About Jesus Steve Sweetman
who has been to Sunday school knows the story of this chapter. I think
we've romanticized the story of Samson, and especially this part of the
story, so much that we loose what the life of Samson was all about.
We get a poor picture
of who he really was. Yes,
the Lord used Samson to accomplish His will, but that does not make
Samson a righteous hero to look up to.
God will, can, and does, use anyone to carry out His will.
He uses the devil, and if that is so, He can use anyone.
don't know what you have thought, but over the years
while growing up in a church attending home, I always thought
that Delilah was Samson's wife. I
think I thought this because I don't believe it was ever clearly stated
that Samson was not married to her, probably to avoid introducing talk
about sex outside of marriage to a younger audience.
This presents a problem as I've stated many times before.
Unless we grow out of our simple understanding of the Bible we
learned in Sunday school, we will never understand the Bible as we
believe Samson was very power hungry and was a sex crazed man.
important thing about this chapter is not that Samson's hair was the
source of his strength. It
was the Lord who was the source of his strength.
verse 1 we see "
in verse 1 we note that Samson went to visit a prostitute, and I'm sure
it was not to explain the Law of Moses to her.
As we've seen with Samson, he was not a righteous man.
In my estimation he was sex crazed and a very angry man.
at this point in his life was a wanted man.
The Philistines had tried to capture and kill him before without
success. This time they laid in wait for him after his night with the
see the craftiness of Samson in verse 3. He did not spend the whole
night with the prostitute. He
only spent half the night and left in the dark, probably knowing that
there were men waiting to attack him once daylight came.
His strength is seen when he tore down the city gate.
see one very famous woman in the Bible in verse 4.
Her name is Delilah. She
was a Philistine woman who lived in the
in verse 3 the "hill that faces Hebron". We don't know if
this hill was near
verse 5 to the end of this section in verse 22 we see the bantering back
and forth of Samson and Delilah. She
was being paid by the Philistine leaders to find the secret to his
strength. She kept asking
him, he'd tell her something that wasn't true; she'd test it out; find
it wasn't true as well; and nag some more, until Samson finally gave in.
She had someone cut his hair while he was asleep and he lost his
would suggest that Samson had a lot to drink during these nights when
Delilah attempted to get the truth from him.
All that she did in response to what Samson told her would have
wakened anyone from sleep, but not Samson.
This tells me that he was probably drunk.
are a couple things to note in this passage of Scripture.
In verse 17 Samson tells Delilah the truth.
He was a Nazirite, set apart for God from birth.
That might well have been the case but he was not living the life
of a Nazirite. He may have
had some external appearance of being a Nazirite, that is, his long
hair, but he certainly wasn't one in the way he lived.
The same is true with many so-called Christians today.
They have the outward appearance of being Christian, but with no
inner reality that makes a difference in the way they live.
They are not true Christians.
20 states a sad fact about Samson. It
says that the Lord left him and he didn't even know it. This
is sad because it is too often true today as it has been throughout
history. There are
countless Christians and countless churches, that the Lord has left and
they don't even know it. They
think they are in the will of God and doing what He'd have them do, but
they are so far removed from God that what they think is God's will
Samson's hair was cut, the Lord left Samson.
Once the last vestige of being a Nazirite was gone, there was no
more Lord in his life. The
question could be asked at this point.
Was Samson's strength really in his hair?
I think verse 20 answers the question. No, the strength was not
really in his hair but the Lord. Once
the Lord left, he had no superhuman strength.
thing we note here is the power women have over men.
Samson was struck by lust and the lust did him in.
He loved the women. He
loved them all, and he had as many as he could get.
Sooner or later these kinds of things will do us in, and that is
what happened to Samson. His
adulterous ways finally got him.
in verse 8 the word "thongs" in the NIV.
Here in 2012 the word "thong" means something different
than what it might have meant in the 1980's when my version of the NIV
was written. A thong in the
1960's meant a sandal. Now
it means a form of underwear.
In Samson's day, the Hebrew word translated as "thong"
means "bow string", as in, a string for a bow and arrow.
that in verse 23 the Philistine god was named Dagon.
Dagon was pictured as half man and half fish.
That being said, he is the god of grain and harvest.
The Philistines figured since they finally got Samson that their
god delivered him into their hands, but that's not really what happened.
It was Yahweh who actually delivered Samson to the Philistines.
He did this by simply leaving Samson to his own foolishness.
I'd suggest the same can happen to us today
If we continue both as individuals and as nations to stray from
the Lord, as our western nations are doing, the Lord will step back.
We will be delivered into the hands of our enemies simply because
the Lord has withheld the hedge of protection from us so our enemies can
walk right in and take us over. I
also suggest that the same thing can happen to that which is called
this portion of Scripture we see the strange circumstances that
surrounded Samson's death. The
Philistines gouged Samson's eyes out so he could not see.
They paraded him out among thousands of people to be made a fool
of. About 3,000 men and
women were at the temple where Samson was being made a fool of.
Samson asked his God to help him one last time .
God, for some reason, why, it's hard to say, probably to show the
Philistines that He is God and not Dagan, He gave Samson strength one
last time. Samson pulled
down the pillars of the temple, causing the temple to collapse and all
3,000 people were killed, along with Samson. It was a strange way to
die, but this was the fate of Samson.
seems to me that the only reason why Samson was used by God was to cause
problems between the Israelis and the Philistines.
That happened, and it was another form of judgment on Israel. Samson, being the
unrighteous man he was had no other use, at least in my thinking.
of the sad facts about Samson is that when he should have been more in
touch with the people of God, he was more in touch with the people of
the world. He was too
comfortable with the world, as many of us are today, and such a thing
will eventually do us in.
how Samson's life ended. He
was willing to die as along as his enemies died as well.
This had often been the sentiment of the Jews, and is to today.
If they were to be attack by