Archive for February 17th, 2012

Judges 16

Judges 16 finishes the story of Sampson.  There is little question what his weakness was – women.  He comes to Gaza and spots a prostitute and enters her house.  The enemies find out and surround the house but decide to wait until daylight to kill him.  So they “set an ambush”, or so they thought.  But “at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill”.  Nothing like mocking the enemy.

But Sampson falls for another woman “whose name was Delilah”.  The local leaders find out of his fondness for her and want to use her to try and get to the root of Sampson’s power.  “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him”.  She goes for their request and begins to try and get Sampson to give her the secret.  The first time he tells her that if he is bound with “seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried” he would be contained.

Of course that was not true, and he snapped them off like they were nothing.  Now I may not be the brightest in the world when it comes to understanding women, but I could have figured out that Delilah was not someone to hang around.  She accuses him of mocking her and asks a second time.  And then a third, and both times he did not give here the truth and quickly snapped free from the attempt to control him.  She continues to accuse him of mocking her.  Then she lays these words on him: “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me”? She uses emotion to break his will to protect his secret.  But “she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him”.  And then it happened. He broke down and told her the power was in his hair.  “If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man”.  Sampson blew it.  He gave her the secret.  And being the bad woman she was, it didn’t take her long to capitalize and be able to earn the bribe money promised her.  “When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines”.

It didn’t take long for the secret to turn into pain.  Delilah puts Sampson to sleep on her knees and has his head shaved and now he is bound and cannot escape.  “The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles”.  They finally had their enemy captured and controlled.  To celebrate some days later, they brought Sampson to entertain them as a blind captive.  By now Sampson’s hair was beginning to grow out, and as he stood before his enemy between pillars that held up the hall they were in, he prayed that God would one last time give him strength.  He positioned himself between the pillars and “bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it”.  This was Sampson’s last hurrah.  “The dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life”.  Sampson did get the last word in. He ended with a bang after having ruled the people of Israel for twenty years.

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