Saturday, April 1, 2017

Samson Superman

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 16:4-22

TO CHEW ON: "With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything.” Judges 16:16,17

“I’m in love with a Philistine girl,” Samson announced to his dad one day. “Get her for me.”

Samson’s parents didn’t approve. “Can’t you find a good homegrown girl to marry?” they asked. But Samson insisted. And so began his up-and-down relationship with the Philistines.

The marriage soon went sour when Samson’s new wife tricked him. He left her. When he went back, he found that she was now married to someone else. That made him furious. He caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together, lit them on fire and released them to burn the Philistines’ fields of wheat, grapes and olives.

And so it went. Again and again Samson had dealings with the Philistines and got double-crossed. That made him angry and, with his strength from God, he got even. Once he killed 1000 men with only the bone of a donkey as a weapon.

Another time he escaped capture by breaking ropes he was tied with, then busting open the gates of the city by pulling them off their hinges. In this way he led Israel’s fight against the Philistines for twenty years.

One day he fell in love again with another Philistine lady named Delilah. Soon Samson was spending a lot of time at her house. When the city rulers found out, they promised Delilah large sums of money if she got him to tell the secret of his strength. And so she began asking him to tell her.

Time after time, Samson put her off by telling lies. “If you tie me up with seven fresh bowstrings, or with new ropes that have never been used, or weave the braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom I’ll become as weak as any man,” he told her. As soon as he fell asleep the city rulers did these things to him. But when he awoke he was as strong as ever. He ripped the bowstrings, tore the ropes and pulled out the loom.

But Delilah kept nagging and nagging and nagging. If Samson had been smart, he would have known that he should get away from Delilah. Her nagging was wearing him down.

He didn’t, though. And so the day came when he couldn’t stand it any more. “My strength is in my long hair,” he said. “I have never cut it because I am a Nazirite. If you cut off my hair, I’ll be like any ordinary person.”

That day after Samson fell asleep, the city rulers came. They cut off his hair. Then Delilah woke him. “Samson, the Philistines are going to get you!”

Samson got up. He tried to shake himself free like he had before. But he couldn’t. His strength from God was gone. He had played with the fire of temptation too long. Now he was burned.

The Philistines captured him, gouged out his eyes, and put him in the Gaza jail. There he was set to work grinding grain.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me recognize temptation and run away from it. Amen.

MORE: Samson’s Super-sad Ending
Read the end of Samson’s story in Judges 16:23-30.
When Samson's hair grew long again his strength came back. Draw the last feat of strength he ever did.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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