Years ago there was a movie in which some shipwrecked men were left drifting aimlessly on the ocean in a lifeboat. As the days past under the hot sun their food and fresh water gave out and they grew deliriously thirsty. One night, while others were asleep, one man ignored all previous warnings and gulped down some salt water. He quickly died. You see, ocean water contains seven times more salt than the human body can safely ingest. When a person drinks it he dehydrates because the kidneys demand extra water to flush the overload of salt. The more salt water someone drinks, the thirstier he gets. He actually dies of thirst.
Lust works the same way. Many men thirst desperately for something that looks like what we want. We don’t realize, however, that it is precisely the opposite of what we really need. In fact, it can kill us. It killed Samson.
SAMSON & DELILAH Unable or unwilling to stay away, Samson continued to hang around the loose Philistine women of the area. He “fell in love” with (Judges 16:4) Delilah. Actually, they were both using each other for their own needs, which can hardly be called real ‘love.’ He used her for sex, but never trusted her. She used him for power and financial gain. Each were thinking only of themselves. Despite knowing she was trying to get his secret and destroy him, he continued to play with danger and keep going back to her, getting closer and closer to telling her the secret of his strength. (Judges 16:5-15). Five times she betrayed him, five times he lied to her, but the sex continued. Finally, in pride and self-confidence, and to stop her nagging, he told her his secret (v. 16-17). When slept after sex his hair was cut, breaking the third Nazarite vow (no juice form grapes and no touching a dead animal) and taking his strength so he was easily overpowered and arrested (v. 18021). He was blinded and forced to push a beam in a circle all day, grinding grain for the Philistines as oxen did. What a sorry way for a prophet of God, a judge of God’s people, to end his life. His was literally and physically blinded by lust until he hit bottom. What a picture this is of reaping what you sow. First sin blinds (II Peter 1:9), then it binds (II Peter 2:19) and finally it grinds (II Peter 2:22). This did cause Samson to take a good, honest look at his life and where he had gotten himself.
SAMSON & DEATH God used that time in Samson’s life to work. When his strength was gone he had to turn to God for strength and help. He hit bottom, with no place to look but up. Satan, who had inflamed his lust for so many years, now trashed him. He felt the full weight of his sin and guilt. It was obvious his life had been wasted. Something started happening in Samson during this time. God used his suffering to begin to mature him, and for the first time we see him praying, asking God for help and putting God’s will before his own (v. 28). His faith grew (Heb. 11:32). When taken to be mocked by the nation, God returned Samson’s strength one final time, allowing him to kill many Philistines (v. 22-31). Unfortunately the Jews didn’t repent and follow up on this opportunity for deliverance, but all clearly saw God as the sovereign and just ruler of nations and people.
Samson’s life was, in effect, wasted. He had no control over lust and sex. Satan used that to defeat David, Lot, Solomon and many others. He successfully destroys many Christian men today the same way. Unless we are all very careful watchful and alert, he will get us, too.
What lessons can you learn from Samson’s life to help you live in victory over sin?
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)