Summary: Samson was reckless. He became arrogant in his self pursuits always assuming that God would bless him because he was special. He virtually abandoned his spiritual life over the course of 20 years then was shocked that God was gone. In the end, he lost
Last week we learned that Samson was special. Even before he was born God had put a call on his life and all Samson had to do was walk into his calling. His calling was clear, God wanted to use Samson to move the Israelites out of their complacency because they were losing their identity. They were more concerned about shopping and working and pleasure and social events and just about everything else than their relationship with God. The laws of God had dropped on their priority list and their identity was slowly being dissolved in the culture. They were complacent in their faith and took God’s provision and comfort for granted. And Samson was no different.
Samson thought he could figure everything out on his own so he grew up and married a young woman he had no business marrying. She was a Philistine, a woman who did not worship the LORD. She lived in a culture that had nothing to do with God, instead she worshipped idols made from human hands and believed in a different kind of spiritualism than the Israelites.
But Samson married her anyway. Turns out she was given to the best man at the wedding instead and ultimately killed along with her father because Samson lost his temper.
We went through a couple of the miracles that Samson did under the power of the Holy Spirit. He killed a lion with his bare hands and caught 300 foxes and destroyed the fields of the Philistines. Then he hid and his own people, the Israelites came to him and tried to turn him over to the Philistines.
They bound Samson with ropes but when he got close to the Philistines the ropes fell off and Samson used the jaw bone of a dead donkey to kill a thousand Philistines. The last verse in chapter 15 of the book of Judges says that “Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.”
This is rather interesting since the Philistines were ruling over the Israelites at the time. Samson led Israel because of physical strength, not because of his leadership abilities. God empowered him with strength in a miraculous manner and he used Samson’s strength to gently move the Israelites out of their complacency over the course of 20 years. It is my belief that Samson’s spiritual life slowly died over those 20 years. He was certainly gifted but he wasn’t godly. If he were alive today he would be the person who went to church every week for the first year, missed only one Sunday a month over the course of the second year, then in year three he would have gone to church once a month and at some point in his fourth year he would have stopped going altogether but would have still claimed to be a Christian. Samson’s spiritual life slowly slipped into non-existence.
It’s obvious that Samson had plenty of supernatural physical strength but lacked moral strength. Judges 16 gives us the sermon fodder for the day.
“1One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, "Samson is here!" So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, "At dawn we’ll kill him."
3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.” Judges 16:1-3 NIV
I believe this miracle is included because he probably hadn’t performed any feats of strength in a while so the people were getting anxious to get rid of him again. As the saying goes, he just “flexed his muscles” a little bit to gain some respect. No man could even come close to killing him because of his God given strength, then came Delilah.
“4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 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 [a] of silver." Judges 16:4-5 NIV
Delilah was just a pawn in a big game of chess. She must have heard the murmurs of what had happened to his first wife. She must have known her fate if she didn’t comply. God hated the Philistines for a reason and this is one of those reasons, they had no morals because their gods had no morals, they had no morals. They lived for whatever they felt like and they didn’t feel like living with Samson anymore so they wanted him dead and they knew Delilah was there answer.