Without a doubt, Samson had done a lot of good for his people. God had used him to harass those who harassed Israel. God had chosen Samson, but sadly, Samson also chose Samson. By the time we get to Judges chapter 16, Samson is living on the wild side. He is flirting with sin, falling for prostitutes, and sleeping with the enemy, a Philistine woman named Delilah (v.4; many believe she is the woman mentioned in v.1). Samson had convinced himself that he was so strong that he could play with sin and not get hurt.
Samson was unaware that Delilah did not love him the way he loved her — the truth was she did not care about him at all. She agreed to betray him for a large sum of money (v.5). Her plan was to discover the secret to Samson’s supernatural strength by sweet-talking it out of him (and later by nagging it out of him). Samson answered her falsely, saying that his “Kryptonite” was fresh bowstrings. But when Delilah tied him up with the bowstrings, he easily escaped and overcame his attackers. The same process was repeated with new ropes and weaving his hair. The whole time, Delilah was pleading and nagging (if she did not get the right answer, she would not get paid).
With each false answer Samson inched dangerously closer to the truth, until finally he told Delilah his secret (v.17). Samson had compromised his Nazirite vow, treating it like a plaything in a romantic game. He was willing to break his commitment to God for Delilah. I think it was his way of saying, “If I have Delilah, I don’t need God anymore.”
That night he went to sleep with his head in her lap, and she cut his hair, shaved his head, and swept his strength out the door. Then, for the fourth time, she said, “Samson! The Philistines are upon you!” He jumped up, ready to fight them again. In one of the saddest statements in the Bible, verse 20 says, “But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” Isn’t that sad? He did not know the Lord had departed from him.
Devoid of God’s power, Samson was easily overpowered and arrested. We should learn something from this tragic scene: if you are bound to sin, you are bound to suffer. Sin blinds you. Sin binds you. Sin breaks you. I am glad that is not the end of the story…
Some of God’s most special work is when He takes a broken life and makes it useful again. God’s grace is especially beautiful when He takes someone who has blown it big-time and forgives them, restores them, and gives them another chance to serve Him. He is a God of second chances! Samson’s second chance came when he was standing in the temple of Dagon and he prayed his way back to God, asking for one last opportunity to serve Him. God granted Samson one final measure of supernatural strength, enabling him to collapse the massive temple, eliminating thousands of Philistines in an instant. Samson died with them, but he died serving the Lord.
If like Samson you are drifting away from the Lord, compromising your commitment to Jesus, and playing with sin – stop! Turn around! If you have crashed and failed, call on Jesus! He can forgive you and use you again. Run to Jesus and let Him love you.