Summary: Samson and Delilah the stuff of real human drama. It is one of the great classic tragedies of all literature—sacred or secular. Some parts of this sermon were gleaned from a sermon by Rev. Charles Swindal
“Samson, A Man with an Ethical Blind Spot” (Judges 13-16)
There are certain stories in the Bible which fit into a very special category. Those are the stories which reveal the essence of the people in the story. That is to say, if you know the story, you know what the people are like even if you don’t know anything else about those people. A handful of Bible stories fall into this category: David and Goliath. Cain and Abel. Abraham and Isaac. Samson and Delilah.
It is a story which is altogether true, and yet has become legendary. It has been told and retold and told again throughout the course of a hundred generations. There is in the story of Samson and Delilah the stuff of real human drama. It is one of the great classic tragedies of all literature—sacred or secular. It is a story that fathers tell their sons and mothers tell their daughters and Sunday School children learn soon after they start coming to church
As the morning light broke across the horizon, men began to stir all over the prison compound. In a corner cell, heavily guarded and barricaded behind an enormous iron door, another man heard the noises and woke with a start.
He had been dreaming of other, better days. Dreams of sunshine and blue sky, of bright flowers and green trees, dreams of a life long gone. He had dreamt of childhood days, of strong young men and beautiful young women. Dreaming of what had been and of what might have been.
He awoke to the sound of harsh reality. From somewhere across the compound came a muffled curse and another one. He heard the sound of tired feet shuffling, rusty iron gates opening and closing, the guards’ slow, methodical walk toward the central guard tower. He groped in the darkness, reaching for his sandals. Finding them, he put them on, wrapping the thongs around his ankles. Feeling carefully for the wall, he stood up.
He looked awful. He was thinner now, prison food being what it was. His face was covered with a stubbly growth of beard. His hair—what there was of it—was matted and dirty.
Slowly now, he felt along the wall until he found the corner and then followed the wall until he came to the door. He waited at the door for someone to come.
When he felt the sun on his face, he reached up to rub the sleep out of his eyes. Then he remembered—he didn’t have any eyes.
For Samson, another day in prison had begun.
He never dreamed it would come to this. Not in his wildest dreams or his worst nightmares. Never did he think it would come to this.
Samson—Mightiest man of Israel.
Samson—Hero of his people.
Samson—Deliverer of the nation.
How did it come to this?
Oh, it seemed like such a long time ago, such a long, long time ago that the angel had appeared to his parents with the good news, “You’re going to have a son.”
The angel had said, “This boy is going to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from the day of his birth.” The angel had said, “He will begin to deliver the people of Israel.” That sentence, those words, burned like a hot iron into Samson’s mind. He could not get them out.
How did it happen? How did a man who started so well end like that? How did a man empowered by the Spirit end up enslaved by the Philistines?
Samson’s parents were faithful. They raised him in a godly home, just like the angel had told them. We are not told about his teen years.
Again the question comes: “What was it with Samson that made him end up like this? Samson had it all. How could this happen to him?”
There are at least two answers to that question:
1. He never appreciated his spiritual heritage.
In the beginning he had godly parents and a godly family and a godly calling. He knew the will of God and he knew the Word of God. He knew exactly what God wanted him to do. He had an angel show up to personally announce what he was supposed to do. Plus he had good looks and a winning personality and enormous leadership ability. Samson inspired people. He was born for greatness. Samson had it all!!!
But he never appreciated what he had. Because he never appreciated all that God had given him, he dillied and he dallied; he went this way and that way; he messed around
That can happen to any of us.
2. He couldn’t control his emotions.
This is a key point. When we read Samson’s story, we tend to think that his problem was all in the sexual area. His most basic problem was that he never learned how to control his emotions.