So the woman came and told her husband, saying, 'A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. And He said to me, ' 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.' '
Samson and Delilah went prime time in 1949. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, this epic stars Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr. It received five Academy Award nominations in 1950, and it remains the fifth most popular Bible movie ever made. Modern directors continue to reenact this drama, because it fascinates us.
God devotes four chapters of His Book to Samson's rise and fall. He doesn't focus on the strong man's heroics. They are mentioned, but not featured. Neither does He focus on Samson's 20-year reign as Israel's Judge. Instead, God highlights Samson's parents, friends and personal struggles. Why? To help us with our own.
Especially relevant to actors, models and talent for Christ are the challenges faced by Samson. Because they read like storylines of modern stars. Consider the common elements: stars are gifted by God with unusual talents and abilities. So was Sampson.
Their roles? Big. Their temptations? Bigger. Their God? Biggest. But if they forget His Size to focus on anyone or anything else, they fall backwards. Into what? Temptation. Because it's waiting with open arms and a pretty face:
'With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks... For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men' (Proverbs 7:21-22,26).
Here's a glimpse of Samson's plot: his birth is announced by an angel. He must follow strict Nazirite vows of separation to God from womb to tomb. His destiny? To help free Israel from Philistine rule. His strength? Legendary.
But he gets into a bad crowd, has trouble with his vows, and falls for the wrong women--especially the last one: a beautiful Philistine seductress named Delilah. Delilah learns the secret of his strength, cuts it off and gives Samson to her people: the enemies of Israel. They blind him and make him their trophy slave.
Humbled and hobbled, Samson prayed to the God He took for granted. He received one last hurrah: triumph in his death.
To Be Continued...
Synopsis of Samson and Delilah: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/samsondelilah.htm
Samson and Delilah: http://www.gotquestions.org/Samson-and-Delilah.html
Samson and the Nazirite vows: http://www.biblestudyplanet.com/bio33.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Samson & Delilah: Star Struggles series.