Summary: The amazing thing about the story of Samson and Delilah is that it comes at the height of his career. The key to the story is found in the last verse of Judges 15. “Now Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.” (15:20)
“Samson and His Mid-Life Crisis”
The story of Samson and Delilah, found in Judges 16, is the story of a man who having reached the pinnacle of his career and having accomplished everything a man would want to accomplish, in one sudden, violent turn went from the top right down to the bottom.
It’s the story of a man whose name was a household word, whose picture was on every wall, whose deeds were celebrated by poets and priests. It’s the story of a man who had it all and who in a moment lost it all.
The amazing thing about the story of Samson and Delilah is that it comes at the height of his career. That really is the most shocking fact. In the end, Samson was tricked by the same thing that tricked him in the beginning.
The key to the story is found in the last verse of Judges 15. “Now Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.” (15:20) That’s exactly the kind of verse which we would tend to pass right over, but it’s very crucial to properly understand the story of Samson and Delilah.
Samson was about 20 years old when he burst on the scene. This verse is telling us that he led Israel for 20 years. From the time he was 20 until the time he was about 40: twenty years of peace, twenty years of prosperity, and twenty years of relative freedom from the Philistines. So it was that Samson, as he approached the mid-life years, began to feel restless. He began to feel ill at ease. He began to wonder if there wasn’t more to life. And Samson at the age of 40 begins to take a turn for the worse.
The truth of the matter is, Samson hasn’t put all his problems behind him. He’s covered them up. He’s ignored them. He’s played them down. He’s pushed them away. He’s managed to live a pretty straight life. Samson, you see, never really dealt with the problems that plagued him way back there at the beginning. And now at the end of twenty years, those same problems are about to come out and trip him again. Only this time they’re not just going to trip him. The same problems he refused to deal with are the same problems that are going to bring him down now.
That’s the way it always is, isn’t it? The hardest thing that you will ever say in your life is, “I have a problem.” Nobody likes to say that. Samson is just like you or me. He wanted to forget what had happened. He wanted to just kind of rock along peacefully. He wanted to pretend the things of the past were in the past. And as long as they were twenty years away he didn’t want to have to worry about them anymore. But the jig is up. It’s time to pay the piper. Because he hasn’t dealt with his problems, they’re going to come up again, and this time they are going to destroy him.
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings attract people from all walks of life. There are meetings here at Redeemer most every evening. Those who attend will also have different motivations for doing so. The majority are there because they want to escape their addiction, but there will also be people who have been attending these meetings for many years but still engage in behavior that leads to “drinking and then …as they say, “fall off the wagon.”