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Sunday, April 29 2012
Delilah: Why The Fatal Attraction?
"Samson and Delilah" has become one of the most familiar "Bible stories" to many people - who regard it to simply be about an immoral woman, and an immoral and foolish (although the two characteristics are usually found together) man who became involved with her. But there is actually much more to the "story." Samson would not have even been born if not for the purpose for which the LORD had created him (see also John's Congregation and What Was Strange About John The Baptist?; also Lethal Lust) - to confront the Philistines, who had been permitted to trouble Israel because of their foolish, unfaithfulness to the LORD. In order to understand "Samson and Delilah," one must understand what occurred before, and led to, the fatal attraction of Samson and Delilah.
The "story" begins at the time of Joshua's passing (see also Why Did Joshua Lead Israel Across The Jordan?). Although they were then established in their promised land, each tribe with their own territory, thereafter "the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers," so the LORD "sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies." The "children" squandered the nation that had been founded by their forefathers and foremothers (see also Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal).
"2:8 And Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD [i.e. of Jesus Christ; see Appearances Of The LORD God and The Church In The Wilderness], died, being an hundred and ten years old. 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Much of the book of Judges is about various tribal leaders (e.g. Othniel, Ehud, Gideon, Deborah, and others) who were given to deliver Israel from those that the LORD had enabled to trouble them, for a prescribed time, because the Israelites became unfaithful to the LORD. Over and over it happened. One of the deliverers was chosen even before he was born, to parents who had been unable to have children. Samson would not have been born if not for the LORD i.e. "Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son." Why the special birth? "For the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb."
"13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
So Samson was born, filled with the Holy Spirit - and on a collision course with the Philistines (see also Who Has A Spirit Of Confrontation?).
"13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. 13:25 And the spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol." (Judges 13:24-25 KJV)
When he had grown, Samson married a Philistine woman. His parents disapproved, "But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel."
"14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. 14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
The marriage did not last. It produced only great animosity between Samson and the Philistines.
"15:1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.
Samson repeatedly involved himself with other Philistine women, mostly harlots - a pattern of behavior that would soon lead Samson to Delilah.
"16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. 16:2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.
"And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah"
The Philistines were mighty warriors (the famous Goliath was a Philistine), but they were unable to kill Samson. From their bloody experiences with him, they came to realize that there was something special about him. When Samson involved himself with another of their women (a habit that, in itself, must have been particularly vexatious and provocative to the Philistine warriors), this time Delilah, they offered to make her a rich woman if she could uncover Samson's secret: "we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver."
"16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
Samson did not give up the secret easily - but with the incentive of being paid a great amount of money, Delilah didn't give up easily either. Eventually, he revealed that "There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man." There was nothing "magic" about his hair; it was the breaking of the vow that caused the power from the Holy Spirit to leave.
"16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] was vexed unto death;
Samson was captured and barbarically tortured - including blinding. When the opportunity came ("the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport"), Samson prayed "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines." The LORD answered his prayer, in order to complete the very life's purpose of Samson, as stated earlier, "he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel." Although his death was horrendous, Samson's life now awaits him (see the Fact Finder question below).
"16:23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
Fact Finder: (a) Is Samson recorded among the faithful who will be in the Kingdom of God? (b) Why?
This Day In History, April 29
711: During the Islamic conquest of Hispania, Moorish troops under Tariq ibn-Ziyad invaded Gibraltar (the "Crusades" were a centuries-long struggle between the followers of the Church of Rome and the followers of Muhammad; see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1289: Qala'un, the Sultan of Egypt, captured Tripoli.
1429: The fabled "Joan of Arc" entered Orleans, seven months into the siege of the city in the Hundred Years War.
1587: English warships under English explorer and naval commander Francis Drake sank at least 23 ships of the Spanish fleet in the Bay of Cádiz.
1607: The first Anglican church in the New England colonies was established at Cape Henry, Virginia.
1628: Sweden and Denmark concluded a treaty for the defense of Stralsund, which brought Sweden into the Thirty Years War.
1661: The Chinese Ming dynasty occupied Taiwan.
1672: During the Franco-Dutch War, Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.
1770: English explorer and naval commander James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.
1813: Rubber was patented.
1852: The first edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus was published.
1858: Austrian troops invaded Piedmont.
1881: State-incited pogroms against Jews in Russia began, resulting in major flight of Jews from Russia westwards. Some consider this date in Jewish history to be the most important since the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492. Of those emigrants, over 2,000,000 went to the U.S. alone, creating a powerful presence of Jews in the U.S. (New York City is today the largest Jewish-population city on earth).
1913: The "zipper" was patented by Swedish engineer Gideon Sundback as a "separable fastener."
1916: After a siege of 143 days, the British surrendered Kut-el-Amara to the Turks.
1945: Closing events of the Second World War in Europe - the German army surrendered; Venice and Mestre were captured by the Allies; in Berlin, Adolf Hitler married his mistress Eva Braun just hours before they committed suicide (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1946: 28 former Japanese leaders were indicted by U.S. occupation forces in Tokyo for war crimes (that included the "water boarding" torture of prisoners) during the Second World War. Some were later executed.
1965: The Australian government announced that it would send troops to Vietnam.
1965: Malta became the 18th member of the Council of Europe.
1967: After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing Muslim religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his championship boxing title.
1972: In Burundi, the deposed King Ntare V was killed in an abortive coup.
1973: In a futile attempt to stop the Watergate criminal investigation from reaching him, President Richard Nixon requested resignations of two of his top political associates, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.
1981: In England, Peter Sutcliffe admitted that he was the "Yorkshire Ripper."
2005: Syrian troops left Lebanon after 29 years of occupation.
2011: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton were married.