Raising Up Deliverers
Introduction: In this Session, we will begin the last series of events in Samson’s life that ultimately end in his death and the death of approximately 3000 Philistines. Samson’s life is tragic in the sense that the he was called to lead all of Israel and free them from the oppression of the Philistines. Unfortunately, his compromises with sin eventually limited his ability to give God glory in his life.
On the positive side, Samson’s life teaches us that although Samson did not walk or serve the LORD in fullness, the LORD was patient, kind, graceful and merciful to this disobedient son, and gained as much glory for Himself, despite Samson’s weaknesses and poor choices. The LORD was committed to Samson’s destiny as a Deliverer and related to him based on his calling.
As we come to end of this narrative, we see tragedy and loss, and we see grace and glory. As the Apostle said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 10:11- These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
As we seek the LORD in the Scriptures, we have the opportunity to be taught by the Holy Spirit, to know His heart about a matter and gain wisdom for life so we do not error. We should never discount the power of the Scriptures, as led by the Holy Spirit as guide for our lives.
a) The narrative of Samson’s life is characterized by compromise in the areas of sexual purity and lust. Notice that the verse says that Samson “saw” a prostitute. His attraction to the strange woman was an indulgence of the flesh and outright disobedience to God. 1 Corinthians 6:16 – Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
b) A pattern of consistent sin in our lives will cause us to compartmentalize our lives. In the example of Samson, he was outwardly a Nazirite with all of the outward appearances of a person who is set apart for God, while at the same time living a secret life that stands opposed to his Nazirite identity. Luke 6:46 – “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Jesus teaches that He has claim to our whole lives, because we have been bought with a price.
a) Gaza means “the strong” and was supposed to be part of Judah’s land promise in Joshua 15. Gaza is located on the Mediterranean Sea and was an important economic center of the ancient world. It was also the place where Samson died as we will see as the narrative progresses.
b) We could spiritualize the text and see that a pattern of compromise will lead to a stronghold that will eventually take your steal your strength, your vision and your life.
c) The people of Gaza plotted to kill Samson and enigmatic of the assignment of the devil and his demons to kill, steal and destroy God’s people.
d) Notice the mercy and grace of God by allowing Samson to escape and leave the city of Gaza exposed. In ancient cities, gates were the defensive measure of a city, and whoever possessed the gates of a city, possessed the city. We can see a consistent pattern of the LORD showing Samson mercy and grace and making opportunity after opportunity to repent and to get right. Romans 2:4 – Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
a) Verse 4 introduces us to the final chapter of Samson’s life and instead of the fullness of his destiny coming into view, the fullness of his compromises with sexual sin becomes manifest.
b) Valley of Sorek – “torrent of choice vines” – as a Nazirite, Samson was forbidden to eat grapes, eat their seeds, eat their skins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink. The Valley of Sorek was not the type of place where Samson should have been seeking. Notice that Samson gets in the most trouble when he is in the territory that is controlled by the enemy and is alone in every case.
c) Delilah – “feeble” – Delilah becomes the one who will make the strong “feeble” and overcomes Samson by deception and seduction.
a) The Philistine rulers make an accord with Delilah to “lure/seduce” Samson so that they might be able to overcome him. All sin begins with a lie that seduces people and causes pain.
b) This is a story of 2 loves. Samson loved the woman who was not part of his destiny and Delilah loved money. How many Christians fall in love with those who are not part of their God story and end up hurt? 1,100 pieces of silver is estimated at 28 pounds of precious metal. Today it is the equivalent of approximately $6,800.
c) It is a strategy of the enemy to subdue God’s people so that they are no longer effective in their calling and destiny.
a) Samson must have been completely under the influence of this Delilah’s strong personality, deception and control. So much that she directly asked the source of His power. It is unfortunate that Samson accomplished most of his supernatural acts of strength and power alone, because he could have made God famous and given the LORD the glory among the Israelites. b) Notice the “7” symbolism in the text. 7 the number of completion, perfection, wholeness, giving Delilah the indication that the 7 fresh bowstrings were the answer. In the context of the culture, the Philistines pantheistic idolaters. Delilah was looking for a charm, spell, or esoteric secret source of Samson’s power. Not a personal relationship with God.
a) Notice that each of the 3 attempts at discovering the source of Samson’s power, the place where Samson is tied is closer to the answer. He is first tied 2 times at the hands and the last time as the seven braids of his hair.
b) The relationship between Delilah and Samson was certainly a toxic cycle. It was dance of sexual immorality and deception. This is an Old Covenant lesson on a New Covenant reality. Colossians 3:5 – Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Judges 16:15-16 a) Delilah obviously did not love Samson at all and was motivated by the prospect of being paid the reward for betraying him.
b) Just as Samson gave into the nagging of his first wife, he yields to the nagging of this proto-Jezebel. Hebrew – nagging – tsuwq – to constrain, press, bring into straits, straighten, oppress, to compress.