Monday, November 3, 2014

warnings from a weak man

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
Judges 16:4-5

This is a sad story of the strongest weak man you'll ever get to know in scripture. Samson had so much potential. His birth was announced by an angel. His parents conceived him in their old age as their only child and raised him by the strictest requirements of the Law in order for him to be devoted to God from birth. His actions of physical strength are amazing, but accompanied by out of control passions and emotions. He is a character study in amazing ability fixed in a life that is a massive moral failure.

The oppressing Philistines knew that Samson was the strongest of weak men. They would never be able to beat him at his physical strength. This was the guy who pulled up city gates by the beams and carried them to the top of the mountain outside the city in order to escape their lockdown. Yet his enemies did observe very keenly his choices, and there they found his vulnerability. He was seducible. And Delilah would gladly do their dirty work to exploit the weakness of the strong man.

I look at Samson knowing that his human weakness, the strong pull of the flesh, is shared by me, and anyone else who ever will live. Watching him fall so epically is a picture of what happens to me in my own sin. I have so much potential when I am obediently trusting God... yet such colossal failure when I don't do so in my own sinful falling down. If Samson would have had more than just a yawning cultural commitment to God, he could have been amazing. And he warns us of casual disregard for what God wants of us in our dedication. His fall is a warning of what happens when we let our pleasures dominate our obedience to God.

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