Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
We all know about Samson, who had the greatest strength in Bible. He was born during the difficulty time of Israel people, who was under oppression of the Philistines for forty years. There was one married couple, who had no child for long time. One day, the angel of the LORD appeared to the wife and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” God saw the Israelites’ hardship, and promised a deliverer. Then a boy was born, as promised, and the baby was named Samson. As Samson grew, the LORD blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him.
As a part of God’s plan, Samson tried to marry Timnah, a young Philistine woman despite of his parents’ objection for his marriage to the uncircumcised Philistine wife. Bible tells “His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.” (Judges 14:4) Samson’s father gave in, and he was making final arrangements for the marriage, Samson threw a party at Timnah, as was the custom for elite young men. Then the bride’s parents saw this, they selected thirty young men from the town to be his companions. Samson said to them, “Let me tell you a riddle. If you solve my riddle during these seven days of the celebration, I will give you thirty fine linen robes and thirty sets of festive clothing. (This was the first opportunity that God prepared to use Samson.)
They could not solve the riddle. They really struggled, but by the help of Timnah, Samson’s wife, they could solve it. Samson replied, “If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have solved my riddle!” Then The Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon him. He went down to the town of Ashkelon, killed thirty men, took their belongings, and gave their clothing to the men who had solved his riddle. After this event, Samson, driven by God, exhibited his unbelievable strength and power again the Philistines. One occasion, he even killed 1000 Philistines with one jawbone of a recently killed donkey. With his strength and power, Samson judged Israel for twenty years during the period when the Philistines dominated the land.
Sometime later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, a Philistine woman. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” Delilah liked the offer.
So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.” Without hesitation, Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.” Of course, it was not true. So the Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings, and she tied Samson up with them. She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as a piece of string snaps when it is burned by a fire. Samson’s secret was not revealed.
After this even, Samson should have realized Delilah’s real motive: eliminate Samson’s great strength. Samson should have left the place and should have not seen Delilah any more, but he didn’t. He gave another false clue about the source of his strength – tying him with brand new-ropes that had never been used. Delilah again did what Samson told to her. But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.
Again Samson did not leave her, who was the snare. Instead, he boasted his strength and enjoyed it by beating up the Philistines. Yet he gave another false clue of eliminating his great strength – weaving seven braids of his hair into the fabric on her loom. Of course, it did not work. Samson could easily defeat the Philistines without affecting by his hair woven to her fabric. However, Samson was getting closer to his destruction. Although it was false, it involves his hairs, the very source of his great strength. Yes, his false clue was dangerously close to the real source of his power. He was too much involved into himself and his own indulgence.
Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it. Samson, who was already weaken by his own desire of the world, could not stand anymore. Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”
Upon hearing the real secret, Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him. Finally, the Philistines captured Samson and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where Samson was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison. This is the end of the Samson’s era as Judge of the Israelites. He was overly confident about his own strength, and he lost his strength. Then he became a prisoner of the Philistines, his enemy.
Although Samson forgot about God, God did not forget Samson. This is the beauty of God’s plan and love. God never leaves His people no matter what they have done in their lives. Samson was grinding grain by turning a huge millstone, and God was there. Initially, Samson did not know, but his hair began to grow back. While turning the huge millstone, he rediscovered God by knowing Him deeper than before.
The Philistine rulers held a great festival, offering sacrifices and praising their god, Dagon. They said, “Our god has given us victory over our enemy Samson!” Half drunk by now, the people demanded, “Bring out Samson so he can amuse us!” So he was brought from the prison to amuse them, and they had him stand between the pillars supporting the roof.
While Samson was being brought out, he said to the young servant who was leading him by the hand, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them.” Now the temple was completely filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.
Samson was not the same old Samson. Rather than relying on himself, he trusted God. He first prayed to God, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines.” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.
God was faithful to Samson. God did not let Samson alone especially when he completely failed and was in a miserable situation. The same God was there with Samson whether he had his great strength with long hair or he was weak and vulnerable turning the huge millstone. For God, Samson was the same Samson whom God loved because Samson was one of God’s people. God always leads His people through the paths of righteousness as He did to Samson. Praise God! He is faithful. He has no rotating shadow, not like us. Therefore, we can lean on him regardless of our situation in life. Give thanks to God, who always watches over us with His unfathomable love. Praise Him! His name will be praised always from now and forever.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)