Judges 16:4 Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” 6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.” NLT
Almost every child in church knows the story of Samson. Samson was the super-strong man who had long hair. But there is more to the story of Samson than just his physical strength. Samson was someone who had tremendous potential to be used by God, yet he wasted it because although he could defeat thousands of Philistines single-handedly, he was not able to control himself.
Scripture teaches us that Samson was a miracle child. Before his birth, Samson’s parents were unable to have children. But then the Lord visited them with the news that they would have a special son who would was to be dedicated to God his entire life. Signs of Samson’s dedication included the restrictions that he would never drink anything alcoholic, eat anything that the Law of Moses declared unclean, nor cut his hair.
As Samson began to grow and develop into a man, it was discovered that he possessed unusual strength. Scripture says that on one occasion he killed three thousand Philistines with only the jaw bone of a donkey for a weapon. No one knows what Samson actually looked like, but most artists depict him as being big and muscular. But actually Samson’s strength was not in his muscles, but in the fact that God’s hand was upon him. The Bible says that before many of his feats of strength – ‘the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily.’ (see Judges 14:6; 14:19; 15:14) It was God who made Samson a mighty man.
But as is often the case with those who possess great abilities, Samson became very self-centered. As you read through the story of Samson, you see that he often did not use his great strength to honor the Lord. Instead, Samson used his special abilities to gratify himself.
Samson flirted with sin. He lived life on the edge and eventually his carelessness caught up with him. In today’s passage of scripture we see that he fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah. Verse 1 of chapter 16 tells us of another time when Samson visited a harlot. Although not a lot is known about Delilah, most Bible scholars believe that she too was probably someone of low character.
The Philistines came to Delilah and promised to make her very rich if she would entice Samson to reveal the secret of his strength. Each time Samson would come to see her, she would try to seduce the secret from him. For a while Samson played a game with her and made up stories about how his strength could be tamed, but when the Philistines would come to capture him, he would easily break free. But then one night Samson gave in and told Delilah ‘all his heart.’ Judges 16:17 says that Samson revealed to Delilah the Nazarite vow that had been placed upon his life and that his uncut hair was a symbol of his dedication. As Samson laid asleep that night, Delilah cut his hair and thus he was easily captured.
It is never wise for us to try to live on the edge. Our human nature is too weak to handle the power of sin. Therefore, we must do as Bible tells us and ‘Flee youthful lusts.’ (2 Tim 2:22) How different Samson’s life would have been if only he had heeded these words of wisdom.