This is a weekly guest devotion from my mother, Estelene. This is part three of a series on a mystery Nazarite. You can read part one and part two for reference purposes if you did not read them prior.
Today we will be concluding our study on a man who had been called by God from birth to deliver His people from the oppression of the Philistines. If you have missed the past two week’s devotions, you may want to go back and read them first. Once again I am going to ask you not to refer to the below scripture in your Bible. I would like to see if you know to whom this story is referring. We will pick up where we left off last week.
“’You will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.’” Judges 13:5
This man fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah who lived in the Valley of Sorek. There must have been something bewitching about Delilah. Because like a poisonous spider luring its prey into its web where death is inevitable, she seduced her lover into revealing a secret that everyone yearned to know.
The rulers of the Philistines approached her with an agreement that if she could pry out of this man the secret of his great strength, each of them would pay her eleven hundred shekels of silver. We don’t know how many rulers made this agreement, but we do know that it must have been a great deal of money. Her greed overpowered her feelings for her lover, so she complied.
So what happened? Well Delilah came right out and asked her lover, “’Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.’” Judges 16:6
If someone asked me a question like that, I think a red flag would be raised. But I wasn’t there; therefore, I don’t know how she approached him. But even when I have seen red flags raised, I have ignored the warning signs. Oh how devastating it can be when we do not heed God’s warning signs.
He answered her, “’If anyone ties me with seven fresh thongs that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.’” Judges 16:7
The rulers brought her the thongs, and she tied him up. After hiding Philistine men in the room, she called to him, “……….., the Philistines are upon you!” Judges 16:9
There raises another red flag.
Immediately he broke the thongs with ease.
This happened two more times. Once he said he would not be able to break new ropes, and the other time he said that if she took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric and tightened it with the pin he would lose his strength. Yet, he broke lose both times.
Every time she whined that he was making a fool of her and that he was lying to her. Every time the men were hidden in the room.
How many red flags need to be raised before this man sees how this woman is deceiving him?
How many red flags does it take before you open your eyes to Satan’s deception?
Day after day she nagged him until he couldn’t stand anymore.
He finally gave in to her whining and told her the truth. This was a very unwise decision on his part. He told her that he had been set apart to God from birth. No razor had touched a hair on his head, and that if his hair was cut off, he would lose his strength.
As the story goes, the rulers hid once again in the room. After he fell asleep in her lap, she had a man shave off his seven braids. He must have been a very sound sleeper. I can’t imagine not knowing that someone was shaving my hair.
When Delilah called out to him, “’…………., the Philistines are upon you,’” he awoke and expected to be able to free himself. But to his surprise, the Lord had left him. His strength was gone, and he was as weak as any other man. Judges 16:20
I wonder how he felt about this bewitching woman at that time? I bet he had words to say to her. Do you think he felt betrayed? On with the story.
The Philistines took him away, gouged out his eyes, and took him to the city of Gaza where they bound him with bronze shackles and put him to work grinding in the prison.
Now listen very carefully. Are you listening? “But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved,” Judges 16:22. Even though he failed severely, God was not done with him yet.
Boasting in their accomplishment to capture this man who had caused tremendous misery in the lives of the Philistines, they threw a celebration. A great sacrifice was offered to Dagon (their chief god who they believed brought rain and assured a bountiful harvest) for in their minds he had delivered this man into their hands. They praised him saying,
“Our god has delivered our enemy
into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
and multiplied our slain.”
While they were all hyped up about this great defeat, they decided to bring out their prisoner so he could entertain them. Thousands of people, including all the rulers, were in attendance. There were at least three thousand more on the roof watching.
This man who had been set apart to God from birth asked 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.’”
I am going to quote the rest of the story from the written Word of God because it is so powerful.
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please 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.
He had led Israel twenty years.
To God be the glory. When God sets out to do something, He does not quit until it is finished. He said that Samson would begin to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines, and he did though it took his life and his death to accomplish his purpose in life.
Just think of how much more Samson could have accomplished with his great strength had he focused on his purpose in life. Instead, Samson’s lust for women and his cocky attitude took his eyes off God.
God has a purpose for your life. Is your focus on Him and what He wants you to do for him? Or is your focus on what He can do for you?
I hope you enjoyed this and the past two devotions. I know some of you knew who this man of great strength was. But if you didn’t, I pray that you learned a little more about Samson the Nazirite.
God bless you and keep you through the week.