Judges 16

Judges 16 has the fall and death of Samson.  He has a weakness for beautiful women.  This time Samson “saw a prostitute, and he went in to her”.  He is one of the strongest men to ever live, yet he has a weakness that will eventually cause him to die.  The people saw him come and “the Gazites were told….surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city”.  They were going to get rid of him once and for all, but decided to wait “till the light of the morning”.  That was a bad plan.  “Samson lay till midnight, and 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 that is in front of Hebron

Pretty impressive show of strength.  But Samson falls again, this time for “a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah”.  He really doesn’t have much self control.  Not only is he obsessed with beautiful women, he tends to select those from the enemy as well.  The Philistines came and asked Delilah to “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies”.  The leadership wants to use his weakness to identify the source of his strength and they offer her 1,100 pieces of silver from each of them. They bought her off and she takes the bait.

“Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you” Delilah asks.  Not too subtle at all – just a direct question knowing that he is enamored with her beauty.  Samson gave her three wrong answers: “seven fresh bowstrings….new ropes that have not been used….weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin”.  All sounded possible but each time Delilah tested the answer and each time Samson broke free.  It just wasn’t true.  But finally, Delilah pulls his heart strings and he tells her it is that “a razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man”.

She played the ‘if you love me card’ and he fell hook line and sinker.  Samson went to sleep, she had his head shaved and how he is without his strength.  “The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles”.  He is put to hard labor and they celebrated his capture.  But when they brought him out to entertain them so they could celebrate their victory, they failed to realize that his hair was regrowing and his strength returning.  He got one last chance to even the score.

Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests….Samson grasped the two middle pillars….leaned his weight against them….the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it”.  The Philistines may have won the battle but they didn’t win the war.  Samson killed many that day as he died himself as well.  “So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life”. This is certainly a lesson on being careful about controlling desires that lead one away from God.  Samson had it all and gave it up for his passion and desire

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