Sampson, Don’t Hide Your Faith, 18JAN – #1371

Standard

When I wake, I thank the Lord for getting me where I am, and not where I am not. I wake up and even if I forget the many issues that have gone away, I try to not forget to praise. I thank the Lord for rescue – the very distinct dangers He had and has pulled me thru. Praise be to God from me is always overdue – I am thankful for His Grace and His Mercy too.

Sometimes I say YAY, another day to accomplish X,Y,Z tasks. I praise God for my health too. No, I am not just a Pollyanna, I have much to fret about too, but today, I will praise God that He is in control above all else. 

What an interesting story of Sampson. l wonder much in reading it not about him having his strength which came from the Lord, but wonder if He awoke and thanked God for the gift of Strength. I wonder if he wondered why God gave it to him. In reading his story (part 2), I wonder how amazing his devotion to the Lord was. I think he must have walked around with his conversation with God like a known, like “this is who I am, a Nazarite, devoted to God”.  I wonder how we can realize that too – we are to be dedicated to God. To accept God is with us and keep walking.

I secondly wonder about his initial fake answers and then later very straightforward answer to Delilah about what makes him strong and what makes him weak – why to tell her the secrets to subduing him? Why, especially since she first tried all the fake ways. Sampson, I wonder why He told Delilah about his hair.

I wonder also why my memory fails me, the story here does not say Delilah deceives him – must have been a movie fallacy and that I never read this for real – because this story (below in Judges 16) says Sampson (eventually) was straightforward and told her. NO TRICKERY – maybe for her love he told her – and definitely for his tiredness of her nagging – but not because he was really forced to… Hmmm…  Maybe he simply trusted her or was just so worn down and tired that he told his God-secret out in the open. Would we tell our secrets if we were asked? In this world, perhaps we don’t have to tell people our secret conversations with God – we don’t have to tell our God-secrets – but we CAN tell others where our strength comes from. From God. We can tell them that we will look to God.

Sampson may have known she was aligned with the Philistines – maybe not – perhaps he did not care as everyone was known to live in a sticky situation – all the Israelites seemingly co-existed in enemy’s reach before and after the 20 years of peace. Perhaps Sampson was just straightforward because he knew God had a plan either way. Perhaps he and God talked in those early mornings – especially the one where he got up before his attackers did – and had the upper hand on them (as well as ripping their city gate up open and carrying it up to the hill). If Sampson knew he was best to trust God that day, he hopefully did all his days. Sampson knew when his strength left and when his strength returned, and he credited God and he conversed with God. And so can we. If we know to trust God on one particular day, in one particular incident, see He delivered us then – well then we certainly can trust to trust in Him EVERYDAY. If God is a God who moves mountains, then certainly he can be trusted with our little molehill problems too.

The hero aspect of this story is when Sampson is at the very end, after his capture (subdued by the loss of strength) and his eyes gouged out – wow ouch – and his hidden secret that both his hair grew back and his strength grew too. God came back with him as he devoted himself to one last heroic act – God came back to Sampson when Sampson asked. Sampson found the kingpin of the arena and what would take it down – even as blind, he knew the sightline of the answer. Even as out in the open, he knew his hidden strength. Even as a captive, he knew his freedom was with God and in God. And so Sampson moved to the columns holding up the arena – and with the great prayer that we all can pray: “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more,”  He pushed the columns over and the whole arena collapsed killing the Philistines and Sampson himself. He killed more Philistines that day than in the rest of his life. 

Boom – trust in the Lord until the end. Trust in His Strength to move mountains. Keep your God-secrets between God and yourself – but tell of your God – our God – to others as He is in control! If you are shackled and chained, find the last great weakness in the enemy – that he does not know God like you do. TRUST GOD.

Amen

(and below please read the REAL story, part 2, of Sampson)

Judges 16

One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.” But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered. Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.” He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric. Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.  After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Sampson

Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”  When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land    and multiplied our slain.” While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”  Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s