suspicious of this unusual change!
I wonder how many of the Philistines lost their lives during Delilah’s failed attempts. I’m assuming those waiting in ambush felt his “protection” of her each time she woke him with this cry. Samson NEVER doubted his ability to overcome any obstacle, even after revealing his secret. He was always ready and willing to do battle.
With Delilah’s track record why didn’t he expect her to act on his true secret? EVERY TIME he gave her an answer she tried it out. Why should this last time be any different? And why didn’t he notice something different when he woke up? His head should have felt MUCH lighter and been sensitive to the air in the room.
The whole time this saga was going on with Samson and Delilah, Samson was serving as a judge in Israel. He looked like he had everything under control in his life. But this one area of sin was eating away his life. This secret sin brought him down. Or should I say secret sins. The sin of lust and the sin of pride. Together they bound Samson tighter than the bronze chains he would wear the rest of his life.
I am no different from Samson in that I have secret sins. Mine are not the same as his but they have power over me too IF I don’t take control of them. Mine have come close to costing me my physical life. They have cost me aspects of my mental health. I wrestle them back under the blood of Jesus more times than I can count. Honestly, THAT is the ONLY thing that has power over them.
I don’t hold any ‘secret cure’ or ‘sure fire way’ to conquer sin. I hold the hand of the One who can though. Samson had access to the Spirit of the Lord but only seemed to rely on Him when things were beyond his physical strength. I wonder what difference there would have been in his life if he called upon the Lord during temptations times too. Maybe he didn’t call on the Lord during these times because he was convinced his own strength could see him through it. Or maybe he didn’t see the danger hiding in between the sheets.
Satan tries to fool us by telling us that our ‘little secrets’ aren’t so bad. “Everyone does it, so stop worrying about it. You will be fine. Besides, no one will ever know.” But that is a LIE FROM THE PIT!
Our actions have consequences; both good and bad. Even a ‘secret sin’ can cripple your life. It certainly will put a clog in your relationship with God. He has a MUCH better plan for your life if you will just let go of the things that are binding you. There is NO SIN too big for God’s grace! Tell Him your secrets; trust him with the hidden hurts. He already knows anyway so you might as well come clean.
Father God, I KNOW that the ‘you’ in the above includes ME. I need to follow this same advice. Your Spirit is calling me to turn loose too. I’ve exposed many of my ‘hidden sins’ in this forum Lord. I pray for those who share those same struggles and pray they are including me in their prayers too. My sin of anger. My sin of stubbornness. My sin of pride. Help me hand them back over to You to wipe them from my heart.
There is also profit in being angry over injustice. There is merit in persistence. There is good in doing a good job. But it is how these things are used that turns them from strengths to sins. Help me find the balance in my heart that honors You and builds up instead of tears down.
Jesus, You modeled the right uses of these when You drove the money changers from the temple, when You “resolutely set His face towards Jerusalem” and when You stood over the Pharisees and called the people to live like You instead of them. Help me live like You did. And for the times I fail; wash me clean once again.
Finally Holy Spirit, if there is any other hidden sin the WE have not addressed, PLEASE bring it to my attention and help me deal with it. Uncover its roots and help me pull it from my heart. Let its hold be broken in my life. FOREVER.