Saturday, September 14th, 2013
Samson & Delilah: Star Struggles (Part 3)
Love: To Do And Not To Do
Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, 'Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.'
Judges 16:4-5 (NKJV)
Samson's ill-fated romance is a timeless tale of what not to do in love.
The story begins with his parents: Manoah and his wife. Like other Bible super-moms, Samson's mother was barren. She received her son's birth announcement from an angel of the Lord. Only two other couples are reported as similarly blessed: Zechariah and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary.
However, unlike the parents of John the Baptist and Jesus, Manoah and his wife received God's angel not once, but twice. Both times they were instructed on how to raise God's super-hero in an age when 'The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord' (Judges 13:1).
Samson's parents exampled a good marriage: a reverential man and a virtuous woman--living in harmony with God and each other. His father was prayerful and obedient to his God. His mother was wise and respectful to her husband. However, their famous son did not follow their marital lead.
Instead, Samson fell for the wrong women--three times: Lady #1 was the wrong wife; she may have been lovely on the outside, but not on the inside. When faced with the choice of loyalty to her husband or to her people, she chose them--not him. Lady #2 was a harlot: a thoughtless encounter that set Samson up for attack, but as usual--he won.
Lady #3 was Delilah, and our hero fell hard. Even though her evil schemes were revealed to him three times, Samson ignored the warnings. He loved her all the more--and that was the problem. 'I have this against you, that you have left your first love' (Revelation 2:4). From Moses to Jesus to us, our first love must be Him:
'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind' (Matthew 22:37).
Sadly, Delilah took the top spot in Samson's heart, and God would not overlook it. 'For the Lord your God is a consuming Fire, a jealous God' (Deuteronomy 4:24). He's jealous for our safety, prosperity and eternal life.
Here's the bottom line: God overlooked Samson's character flaws--and even used them to the good. But not this one. Because lust is Satan's business: a slippery slope leading down to hell. For our own safety, our eyes and hearts must stay focused on God. Therefore, Samson's willful lust destined him to fall.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Samson & Delilah: Star Struggles series.