as we know, Samson was a very strong man. He often used his strength to
fight against the Philistines. The secret of his great strength was that
he was dedicated to God. As long as he honored God by not cutting his
hair, God kept him strong. This was his secret, and the Philistines couldn’t
figure it out.
Samson also had a weakness. He had never learned to say “no”
when he saw something he liked. Many of us may have this same weakness,
but for Samson, his weakness was women. One day he saw a Philistine girl
who was beautiful and he began to care for her. When the Philistine rulers
heard that Samson loved Delilah, they offered to pay her lots of money
if she would persuade Samson to reveal his secret. The Philistines believed
with Delilah’s help, they could capture him and put him in prison.
Delilah loved pretty things that money can buy, and she loved her own
people far more than she loved this strong man who came often to visit
her so she consented at once to help the rulers in their plan to capture
When Samson came again to visit at her home, Delilah received him as kindly
as at other times. Perhaps she talked to him with flattering words. Then
finally she asked him to tell her whether his great strength could be
taken away from him by human hands. Samson replied that if he was tied
securely with seven green twigs, his great strength would leave him and
he should be powerless, like other men.
Delilah quickly sent a messenger to the rulers, telling what she had learned;
and they sent her seven green twigs like those of a willow tree. With
these she bound Samson securely while he lay asleep. Then she called to
him in frightened tones, “Wake up Samson! The Philistines are coming
to take you!” But Samson did not seem at all frightened when he
found himself tied with the green twigs. He sprang up and broke the twigs
as easily as if they had been burned by fire.
Two more times Delilah tried to trick Samson. One time Samson said if
he was bound with new ropes, he would be helpless, and another time he
said he would lose his strength if his hair was woven like thread in a
loom where cloth is made. Of course, both times he broke loose from Delilah
and the Philistines because the secret to his strength was the length
of his hair. Do you think Samson should have known by this time that Delilah
was not his friend?
Delilah began to think that she might not be able to get the money that
the rulers offered her in exchange for the secret of Samson’s great
strength. She felt very unhappy. Day after day she pleaded with Samson,
telling him that surely he did not love her at all. Well, because Samson
did love Delilah, he began to feel sorry for her. He did not want to make
her so unhappy. So finally he told her the truth—that he was a Nazarite,
and it was because his long hair had never been cut that he was a powerful
man. “If I am shaved,” he said, “then my strength will
go from me and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
Oh, boy, Delilah was sure now that Samson had told her all the truth.
She sent her messengers secretly to the rulers and told them what Samson
had made known to her, and they came again to hide and wait until Delilah
would call for them.
While Samson slept a man came and shaved off his long hair. Then Delilah
called “Samson” again and told him that his enemies had come
to take him. Samson opened his eyes and saw the Philistine rulers were
already in the room. He sprang up and said, “I will go out as at
other times.” But alas! This time he could not go out for the Lord
had departed from him and he was helpless in the hands of his enemies.
The Philistines rejoiced greatly because at last they had gotten hold
of Samson. They bound him and took him to Gaza, the city where he once
tore down the gates. Now they locked him in a prison, and to make very
sure that he would not bother them again, they put out his eyes. Then
they chained him with irons and made him turn a heavy millstone to grind
grain, just as though he were an animal.
Poor, unhappy Samson! At last, when all was too late, he realized that
Delilah, the woman he loved, was not his friend. First, Samson ignored
God’s command by marrying a heathen woman, and also he ignored the
advice of his godly parents. Samson made some wrong choices Trusting in
Self leads to Pride..
Every day you and I make choices. Do you think God is concerned about
the people you choose to be friends with? Yes, remember? The Bible says
in I Corinthians “Bad company corrupts good character.” On
the other hand, a friend will encourage you to obey God’s word and
walk away from bad influences.
So Samson suffered the remainder of his life as a blind man. There in
the prison he prayed to God and promised again to become a Nazarite, even
though he was blind, and God heard his prayer.
The hair on Samson’s head began to grow again after it had been
shaved. This is one of the wonderful things about God’s love --
that it holds on to the Christian even when a Christian proves unworthy
of it. The New Testament says in Phillipians 1:6 “He who hath begun
a good work in you will continue it until the day of the Lord (or when
the Lord returns). In other words, God says that if we have believed in
Christ as our Saviour, we can be confident that God will continue the
work in our hearts to make us every day more and more like Christ.
Now the rulers of the Philistines planned to offer a great sacrifice to
their idol, Dagon, to thank him for giving them power over Samson. So
they made a feast in the temple of their God, and many people came to
praise Dagon and to rejoice over Samson’s defeat. Finally they brought
Samson into the court of the temple, to amuse them. No doubt they thought
he looked very funny with his long, shaggy hair and beard, for he had
never been shaven in the prison. They may have forgotten that the secret
of his great strength lay in his long hair, or they may have supposed
that he could no longer do harm because he was blind.
Samson knew that the temple was crowded with people. Even on the flat
roof three thousand men and women were standing together looking down
into the court where Samson was leaning against a pillar, praying. They
did not know that he was asking God to help him once more. They were laughing
at his misery. Samson had asked the boy who led him to take him to the
great pillars that supported the roof, and standing between these pillars,
he had placed his arms around them and bowed forward with all his might.
Then suddenly the roof began to crack and fall in pieces, and the whole
temple of Dagon fell down. There Samson died with the Philistines, in
the ruins of the temple. Thus the Lord God of Israel silenced the boastings
of the Philistines, his enemies.
I’ll tell you a story about Robert, who had a big beautiful apple
which had been given to him. He dropped it in a pail of apples that were
on the back porch.
His mother said, “Don’t put your lovely apple there, Robert.
Those apples are beginning to spoil and your good one will spoil if you
put it with them.”
“But, mother, said Robert, maybe my good apple will make the others
good. I think I’ll just see.” A few days later Robert showed
his mother his apple with a rotten place on one side. “I guess you
were right, mother. The bad ones made this apple bad.”
In the same way we learn that certain people can corrupt or spoil good
manners by encouraging us to pick up bad language and behavior. These
people have no concern for what is right and wrong. They do what they
please. They don’t care. On the other hand, a true friend encourages
you to do what is right. We see from this lesson that Christian girls
and boys are to look to the Lord Jesus to give them Christian friends,
and they should pray about those friendships.
We’ve seen that Samson was chosen by God for a wonderful work, but
he lost his power for God and for his people because he did not choose
friends rightly, and he did not submit himself to God. If Jesus is your
Saviour and Lord, ask Jesus to give you wisdom so that you can make choices
that please Him. Perhaps if you have never admitted to God that you are
a sinner and in need of His forgiveness, you can do this right now as
Prayer: Father, thank you for sending
your Son to die and be raised for sinners like us. We ask that you would
keep us talking to you each day in prayer and use us to draw glory to
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