“If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” ~ Judges 16:17
Take time to read Judges 6:4-20, Samson’s downfall with Delilah. Play close attention to verse 20, it is haunting!
Dwight Connection: Samson’s first truth happens in this passage. Still his words project beyond his hair and even his strength, because he has been cut off from God.
Growing up we were always exploring and a favorite spot was a dirt path into the woods (soon to become a subdivision). One time when we were there two things happened. First, at the path’s end we found shotgun shells all over the place. I thought this was really exciting, until my friend began to tell the story of a clown that lived in the woods. He would lure children into his house… At first I joked until I remember there was an abandoned house in the woods. I still played brave and we dared each other deeper and deeper into the woods. Then we heard a branch crack and I panicked—threw down my bike and ran! Of course I had to come back for my bike, and later we laughed (or at least I was laughed at)… Fear is a funny thing. As children we were afraid of so many things, but as we grow up we become brave. That is until we are alone. In community we are tough, but alone—a snapped branch still gets our heart racing!
And Samson stood up to use his strength and only then did he realize… God had left and he was all alone.
What Kind of Fool?
For three times Samson sticks with the strategy of lies, but at her constant nagging he finally caves. Did she drive him crazy—probably, but the situation was also different. Notice verse 18, for the first time she has to send word to the Philistine rulers. They were not there, ready and waiting. Samson may have thought the trouble was past… Plus he may have known his danger, because for the first time Delilah can not perform the task. She had tied the ropes and tightened his hair with the pin. But this time he sleeps on her lap, while someone else cuts his hair…
This does not take away the reality that Samson acted as a fool. He trusted his own strength, to the point that he no longer cared about decisions he made. In some ways it was as though he wanted to provoke the Philistines. As if Delilah was also a pawn in Samson’s game to best the Philistines. But the root of a fool is to trust what can not be trusted. Our gifts are useless without the Gift Giver.
1. Why was Samson in this situation and why did he keep going back to Delilah?…(He is Samson, he could have found other girls!)
2. Verse 20 is haunting: but he did not know that the Lord had left.–How did it make you feel? – Did God abandon Samson? – Could God abandon you, our church?…