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Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and went to bed with her. When the Gazites heard that Samson was there, they surrounded the place and waited in ambush for him all that night at the city gate. While they were waiting quietly, they said, “Let us wait until dawn; then we will kill him.”
Some time later, he fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the Sorek Valley. The Philistine leaders went to her and said, “Persuade him to tell you where his great strength comes from, so we can overpower him, tie him up, and make him helpless. Each of us will then give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
Judges 16:1-2, 4-5 HCSB
There’s so many lessons to be learned from the story of Samson and those involved with him. Samson’s ego and arrogance clouded his discernment. He allowed himself to be exposed. Delilah allowed herself to not only be bribed but to betray Samson so she could receive the bribe. She didn’t realize she was trading coins for her soul, and that betraying Samson was also betraying God. She didn’t realize that she tore away at two relationships, one with Samson and most importantly, the one she had with God.
Samson didn’t see that others were plotting against him. Which is strange as he had been dueling with them and avoiding capture by the Philistines for years. But he didn’t know not to trust Delilah, a Philistine woman from the Sorek Valley.
Although an angel declared his importance before he was born, Samson didn’t value his gifts from God enough to protect them at all costs. The Philistines did not know they were doing the work of the enemy, they were too busy plotting planning, and praying that their god Dagon would bless them. Satan was busy at work.
When we look at this story it does not start with Samson and Delilah. Somehow we romanticize Samson and rationalize his prior behaviors to justify our disdain for Delilah and the Philistines. We forget what led up to this travesty. Go back and read Judges 13-15 for context.
Let’s do a quick recap. The Israelites were acting a fool again so God allowed them to be ruled by the Philistines for approximately 40 years. During this time, Samson’s born and grows up, with his parents knowing what God has proclaimed over his life, thanks to a message delivered through an angel. Samson marries his first wife, a Philistine, and decides to con her people out of a bulk of their possessions by giving them an impossible riddle to solve. The men freak out when they realize they can’t solve it and they threaten Samson’s wife that if she doesn’t get the answer from Samson they will kill her and her family by burning them to death. She succeeds after several days of crying and begging Samuel, while not telling him why she desperately wanted the answer. When the men tell Samson the answer he knows she told them but he never knew why he didn’t ask and she didn’t say.
Fast forward, his dad gave his wife away to a groomsman, Samuel is upset so he seeks revenge on the people by burning their crops and vineyards, they get their revenge by burning to death his wife and her family. Now it’s a tit-for-tat revenge fest. This leads to him eventually meeting Delilah, another Philistine woman, and we’re back to this part of the story with Delilah being bribed with money to find out yet another riddle tied to Samson. We know that she betrays Samson, for greed, not out of fear of death like his first wife.
With all of the dramatics, there’s a lot to learn from this. But let’s just say, protect yourself. Protect your heart and your mind. Your actions do have consequences. Ego, pride, and greed are traps. Some things money can’t buy. If you aren’t willing to die for it, reconsider doing it.
- How does Samson’s story relate to your life?
- What can you learn from Samson?
- What can you learn from his first wife?
- In what ways have you been like Delilah?
- In what ways have you been like the Philistine leaders, looking for someone’s weakness to attack, plotting, and planning to take someone down?
- In what ways has your desire for revenge had an undesired outcome?
Father protect me. Protect my heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul. Protect me from myself, from the enemy, and from those that the enemy would use against me with the goal to discredit You, to tear away at our relationship. Father, enhance my discernment to see and hear what is needed, and the courage to release things over to You to handle.
Please enhance my strengths and leverage them to counter my weaknesses, so that even under attack, I can not only endure, but I can be victorious. I come to You humbly, praying in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Copyright 2013-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com