Original Entry Date 8/23/2013: I have a cat named Sam, named after Samson in the Bible (but the spelling I use is Sampson). When he was about 5 months old I picked him up to bring him home with me. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to name him. He is a long hair black cat, so the day before I was making a list of names that correlated with his beautiful black coat. I remember I was leaning towards naming him something unique like Tarmac and to call him Mac for short LOL! Well, obviously that didn’t happen but as I was driving him home he was a very good boy, quiet and sweet. Then it HIT me, Sampson, would be a good name! He was a kitten but you could tell he was going to grow into a very big, strong cat just like the Biblical Samson, he was a STRONG man, physically. As we know Samson was supernaturally strong by the power of God’s Spirit but was weak in other areas, leading him away from following the commands of God and into a state of spiritual blindness.
In Judges 13 we read how the Philistines had taken Israel into captivity. The Angel of the Lord appears to Samson’s parents, revealing that they would have a son and he was to be set apart to God as a Nazarite:
Judges 13:5 NIV:5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
As we continue reading we see that Samson was anointed by God with supernatural strength. We also can see that his heart was not set on keeping the vows of a Nazarite. Being driven by his inner desires we read how Samson commands his father to bring to him a woman of the Philistines to be his wife rather than an Israelite woman, he attacked the Philistines out of personal revenge rather than for the deliverance of his people, and he also eats honey from the dead carcass of a lion. Also, he held a “feast” in Judges 14:10 which the word “feast” is a translation of a banquet with much drinking which was not the way of the Nazarite. Samson was living his life contrary to the vows he made to God, but notice that God does not immediately leave him.
We begin to see the extent of Samson’s state of spiritual blindness when he poses a riddle to the Philistines. Unable to solve it, they go to Samson’s wife, a Philistine herself, to have her get the answer from him, which she does.
Judges 14:15-17 NKJV:15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, that he may explain the riddle to us, or else we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us in order to take what is ours? Is that not so?”
16 Then Samson’s wife wept on him, and said, “You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me.”
And he said to her, “Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?” 17 Now she had wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people.
Samson’s desire for foreign women blew up in his face and it was as though he could not see what was really going on, being in a state of spiritual blindness. The one vow Samson seemed to keep, was the vow to not cut his hair. This was where he believed his strength came from, but in actuality, of course, his great strength was from the Lord. But as we will see his ignorance of God and desire for foreign women causes Samson to become so blind that he doesn’t realize his wife, Delilah, is working against him:
4 Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”
Judges 16:4-20 NKJV:
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you.”
7 And Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
8 So the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now men were lying in wait, staying with her in the room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he broke the bowstrings as a strand of yarn breaks when it touches fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with.”
11 So he said to her, “If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
12 Therefore Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread.
13 Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with.”
And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom”—
14 So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, 17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart.” So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand. 19 Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.
We can all learn from this story and how living in sin can blind us from the dangers that it can lead to. You kind of wonder how Samson didn’t realize that Delilah was working against him. He was literally blind to it. This spiritual blindness he was in is symbolized in the very next verse, the Philistines literally blind him by taking out his eyes:
Judges 16:21 NKJV:21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison
That is literally what sin does, it imprisons a person away from God but don’t be deceived into losing all hope. When you turn to God and turn from the sin He is right there to strengthen us to victory:
Judges 16:27-30 NKJV:27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there—about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.
28 Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!” 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. 30 Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.