Samson had an unrequited love problem… He keeps falling in love with someone who does not love him back !
The story began in the previous chapter which showed Jephthah and his victories as well as three lesser known judges.
- Ibzan (30 sons and 30 daughter) – Led Israel for seven years
- Elon – led Israel for 10 years
- Abdon (40 sons and 30 grandsons who road on donkeys) – Led Israel 8 years
But Samson was different from all these other Judges:
- An Angel of the Lord appeared to his parents;
- His vow of purity;
- His supernatural strength; and
- His lack of morality!
Judges 13:1-5 13 “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 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.”
This passage tells us
- She was childless
- She and her son would take the vow of the Nazirite
- Her son would deliver Israel from the Philistines
Numbers 6 (Nazirite Vow)
Numbers 6:2 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazerite, 3 they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. 4 As long as they remain under their Nazerite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.
5 “‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.
6 “‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. 7 Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. 8 Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord.
- No drinking wine or any grapes
- Cannot cut their hair
- Cannot be near a dead body
Judges 14:1-3 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
3 His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”
But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.
Judges 14:14 “Out of the eater something to eat; out of the strong something sweet.”
In anger Samson responded:
- He caught 300 foxes
- He tied the foxes tails together
- He tied a torch to their tails
- This burned down entire grain fields, vineyards, and olive groves
Judges 14:3-4 But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)
Judges 16:4-5 4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
Here is Samson’s problem –
- He keeps falling in love with someone who does not love him back
- He loves her and she doesn’t love him – all she wants is money
Poorly focused love and devotion is the heart of our struggle with the cycle of sin
Cycle of sin
- We devote ourselves to something sinful
- We ask God for help
- He brings freedom and peace
- We forget what brought us victory
- We end up making poor choices and loving something else once again
Our problem is that we love the wrong things
Do you want to break free from the cycle of sin?
- We must stop forgetting the source of our strength
- We must keep our eyes focused in the right places
Philippians 4:8-13 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength
- Keep our eyes and devotion focused on the right things
- Remember the source of our strength
- With these comes contentment
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.