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Friday, 11 February 2011

“The Philistines be upon thee, Samson!”

KJV Judges 16:16 - 17. And it came to pass, when she [Delilah] pressed him [Samson] daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb.

Samson was a Nazirite separated unto God. By that means, all confidence in fleshly pursuits was denied him, whether that meant drinking wine (natural joy), or cultivating physical attractiveness (long hair removed his natural dignity), or touching a dead body (keeping clear of all corrupting influences). This situation brought about intense internal conflict ("his soul was vexed unto death") between what he knew God wanted for him, and what he wanted for himself (sexual fulfilment). His strength lay in his birthright, one of bestowed weakness; but such was the seductive power of Delilah that she was able to distort his judgement as to what were life's true values. One woman did what a thousand men could not!! He who could singlehandedly slay a thousand men (15:16), was himself slain - in effect - by one woman (16:30). This shows women to be, though ostensibly weak, actually very powerful.

There must be so many women who are able to ask the man in their life, "How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?" (16:15) Sexual love without life-long commitment exalts emotion above intellect, and debilitates the will. Samson being outwardly powerful, was yet inwardly weak. And Delilah seems to have been one who could reduce strong men to mere puddles on the floor - such is the power of beauty and sexuality combined.

We should run from anything that tends to bind us, or bring us low, however innocent it may appear on the surface - lest we be caught up in an alluring web of fact or fantasy:

Whatever dims thy sense of truth
Or stains thy purity,
Though light as breath of summer air,
Count it as sin to thee

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