A bible story that reads like a Hollywood movie script-the story of Samson and Delilah. It has a hero, a villain, a plot, and a sad conclusion with justice prevailing in the end.
Samson lived during the time of the Judges in Israel. There were no kings who ruled, but a series of judges who ran the nation. The time of the judges takes place during a familiar pattern of the nation of Israel. Israel repeatedly turned to other gods in idolatry, God then turns them over to their enemies, they cry out to God, and He delivers them. This pattern is repeated time and again in the Jewish nation’s history. The conclusion is that, without God as their King, they are doomed to failure in ruling themselves. The heart of the problem is plainly revealed in Judges 17:6 “In these days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”
Samson was raised up by God to deliver the people of Israel once again for they had turned to idolatry and taken their eyes off the One true God. Judges 13:1 “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.”
The angel of the Lord appeared to Zorah’s wife, Manoah. She was barren and had no children but the angel of the Lord told her that she would conceive a son. This son was to be set apart as a Nazirite to be set apart for holy use by God.
When Samson had grown into a young man, he went down to Philistine and saw one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Her name was Delilah. Immediately he loved her.
The rulers in Philistine came to Delilah and offered her money if she found out what made Samson so strong. Judges 16:5 “The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels in silver.”
Delilah tried several times to no avail. Judges 5:15-17 “Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.” So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
That evening as Samson slept, Delilah cut his hair and called the Philistines. They captured him, gouged his eyes and took him to prison. The Philistines brought Samson out before a great crowd of rules and thousand of people. Samson’s hair began to grow back and as he leaned against the pillars of the temple, he prayed to God for strength once more to defeat the Philistines. Samson used all of his might and pushed down the temple, killing himself and thousands of Philistines and rulers.
God forgave Samson and still accomplished great things through Samson. It was through Samson’s destruction of the temple and his death that the Israelites were freed from Philistine rule.
Samson was the strongest man to ever live, but it was God who gave him the strength. Samson let himself be used by God. Despite all of Samson’s weaknesses, he did turn back to God before he died. God is willing to meet us right where we are right now and to take us where He wants if we will let Him. James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”