02 Aug

The original party crasher

Samson was a strong man with a real weakness. No it was’t his hair, it was women. His first marriage engagement failed, he hung out with a prostitute and then his girlfriend, Delilah, got him into real trouble.

One thing led to another. The Philistines wanted to defeat Samson so they asked Delilah to entice Samson for 1,100 pieces of silver. Three times she tried and failed but finally after pouting and nagging Samson gave her the real answer and it was the beginning of the end.

There is an old saying, “Trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, shame on me.” Samson was playing with fire and asking for trouble. He thought he was above it all. He began to read the press and believe the headlines. He forgot the source of his strength. No, it wasn’t his hair, it was the Lord.

We get a hint of the problem in Judges 16:17 where Samson says, ” I was dedicated to God.” Key word, was. His dedication had waned. He was operating under his own power. Verse 20 makes it even more clear, “He didn’t realize that the Lord had left him.”

Truth is, Samson left the Lord. He didn’t break away, he drifted. Like so many of us he slowly but surely was given over to his own ways. The Lord is not rude. He does not force us to follow his ways. He allows us to choose. Samson chose and his choices lead to him becoming a public spectacle. The strong man became the laughing stock of the town.

In the end Samson prayed and asked the Lord to renew his strength. The Lord was merciful and granted his request. Blinded and on public display, Samson crashed the party and brought down the house. In so doing, he killed more people than he had in his entire life. But the final curtain call cost him his life. What a waste!

The life of Samson is a reminder to stay connected to our power source. We must be careful not to operate under our own strength. Philippians 4:13 is a great motto for life. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Zechariah 4:6 is the key, “Not by might, nor by power but by my spirit says the Lord.”

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