One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”
But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
– Judges 16:1-5
“When we settle for status quo, we settle for defeat when God has called us to victory. We excuse our bad habits, trying to convince ourselves that bad isn’t so bad. Habits become unbreakable, unbendable, so our wills refuse to bend to God’s. When that happens, He has no choice but to break us – judge us. This is the case with Samson.
“The Bible never covers up sin but exposes it. Few men had been given greater opportunity than Samson. He was raised up by God to be strong, but he literally collapsed because he was rebellious. He made the wrong choices and did the wrong things. He exchanged his potential and power for selfishness and weakness.”
– Billy Graham, Where I Am
Samson did have it all. After the Scripture above, Samson played with Delilah, telling her false ways of removing his power. Each time Delilah did what Samson suggested, but Samson had lied. Finally, after much nagging, Samson tells the truth. Delilah cuts his hair and Samson becomes weak. If you are wondering about how Samson could loose his strength due to a haircut, read Numbers 6. Samson was dedicated as a Nazarite. Numbers 6:5 states: “During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.” Samson had been set aside as a Nazarite from birth until death (Judges 13:7). Although Samson never let a razor touch his head, he had no problem with touching dead bodies (Numbers 6:6-7). He killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15).
Samson was a fool around women. He lost his wife in a wager when he proposed a riddle, and she coaxed him into telling her the answer, which she passed along. But God had used Samson’s weakness to create a confrontation (Judges 14:4).
When the story of Samson and Delilah is told, it is as if Samson is tricked. Samson is portrayed as the lustful fool who betrays himself due to Delilah’s trickery, but read it again from a neutral corner. Delilah asks how to remove Samson’s power. He gives her a false answer. Then she does it, tying him up with new ropes, braiding his hair. Samson knew full well that if he told the truth, she would do that too, and she did. Billy Graham has hit the target when he wrote, “He exchanged his potential and power for selfishness and weakness.”
Samson wasn’t duped. He willingly went along with the idea.
So, what about us? Is there a sin in our lives that doesn’t really hurt anyone? Okay, you might have used that as an excuse, but it hurts your relationship with Jesus. It’s the old saying that when you point at someone else, your other fingers are pointing back at you. I first heard that in middle school. Remember middle school? The next day, we were all pointing at each other with all five fingers. It was weird and looked weird, but remember, middle school, in that setting, it was normal.
Samson loved to love the ladies. Okay, they might not qualify as ‘ladies’, but he could have found a perfectly good Israelite. He chose Philistines. When Delilah showed her true colors, he could have left her. He was nagged into submission, because he stayed after learning what she was really after.
Do we do that? Are we the guy with a drinking problem that hangs out at or near the bar, because that is where his friends are? Are we the lustful guy that buys the girlie magazines and protests that the reason is that the articles are well written?
Billy Graham suggests that we are settling for the status quo. We have accepted Jesus as our savior and then we coast. I have heard it from so many Christians, “Just as long as I am inside Heaven before they slam the gates shut…” Can the truth be in us if we think that? Can we have a meaningful relationship with the God of the Universe if we have no desire to grow in our faith?
Let’s not be ridiculous. When Jesus comes into your heart – for real, the Holy Spirit moves in with a mop and broom. The Holy Spirit magnifies our sin so that we can see it. When we shrug those uncomfortable feelings aside and continue in our personal status quo, we are rejecting the Holy Spirit’s guidance. God is urging us forward; our rebellion is on us.
The choice is clear when looking at Samson as an example. Do we live with the temporary discomfort of leaving sin behind and turning to God, or do we have a romance with the sin in our lives that leads to weakness, blindness, impotence, and destruction?
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.