April 12/Weekend

Written by Bill Grandi on April 12th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Inching Toward vs Walking Away.

I wanted to finish my devotional thoughts about Samson that I started in yesterday’s devotion. Two statements bookend Samson’s life. The first I discussed yesterday: “Get her for me, she is right in my eyes.” That seems to be the guiding principle of his life. Even in today’s reading I can see it. Judges 16:1 says, “Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her.” Besides the whole moral issue, what was he doing there to begin with? The Philistines were his enemies! The second event is the one all, or at least most people are familiar with: Delilah.

Taking a closer look at this story shows Samson inching closer toward his source of strength with each nag from Delilah. Seven fresh bowstrings. New ropes. Tie my hair in a loom. (Careful there Samson). Shave it off. Done. Dead in the water.

Several things hit me in this:

  1. Samson’s compromises were incremental. He didn’t just spew it out. Over time his defenses wore down.
  2. He may have thought his strength was his hair. It wasn’t. It was the symbol of God’s presence in his life. God was the source of Samson’s strength.

Judges 16:20 are sad words: “But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” The symbol was gone. Worse. The presence and power were also gone.

But then we read the other bookend statement: “But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.” Seemingly innocuous words which are loaded with meaning. I’d like to believe that as Samson turned the millstone grinding grain, he thought about his life, its waste, and how he had thrown this great privilege away. All of it, including his Nazirite vow. Controlled by the flesh, he realized it wasn’t his hair where his strength came from. His strength came from God. His final words were a cry out to God for strength. Am I too far off in my thinking?

“Father, Samson’s life story is a tragedy. But it ends with a good note. His death. Yes. But more: his restoration. Help me not to compromise-full bore or incrementally. Help me to be constantly aware of Your presence in my life.”


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I think your point number 1 of the things that hit you is spot on. It’s the incremental wearing down of the defenses.

    I think this a favorite tactic of the enemy… It is strategic, it is sneaky, it is methodical…

    Something to continually be on guard and watchful from.

  2. Your words about Samson here remind me of the Casting Crowns song, “Slow Fade.” We don’t lose ourselves in one fell swoop, but over time as we allow sin and pride to chip away at us. May we submit our sinful inclinations to the Lord the moment they show their ugly heads.
    Blessings, Bill!