Meditation on Judges 16:1-30 – Samson’s Folly

Most of us have heard the story of Samson and Delilah, where Delilah cuts Samson’s hair and he looses his great strength. According to the Bible, this is more than a story. It really happened. Samson’s loss of strength is not the whole story.

Samson was to be the leader of Israel, in the days Israel was lead by Judges, rather than a King. The Angel of the Lord had appeared to Manoah and his wife and told them they would have a son who was to be set apart as a Nazirite from the womb and this son would deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. (Judges 13)

A Nazirite was to be dedicated to God’s service, have no wine and to never cut his hair. As we read about SamsonS in the Bible we soon come to the conclusion, that although he never cut his hair Samson served his own wants and lusts. No sooner had he grown up then he desired and married a Philistine girl, a marriage not approved of by God. God’s people were not to mix with those who worshiped idols, as the Philistines did.

Samson paid no heed. He went his own way. His marriage did not last and soon we see Samson visiting other women. One night he visited a Philistine woman in Gaza. When the Philistines found out about it, they were going to kill Samson come morning. Did Samson take heed? No! At midnight Samson went to go home and since the city gates were closed, he simply ripped them out and carried them far away to the top of a hill and left them there.

Did Samson learn a lesson? No! He did not repent from his wicked ways. And so we read that Samson visited Delilah and it is not long before we read about how Delilah sets out to destroy Samson. Why is this? What motivated Delilah deliver Samson over to destruction. Was it money? She would become very rich. Or was it perhaps that those who belong to the devil seek to serve the Evil one and destroy God’s people.

Samson continues his rebellion against God until he finally, instead of living a life of dedication to God, he gives his heart to the Philistine woman, Delilah. He tells her everything and the result is he loses God’s protecting hand. He abandoned God and God abandoned Samson (at least for a time). Have you, me, abandoned God? Have any of us wandered far from God, gone our own way like Samson did? How is it with you and me? Have we continued in rebellion against God. If we do, we will end up like Samson, far from the safe protection of God.

Samson awakes and it is too late. God’s judgement on Samson’s rebellion has come. He is captured. His eyes are gouged out. He is put to work in a mill. To be sure he regretted his past actions. To be sure he clearly saw his sin, now that it was to late. Oh, how he must have lived in remorse. Could he but do it over again. It would surely be different. But, alas, no so for Samson. We pass this way but once.

But what does the Bible state? Was that the end of Samson? Is that all there is? No, not so! We read in Hebrews 11:32 that Samson is among the Hero’s of faith. How can that be?

God does not forget His promises. God had told Samson’s parents that Samson would deliver Israel our of the hand the Philistines and that He would be a Nazarite – set apart to God from birth until death. God did not forget Samson. Samson, in his distress, called to the Lord. The Lord took pity on Samson. God gave Samson strength to kill the enemies of God’s people. Samson received grace in his dying hour. How is that? Because God is merciful to his children.

Consider God’s promises. He promises blessing if we obey Him and curses if we rebel. Yet, each of us have in some way rebelled against God. We have all done things our own way rather than God’s way. Have we not? Don’t we deserve the same as Samson, the judgement of God? The judgement of God? Is there any hoe for us? Yes, God also comes to us with His promises. He promises forgiveness of sins to those who see they need this, who are heavy laden by the knowledge of sin. God promises rest. He says, come unto me all yu who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

Samson prayed to God and God answered. Why is that? Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Jesus took upon Himself the curse of God that we deserve for our sins. Our rebellion deserves God’s curse but through the blood f Jesus Christ, God gives us mercy. He gives mercy. Those who come to cry out to God in their distress have reason to hope in God.

In the end of Samson’s life, God revived Samson’s strength just like he had before he lost it for failing to live for God. We too, when we turn from or rebellion to God, will for the first time or once again find we are filled with the power of God. We will find strength from the Holy Spirit to live for God, to overcome the power of our enemies and our lives will for the first time or once again be a testimony of the power of God.

To God be the glory. Great things He has done!