One of my favorite biblical accounts is the story of Samson. For all intents and purposes, Samson could be considered a biblical superhero. I’ve always viewed him as Superman of the Old Testament. His physical strength was unprecedented yet, like Superman, he had his kryptonite…lust.
Samson was a Nazarite. By definition, this means that he was an Israelite called from birth to serve God in a way that was different than others. He was called to a life of abstinence from things that were unclean and maintain purity. Samson was a ruler over the Israelites during the oppressive rule of the Philistines. While it was clear that Samson recognized the call on his life and he loved God, it was difficult for him to do what was required of him. His fleshly desires and lust always overpowered him and caused him to fall into trouble. Perhaps the most notable tale from his life is his love affair with Delilah. Delilah was a Philistine woman.
We watch Delilah continuously try to persuade Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. Each time she thinks she has the answer, she uses the knowledge and gives it to his enemy for his capture. After Samson repeatedly tricks her with the secret and sees that she calls the Philistines on him each time, Samson allows her dramatic cries of disloyalty and statements of “If you really loved me…” to distort his thinking and eventually tell her the truth that the power was in his hair.
Its always so easy for me to look at the story of Samson and Delilah and ask the questions, “Ugh Samson, How could you be so stupid over and over again?!”, “So…you’re just going to keep ignoring how this skank isn’t any good for you Samson?” or “Yoooo Samson, where are your friends; friends don’t let you play yourself like this.” But if I’m honest, there are times in my life that I have to ask those same questions too. And I suspect that maybe you’ve had to ask yourself these questions as well at least at one point in your life.
Why do we return to the people who have explicitly shown that they do not have our best interest at heart? Whether it be a romantic partner, a friend or family member; why do we constantly allow individuals to stay in our lives when every time we give them a piece of who we are, we watch them attempt to exploit our being and drain us of our purpose? When it is so clear that someone has ill intentions for our well being and no concern with preserving the promise that God has on our life, why are we so willing to break covenant with Christ in order to appease?
Samson’s story shows that sin is insidious and comes with a cost. In the end, Samson is able to deliver himself and people from the Philistines but, he loses his life in the process. This biblical story that we learn as children has deep implications for our lives as we grow older. We learn that we serve a redeeming God who will use you despite your repeated transgressions nevertheless, your decisions could cause you your life.
We all have Delilahs in our lives. She comes in different forms. She could be the relationship that you know you should not be in. She could be the sexual partner who makes your body feel alive while your soul feels dead. She could be the drugs that just keep calling you, or the weed that you claim you could quit if you wanted to. Your Delilah could be the nasty attitude that prevents you from growing or the unforgiving spirit that makes you bitter and difficult to deal with. I’m not sure what or who your Delilah is, but if you want to walk fully in the life that God has called you to, I suggest you confront your Delilah and tell her “Bye!”
*Samson’s story can be found in Judges Chapters 13-16.*