“Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” –Judges 16:19-20 (NIV)
Samson had physical strength that was without parallel. He was well respected in Israel, but feared by Israel’s Philistine enemies. The strength Samson had been given to him by God on the condition that Samson not cut off his hair. But Samson also loved a woman named Delilah. The problem was however that Delilah was a Philistine spy whose sole mission was to find out Samson’s weakness and ensure that he would no longer be a threat. Relentlessly nagging Samson to tell him the secret of his strength, Delilah was finally able to discover Samson’s secret and cut off his hair unawares. When the Philistine ambush came, Samson was unable to defend himself for the Lord left him when he compromised his secret with Delilah.
The story of Samson and Delilah illustrates the struggle we often have with sin and temptation. Just as how Delilah continued to pressure Samson into telling her the secret of his strength, our sinful nature continues to demand that we give in to its desires. Under the weight of this pressure we, like Samson, are quick to surrender ourselves to temptation. However, though we may think that our momentary lapse into sin has had little effect on our strength, the reality is that sin has weakened our resistance to it. The moment we compromise with sin, it saps us of our ability to fight against it and we fall into its destructive clutches. If we think that we can resist temptation by solely relying on our willpower, we are sadly mistaken. Sin is too strong a force for us to resist it alone. But the wonderful hope is that Christ has overcome sin and death. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts He will strengthen us by His Spirit to fight against the pressure that sin levels against us. It is only when we remain in Him that He will continue to provide us with His strength and though we may fall we can rest in the assurance that God will always give us a second chance; not taking advantage of His grace, but by His grace seeking to abide by His Spirit so that we may find true freedom in Him.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.