I have read the account of Samson and Delilah many times, it is a sad tragedy of a mighty man losing his strength to deceptive beauty and a lover who betrayed him. Its so perplexing and incites many questions in my heart every time I revisit this particular story. Such as why was Samson insistent on having women from his enemies who any other day he sought to kill? Why would Samson not pick up on Delilah’s obvious trick when she didn’t seem secret about her plans? How did a man like Samson so uniquely chosen and appointed by God find himself a slave and a renegade?
But of all the questions none so heartbreaking and insistent as this one: how could God depart from samson over a haircut? How could such a faithful God forsake his child and take back his gift over such a seemingly small and insignificant detail. And why would God attach his presence to a simple standing vow?
Is his love and presence so whimsical for me as well?
The verse says “but samson did not know that that Lord had departed from Him.” He didn’t even know. This is heartbreaking clue to where Samson was in his relationship with God.
Samson didn’t lose his faith in God, although he clearly broke his vow. nowhere in the passage does Samson stop believing in God, therefore the story lends itself to a shallow and fickle God whose presence and devotion towards a faulty people comes and goes rather easily when we “fail” him. which in so many ways contrasts “all we need is faith series”.
Oh, my heart struggles with this. and my faith and reason demand understanding because I cannot accept that God is fickle and man innocent.
To understand this, we need to look beyond the words and straight to the behavior and actions of samson. Pointblank, Samson was involved in Sexual immorality. He was blinded by that sin long before Delilah. He was insistent on women, and in particular philistine women. Samson didn’t lose his faith he just repositioned it. He put faith in the hands of his partner in crime. He trusted his most precious connection to God with the enemy. God took his leave from samson not because of the haircut, but because samson gave his affection and devotion to God’s enemies which for us symbolizes sin and Satan. How long would you stick around if your spouse was bringing home different lovers each night and if those lovers were people who hated you? Probably not too long. Samson laid his pearls before swine, like Hezekiah he showed the enemy his treasury. And the enemy proved himself.
Man cannot stand against an enemy while fraternizing with him. Our enemy is sin. Samson engaged in sin and it became ironically his weakness and his downfall. Sin made samson weak and in his weakened state he became willing and vulnerable. His hair like baptism with water was simply an outward expression of an inward heart condition. There’s no magical power in baptism or a wedding band and not in samsons hair. His strength was from the Lord, but his hair was a reminder of his promise and devotion to the Lord. God had enough of the sin and betrayal. And he departed.
What’s the take away? Samson’s sexual desire blinded him long before the philistines ever took his eyes. Sin weakens the soul. Samson’s sin was sexual immorality which is a plague in our world – a disease which claims more lives than every virus in history. We all have sin which weakens us, but I think this story deserves its own platform, because sexual perversion, adultery, lust and immortality is of the greatest consequence in our spiritual lives today. Jesus said that lust is equivalent to adultery. God refers over and over again to spiritual idolatry is that of adultery, he uses them almost interchangeably in regards to Israel’s sin. James tells us that desire and lust give birth to death. We see the effect of sexual sin in Noah’s life, Dinah’s life, King David’s life and Solomon’s life, and countless others throughout history. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Our bodies are God’s temple, God will not join himself, unite or permit his spirit to be dragged along to blend with any person. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
This suggests that those who are grossly engaged in sexual sin do not know God!
Do not be yoked with unbelievers. God cannot dwell in the habitation of an unrepentant and sinful heart. If we insist on uniting or becoming one flesh with an unbeliever, I believe God’s spirit will depart from us (yes even in the post cross age) because if we cannot say no to sexual sin, then we are wholeheartedly saying no to God’s presence within us. The holy spirit can be grieved and He will not share a space with sin. The holy spirit doesn’t just tag along for the ride, he enters those who are devoted to him those who seek him out those pure of heart. Sin will weaken your desire for the Holy Spirit and your resolve for obedience to a holy God. Sexual sin will destroy you. Solomon went to great lengths to warn his sons of the pitfalls of sexual immorality and seductive women. He had many sexual partners who better knew the dangers of sex and lure of lust then King Solomon. Never in the history of our country has Solomon’s words been more relevant and samsons story truer. Small Affluent American towns may not have prostitutes on the corners, but there are hookers everywhere, tv, movies, magazines, social media, and internet to name a few no one has to look far or stretch his neck to find a half-dressed woman or an erotic picture of two people posing for a selfie. Sex has become a staple in the American household diet. Young and old, Christian and atheist, married and single, man and women. Those who stand against this type of perversion are silenced by religious intolerance mongers, secular liberalism and money-making industries. Let samson be a witness and example to us all. If we cannot say no to sexual temptation then we are saying Yes to The Lord’s departure in our life and beware if deeply involved in sexual impurity and sin, you might not even know it when he leaves until it is too late, until you are weakened and helpless and trapped. Sexual sin will weaken the human resolve to serve God alone, it will rob you of your calling and ability to be devoted to the one true God and it will blind you, enslave and eventually take your life. Flee from sexual immorality.
If you don’t think this is important to eternity or think it equal with all the sins, read Revelation 14, there are 144,000 thousand who follow the lamb of God everywhere these are redeemed, these have Gods name on their foreheads and they have not been defiled with woman, I believe this means with sexual perversion, pornography and weakened by sexual sins. In their mouth was found no deceit and they were without fault before the Lord. Jesus categorizes sexual immoral with dogs, sorcerers, murderers and idolators. Not only that but in revelation 17 John describes the end time beast with a woman whom he kings of the earth commit fornication (sexual intercourse between two people not married to eachother) and they were made drunk with the wine of fornication she is the filthy representation of wickedness, and rebellion against God she is the culmination of evil and is called a harlot indicating sexual sin.
We cannot-must not underestimate the power of sin, the influence of sexual immorality in our world and culture today and the devastating effects of trusting in the appearances the enemy provides for our pleasures more than God’s hand which sometime brings discomfort but a weight of eternal glory. Satan, our enemy and Christ’s, is luring and tempting mankind lulling them into a rebellion and drunken stupor with his weapon of sexual pleasures. Flee, as Joseph fled from his master’s wife, flee as the 144,000 from defilement – be found blameless in regards to sexual sin and strong and faithful in the sight of God.