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Saturday, March 8 2014

Judges 16: Samson and Delilah

"And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah"

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) chose Samson to be a Judge before he was even conceived (see Judges 13: Should Every Mother Be A Nazarite?) with the sole life-purpose of delivering the Israelites from Philistine oppression. It was done in two stages. The first involved the defeat of the Philistine military, at will, where ever they could be found (see Judges 14: Samson's Riddle and Judges 15: What Did Samson Do On Jawbone Hill?). The second part was to take out most of the Philistine government - the "leaders" who were rarely found on the battlefield. That part ("all the lords of the Philistines were there" - verse 27, below) was accomplished by Samson's end-of-life capture - as unintentionally facilitated by Delilah.

Samson was a very carnal man. He frequented the harlots of Gaza (see also Gaza In History And Prophecy), although at that idolatrous and liberal time in Israel, he could just as easily have found at least as many harlots in his own homland.

Samson and 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.

16:3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron." (Judges 16:1-3 KJV)

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.

16:6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.

16:7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 16:9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.

16:10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.

16:11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

16:12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.

16:13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound.

And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. 16:14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.

Gaza And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web. 16:15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth." (Judges 16:4-15 KJV)

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;

16:17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, 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.

16:18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath showed me all his heart.

Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.

16:19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.

16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.

And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

16:22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven." (Judges 16:16-22 KJV)

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).

Samson

"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.

16:24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

16:25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport.

And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

16:26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

16:27 Now 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.

16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, 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 for my two eyes.

16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines.

And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

16:31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father.

And he judged Israel twenty years." (Judges 16:23-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Is Samson recorded among the faithful who will be in the Kingdom of God? (b) Why?
(a) Hebrews 11:32,39 (read all of Hebrews chapter 11)
(b) See Lessons Of Perseverance And Faith; also The Church In The Wilderness


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This Day In History, March 8

1126: Alfonso VII was proclaimed king of Castile and Leon.

1576: Spanish explorer Diego García de Palacio first sighted the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copan.

1618: Johann Kepler discovered what humans call the third Law of Planetary Motion (see also The First Scientist).

1702: King William III of England was killed in a riding accident at age 52. Queen Ann became the English monarch.

1736: Nader Shah, founder of the Afsharid dynasty, was crowned Shah of Iran.

1765: One-quarter of Montreal was destroyed by fire.

1782: The Gnadenhütten massacre. 96 Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity, were murdered by Pennsylvania militiamen in supposed retaliation for raids carried out by other "Indians."

1801: During the Napoleonic Wars, the British forces under Ralph Abercromby captured Aboukir Bay from the French. Abercromby was killed in the battle (Britain put only a small fraction of its military forces into the War of 1812-14 against the U.S.; the bulk of the British army and navy was involved in fighting Napoleon's French Empire in Europe and Africa e.g. British Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory over the French fleet at Trafalgar and Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo).

Napoleon
1844: King Oscar I ascended to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1917: Riots and strikes in St. Petersburg marked the start of the "February Revolution" in Russia.

1920: Abdullah was proclaimed king of Iraq, but he declined the throne which was later given to his brother Faysal I. Abdullah later became the king of Jordan when it became independent in 1946 (many of the present-day artificial borders between the Arab nations were imposed by Western imperial nations).

1921: Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato was assassinated in Madrid.

1921: Following Germany's failure to pay reparations from the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), French troops occupied Duesseldorf and other towns in the Ruhr.

1942: During the Second World War, Japanese forces entered Rangoon, Burma, the day after British forces evacuated.

1948: The U.S. Supreme Court ("In God We Trust") ruled that religious teaching in public schools violated the U.S. Constitution.

1965: 4,000 marines arrived at Da Nang in South Vietnam to become the first U.S. combat troops to become involved in the Vietnam civil war. Earlier French imperialism in southeast Asia resulted in the ancient nation of Vietnam being divided into North and South Vietnam, a foreign-imposed partition of the Vietnamese people that did not end until the early 1970s after the U.S. had involved itself in the Vietnamese civil conflict for over a decade.

1973: "Irish Republican Army" terrorist car bombs exploded outside the Old Bailey courthouse and Scotland Yard police headquarters in London, killing one person and injuring 238. On the same day a referendum in Northern Ireland favored maintaining ties with the United Kingdom.

1983: U.S. President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire." The Soviets responded by calling the U.S. an "evil empire."

2004: Amidst the U.S. devastation of Iraq (over one million civilian men, women and children casualties and a country reduced to rubble, "legally justified" by George W. Bush in a search for alleged "weapons of mass destruction," that never existed, and an alleged Iraq connection to the 9-11 attacks, of which there was none; captured documents proved that Saddam Hussein actually viewed al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden as a threat to Iraq), a new U.S.-written Iraqi constitution was signed by the "cooperative" members of Iraq's U.S.-appointed "Governing Council." The country of rubble then descended into political gridlock and chaos with its new "freedom."


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Copyright © Wayne Blank