Samson Steps Over the Line | Judges 13-16

Welcome to Real Life. Samson—he’s a larger-than-life Bible character endowed with super-human strength. But, even Superman had his kryptonite.

As Samson comes of age, he falls for a Philistine woman. Here the trouble begins. At their wedding feast, he makes a bet tied to a riddle to gain a new wardrobe. Samson unfairly losses the bet. To pay his debt, he strikes down thirty Philistines. The offenses escalate until his bride is dead and—endowed with super-human strength—Samson takes out 1000 Philistines with a donkey's jawbone.

The good news:  Israel is free from 40 years of Philistine oppression! Samson rules as judge for twenty years. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end here.

Samson has a weakness for Philistine women. He's smitten with Delilah. Under duress from the rulers of the Philistines, she relentlessly prods Samson to reveal the secret of his strength. Finally, he can take no more. He spills the beans.
No razor has ever been used on my head. I am a Nazarite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.[1]
Samson falls asleep. Delilah shaves off his braids. The Philistines rush in. Samson tries to fight them off as before. But, he doesn't realize that the Lord has left him. His strength is gone. They capture Samson, gouge out his eyes, and drag him off to prison.

Months pass. His hair grows back. The Philistines offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon for Samson’s capture. The blind prisoner is lead out on display. Standing between the supporting pillars of the temple, Samson whispers a final prayer:
Sovereign Lord, remember me.
Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and
let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.[2]

The columns give way. The temple collapses. Samson perishes, along with 3000 Philistines.

Not one of us is sinless. God uses imperfect people. But, there is a point when we step over the line. God will remove his protection. We will fall.

Samson stepped over. He experienced the full brunt of sin’s consequence—humiliation, blindness, imprisonment, and finally death. The wages of sin is death.[3] May I never forget it.

Dear Lord, you are the source of every good gift—
life, strength, peace, joy, talent, love.
Give me a heart that’s ever grateful.
Open my eyes to the deceitfulness of sin.

Taking it further ...
  • What's your kryptonite? Where are you vulnerable? Do you have a plan to keep you accountable, to keep you from falling?
  • Some internet accountability sites:  www.x3watch.com, www.covenanteyes.com.
  • Ray Rice is a current example of stepping way over the line.

[1] Judges 16:17
[2] Judges 16:28
[3] “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Image "Samson Making Sport for the Philistines" from 
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17162/17162-h/17162-h.htm

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