Title: Judges 16. Samson part 14 - The decline and fall of Samson.
JDG 16:15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is."
JDG 16:16 And it came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death.
JDG 16:17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I shall become weak and be like any other man."
These two have been lovers for a while and Delilah recognizes the difference between the way Samson told her before and how he speaks now, and she knows that this time he has been truthful.
Samson has opened his heart, which should have only belonged to God, to a venomous deceiver. By not guarding what is valuable, he lost it.
Whatever truth is in your soul. Whatever of the goodness of God that you value, guard those values as precious. Values and priorities can change rapidly. We must not allow the enemy, who has many, many schemes that are designed to change our value of God, to find a way in to our conscience.
We protect our hearts by constantly worshipping God. Worship evolved from worth-ship. Worship is beholding and adoring/praising God's worth from within.
The word worship was originally worthship, speaking of the worth of God. When we behold His word we are beholding Him. We have the right and the privilege of fellowshipping with what we behold. When we perceive Him we praise who He is and what He does, which comes from within the heart and not just in saying "praise God."
In the NT our word "worthy" represents this. It is the Greek word axios which literally means "weight" or "having the weight of another thing."
COL 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
COL 1:10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
COL 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
COL 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Walking in the manner worthy now transitions to the worthiness, the worth of Christ.
COL 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
COL 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
COL 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.
COL 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him.
COL 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
COL 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
This will protect your heart. Since He is all these things, and more, it would make no sense to give your heart to another.
Praise is adoration, thankfulness, fear, awe, and joy.
Samson possessed something valuable and he gave it away to an weak impostor. Was it really hard to determine that Delilah was disingenuous when she betrayed him three times to the Philistines?
O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you
Only give your heart to God.
Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.
This is Solomon writing to his own son, or his remembrance of David speaking to him, but it certainly applies to God.
Human love thinks that the heart should be given to another person. This is a terrible error. If Christ is not between you and the other then your relationship is in the end, meaningless. The most it could be is convenient for a time. With our hearts firmly in God's hands we are free to love with agape love.
JDG 16:18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands.
JDG 16:19 And she made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him.
The man was likely an expert at shaving, called in so as to not wake Samson. Then she afflicted him, meaning that she did something to bind him. The word means to be humbled or made meek.
JDG 16:20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.
God remained with him as long as he maintained the visible symbol of his Nazirite vow. His long hair was the overt symbol of his vow.
The other times he broke the vow it was either private or temporary. This is not to say that God only judges the overt sins of men, but in Samson's case the patience and grace of God continued while his violations were not as brazen as this. When Samson betrays himself and God to Delilah he has finally gone all the way over by giving away the main symbol of his Nazirite vow.
Remember that Samson is unique as a symbol of Israel. Israel violated God's law many times and God disciplined them but was patient. Eventually Israel went all the way over in the deepest depravity and rejection of God and they were destroyed.
They worshipped the Egyptian gods and that was not enough. They worshipped the Assyrian gods and that was not enough. They added the Babylonian gods and in their search for the deepest depravity they became bold faced idolaters and adulterers they built their shrines openly and in every place.
While in Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel points out that they boldly worshipped idols.
Ezekiel ministers and prophesies to Israel while they are in captivity in Babylon. Jerusalem has been destroyed and they are in captivity.
EZE 16:30 "How languishing is your heart," declares the Lord God, "while you do all these things, the actions of a bold-faced harlot.
EZE 16:31 "When you built your shrine at the beginning of every street and made your high place in every square, in disdaining money, you were not like a harlot.
EZE 16:32 "You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!"
In the same way, Samson has dived into the deepest depths of disdain for God's Nazirite vow and God has left him.
His superhuman strength did not reside in his hair but in the fact that the Lord was with him. God was with him as long as he outwardly maintained his condition. Samson's past actions with Philistine women revealed his contempt for God's law, but his uncut hair signified that he had not gone all the way over to the side of the enemy. When he gives this secret to Delilah, he has gone all the way over.
The saddest part of Samson's life is that he did not know that God had left him.
JDG 16:21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.
JDG 16:22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.
The Hebrew literally says that they bored out his eyes. This was a common form of mutilation in ancient times. They bring him deep into Philistine territory, to the same city from which he tore up its gates.
Though they brought him deep into their land, it is not as if Judah is going to attempt a rescue.
The Hebrew says fetters of brass, which means that his hands and his feet were fastened. He was given the work of grinder in the prison. Art work and movies show this as heavy physical labor, but this is not the job. Samson has lost his strength and this does not demand it.
Grinder - Samson is forced to do the work that is normally reserved for women in order to humiliate him.
Immediately we think of a large, sinewy, and muscled frame pulling or pushing a large millstone, but that is not pictured here. They want to humiliate him.
The historian includes that his hair starts to grow back, but this would be obvious about anyone. By stating it, the inspired text is telling us that there is more to it than just hair growth.
JDG 16:23 Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said,
"Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands."