The Deadly Trap
Father, I thank You for making me blameless and righteous in You. I come confidently before You today.
Read JUDGES 16:1-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Delilah wore down Samson with her relentless nagging. What has been nagging you and wearing you down?
We previously alluded to parallels between Samson and Jesus. Today’s passage is nearly all about the differences between them. Similarities emerge tomorrow. Note God’s mercy to Samson, enabling him to break through the cordon of Gaza’s citizens. Freed from a trap of his own making, Samson is very different from Jesus–but very like us.
Note, too, his recurring failing: women. An emotional bouncing ball, he falls in love again. Another trap is crafted out of Samson’s own folly and he is caught. Note his slow collapse. He finally caves in to the nagging (16). Rarely is the massive moral collapse of a Christian as sudden as it seems. There has almost always been a long trail of little decisions, little gates gone through, and each one weakening the moral strength, leaving the right path further and further behind and out of view. The affair, the dismissal, the locks changed. We reach our traps gradually, too. How easily Samson ends up bald, blind, bound and wretched. Note the cause of it: the vow that God had commanded before his birth was broken, and the Lord had left him (20). Here’s the tragic, internal effect of that steady walk away from God’s path: Samson didn’t know that the Lord had left him. Sin had desensitized him to the absence of the Spirit.
Finally, note that the Lord has left him but not forgotten him. The trap has worked in the short term, but it’s not going to work in the long term. God’s mercy has a long reach. His purposes for his people are not yet fulfilled; a true deliverer is yet to be born. Verse 22 leaves a bare, dim light of hope. Samson is still alive, and God is not finished.
While Samson had obvious physical strength, what strength was he lacking? What strength are you lacking? Ask God for insight into how to deal with it.
Lord, if I’ve been walking through some little gates, rescue me and turn me back to the path of righteousness. Forgive my sin. Give me again the joy of obedience.
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