Title: Judges 16. Samson part 13 - The decline and fall of Samson.
JDG 16:4 After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
JDG 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, "Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."
The leaders realize that there is a secret to Samson's strength, but they have no way of understanding it. This is the position of the world. They know there is a power available and they look everywhere for it, trying to find its secret. They use terms like holy grail and fountain of youth.
PSA 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
PSA 2:2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His
PSA 2:3 "Let us tear their fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!"
PSA 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
PSA 2:5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury:
PSA 2:6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
The Christian knows this source of power. It is Christ. It is His resurrection. It is the Holy Spirit. It is the word of God. It is the plan of the Father. The only source of power is the Trinity.
Samson knows the source of his power, but he has used it for himself. He lays claim to it as if it belongs to him and can be used by him any way he wants.
Each believer must be very careful. He has been given tremendous power from God and it can only be used in God's will. Believers have often been guilty of taking God's power and attempting to use it for things outside of God's will. They attempt to wield the power in their own way, as if it was theirs to use in the way they desire. The Galatians tried to mix Christianity with the Law of Moses. The Corinthians tried to mix Christianity with paganism. Clement of Alexandria in the third century tried to mix Christianity with the philosophy of Plato.
Our founders knew that too much liberty brought bondage. Liberty and freedom cannot exist without boundaries. Unrestrained liberty makes chaos. The founding fathers agreed that religion and morality were essential to our type of government. Only people accountable to God could self-govern. In Christianity, we are each bounded by the will of God, the law of Christ, and the commands of the NT. Nothing is to be added or removed in order to make the plan of God more palatable to ignorance and lust.
The power of God does belong to us, but the fruit of that power belongs to God. His power is only to be used within His will.
Samson will lose his power when God leaves him. Our position before God is different. God can never leave us. He has promised that He will never, no never, desert us or forsake us. He indwells us. But if we choose to make our own plans and attempt to use God's power, God's word in that endeavor then there will be no fruit. We will be like the fig tree that has leaves and outwardly it may look fruit bearing, but it is not.
Simply, as for Samson, if we humble ourselves under God's will, yielding to it, then we will not have tragic lives.
The kings of the Philistines don't want to murder Samson. They want to embarrass him so that they can flaunt their superiority over Israel and their god Dagon's superiority over Yavah Elohim.
20 years prior to Samson and Delilah, the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant at the battle of Shiloh and placed it in their temple to Dagon in Ashod. God destroyed the image of Dagon and infested the people with disease. The kings of Philistia see an opportunity to show Dagon as superior by capturing a weak Samson.
JDG 16:6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you."
JDG 16:7 And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh cords [animal tendons] that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man."
JDG 16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them [violation of his Nazirite vow].
JDG 16:9 Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered.
JDG 16:10 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me, how you may be bound."
JDG 16:11 And he said to her, "If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man."
JDG 16:12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread.
JDG 16:13 Then Delilah said to Samson, "Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web [and fasten it with a pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man."
JDG 16:14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.
Third hint - hair. Seven is mentioned again indicating Jehovah. He has given three hints: Jehovah, Nazirite, and hair.
Getting closer and closer to revealing makes it easier to finally reveal everything. We should never toy with any category of sin or evil. Flirting with fire will always end up in being burned.
JDG 16:15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is."
JDG 16:16 And it came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death.
JDG 16:17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I shall become weak and be like any other man."
Human love is blind because it can so quickly cause fear and anxiety. Samson fears losing her response to his love more than he fears God.
God sets the standard and only He is love and truth. When His standard is followed, relationships blossom with beauty and goodness. They never reach perfection, but because of the grace of God, they are truly good without perfection.
God's love sees clearly and because it is in no way selfish, it never produces fear of either loss or punishment.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
The advocate of human love would like to paint God's love as cold while his own is full of feeling and emotion. But human love is just that - all feeling, all emotion. It claims to sacrifice, but only when it is served more than it gives. It is not based on truth because it knows nothing of truth since it rejects the only source of truth. God's love is based completely on truth. It is based on standards of the good and beautiful, which cannot be subject to human meddling. God's love will separate and hurt another when remaining will compromise the standard of truth and goodness.
What is love if its pursuit comes at the expense of goodness as if it surpasses good or is more valuable than good? Due to this thinking the ends always justify the means.
This is a very common way of thinking in our current world. The college and university campuses have almost all abandoned what was once thought as standards of goodness. They are allowing the individual to define their own good. Because of this thinking the means are ignored and the ends, determined without truth and without God, are pursued to the detriment of the entire institution. Free speech zones, transgender bathrooms, removal of courses on history, ethics, the classics, and religion while incorporation of studies on the humanities. The idea that one should get what they want without working for it and that the government should ensure that they get it, all flow from this existential idea that one should make his own standards of good and evil, right and wrong, and be allowed to follow that way and be guaranteed happiness. Jefferson was careful to write: the pursuit of happiness and not that everyone had a right to happiness.
Every Christian parent must be careful to teach their children for the way of the university is now in almost every public school. No career or amount of earnings are more important that your own soul and the souls of your children.
God relates His standards through the apostle Paul in Eph 5-6.
EPH 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
EPH 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
EPH 5:24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;
EPH 5:26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
EPH 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
EPH 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
EPH 5:29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
EPH 5:30 because we are members of His body.
EPH 5:31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
EPH 5:32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
EPH 5:33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.
EPH 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
EPH 6:2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),
EPH 6:3 that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
EPH 6:4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
EPH 6:5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
EPH 6:6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
EPH 6:7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
EPH 6:8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
EPH 6:9 And, masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
These are God's standards for marriage, family, and work, which entails all of the details of life.