Sunday, September 14, 2008

Samson and Delilah

Today’s bible passage is from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament.

The great hero Samson was in love with a woman named Delilah. The Philistines, Samson’s enemies, approached Delilah and offered silver in exchange for the secret of her lover’s strength. Samson lied to her three times, and each time she informed the Philistines. Delilah repeatedly prepared Samson for the Philistines’ attack, but they were no match for the hero’s prevailing strength.

Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”

Samson finally conceded and told her, “If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.

– Judges 16

What motivated Delilah? Why did Samson agree to provide the information that would let his lover tie him up and dominate him? Today’s sermon takes us to their bedroom to find the answers.

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Delilah was helping the Philistines conquer Samson. She knew that her actions would lead to his demise. Was it really for the money? Is that what Delilah wanted?


My friends, I say it was not the money at all. Delilah wanted to dominate Samson. This muscle bound mountain of a man. She wanted to feel the surge of power, the rush of excitement, from dominating him. She was a naughty girl – a dirty girl who could only achieve her goal by enticing Samson with her body.

We hear this story and wonder how Samson could be so beguiled. Was he paying attention at all? He tests her the first time – and she betrays him. He tests her two more times – and she betrays him again. By now we know she cannot be trusted. Samson must also. But when Delilah lures him in again, he finally yields. She has his head shaved, ties him up, and leaves him defenseless.

This is not only a story of the past. We see it happening again in the news today. Numerous men have been killed by the Satin Strangler. We wonder if the victims saw the danger coming. Were they like Samson? Did they see the unmistakable danger but hope that they could somehow get the prize without paying the price?

I suspect that the Satin Strangler’s victims were blinded to the danger right in front of them. I suspect that they were lured in by their own lustful desires.

We want to hear about the girl they are accusing of the murders. What is it about Destiny Blande that made the victims expose their vulnerability? This dainty girl – dainty dirty girl. So harmless in appearance – but so deadly in the end. How alluring was the promise of her body? Filthy pleasure must have blinded them – weakened them and made them vulnerable. She is today’s Delilah, and her victims are today’s Samsons.

The bible story of Samson and Delilah still tells us its message today. Giving in to the temptation of filthy pleasures will lead to demise. It will extract the strength of good, the gifts of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and leave us vulnerable to the will of Satan.

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