Summary: Temptation

It’s Got a hold of me and won’t let go

Illus: Can you see him running, he is running with all his might. Look at the beads of sweat popping out on his forehead. Each step that he takes is labored; he is exhausted from the struggle. Can you see the fear in his eyes as he looks back over his shoulder? Something’s got a hold on him and won’t let go. It’s like some invisible force that has attached to him and won’t let him go. No matter how hard he fights it, it’s still there. The relentless enemy keeps drawing the prey closer and closer. As the victim is reeled in, like a fish that has taken the lure, the emotions of shame and disgrace overshadow his soul. The thoughts, ”Oh my God, Oh My God why did I fall in this trap” pierce his fear shattered mind.

All the Angels of Heaven begins to weep as another one is overcome by that deadly beast; TEMPTATION.

Text: Judges 16:1-21

One day Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute there. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 When the people of Gaza heard, “Samson has come here!” they surrounded the place and waited for him near the city gate all night. They whispered to each other, “When dawn comes, we will kill Samson!”

3 But Samson only stayed with the prostitute until midnight. Then he got up and took hold of the doors and the two posts of the city gate and tore them loose, along with the bar. He put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces the city of Hebron.

4 After this, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the Valley of Sorek. 5 The Philistine rulers went to Delilah and said, “Find out what makes Samson so strong. Trick him into telling you how we can overpower him and capture him and tie him up. If you do this, each one of us will give you twenty-eight pounds of silver.”

6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me why you are so strong. How can someone tie you up and capture you?”

7 Samson answered, “Someone would have to tie me up with seven new bowstrings that have not been dried. Then I would be as weak as any other man.”

8 The Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied Samson with them. 9 Some men were hiding in another room. Delilah said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But Samson broke the bowstrings like pieces of burned string. So the Philistines did not find out the secret of Samson’s strength.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You made a fool of me. You lied to me. Now tell me how someone can tie you up.”

11 Samson said, “They would have to tie me with new ropes that have not been used before. Then I would become as weak as any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied Samson. Some men were hiding in another room. She called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But he broke the ropes as easily as if they were threads.

13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Again you have made a fool of me. You lied to me. Tell me how someone can tie you up.”

He said, “Using the loom, weave the seven braids of my hair into the cloth, and tighten it with a pin. Then I will be as weak as any other man.”

While Samson slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the cloth. 14 Then she fastened it with a pin.

Again she said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” Samson woke up and pulled out the pin and the loom with the cloth.

15 Then Delilah said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t even trust me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me. You haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 She kept bothering Samson about his secret day after day until he felt he was going to die!

17 So he told her everything. He said, “I have never had my hair cut, because I have been set apart to God as a Nazirite since I was born. If someone shaved my head, I would lose my strength and be as weak as any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything sincerely, she sent a message to the Philistine rulers. She said, “Come back one more time, because he has told me everything.” So the Philistine rulers came back to Delilah and brought the silver with them. 19 Delilah got Samson to sleep, lying in her lap. Then she called in a man to shave off the seven braids of Samson’s hair. In this way she began to make him weak, and his strength left him.

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