15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.”
16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death,
17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart.” So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand.
19 Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.
23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice. And they said:
“Our god has delivered into our hands
Samson our enemy!”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said:
“Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy,
The destroyer of our land,
And the one who multiplied our dead.”
25 So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may perform for us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars.
|It's a sad story, isn't it? You have read it all before, and you have heard it repeated in modern days too. Usually when a Christian gives way to temptation, disastrous results follow.
“How can you say you love me if you won't do what I want?” That's a trap so many people have fallen into. To prove their love (was it really love?) they have given in and then felt betrayed afterwards.
Samson's story is particularly pitiful. Perhaps one of the saddest verses in Scripture is verse 20, “He did not know that the Lord had left him”. All the previous strength loaned to him by God was now gone. He tried to do what he had done before, but he could not.
Look at verses 24 and 25. The failure of God's servant meant God's enemies could say, “Our gods are the greatest.” They were wrong of course but Samson's failure made them think that way.
How far-reaching is our witness! When it is clean and honoring to God, it can really bring glory to Him. When we fail, it looks like God has failed. He hasn't, of course. We have failed because we have not appropriated the grace and strength which God was (and is) waiting to give us. Why don't we learn this lesson and achieve victory more often in daily experience?
Samson's final prayer is another illustration of God's forgiving grace (vv. 28-30). God granted his request even though there still seems to be a lot of self-centeredness in it. It almost seems like a prayer for revenge.
What is the major lesson for us from Samson's life? Whatever gifts God has given us, they are to be used for His glory and according to His will.