Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. "My hair has never been cut," he confessed, "for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else." Judges 16:17
Several months ago, I got in my car very early in the morning to go workout at the gym. As I was driving, I realized that I had passed my gym and was headed in the direction of the church. I had to make a U-turn and go back in the direction of my gym. Apparently, my brain shifted to autopilot, and I stopped focusing on my desired destination and went to the place I drove to the most: the church. Has this ever happened to you? When we stop focusing on our desired destination and become distracted, we get lost and miss our intended destination. This is not only true when we are driving; it is true in our own lives as well. You see, we talked earlier about the fact that we were created to glorify God. When we become distracted from that purpose, we can often find ourselves lost, going in different directions than we expected to go. Samson, in the book of Judges, certainly found this to be true.
The book of Judges teaches us that Samson was a man who was easily distracted. If he was not distracted by his deep anger, he was distracted by women. In Judges 16, we find that Samson's new wife, Delilah, set out to find the secret of his strength so that the Philistine army could defeat him. After much of her begging and pleading, he gave in. He told his new wife the secret to his strength. His obsession with his wife, who he must have known was trying to help the Philistines defeat him, led him to step away from his purpose. And this distraction led to his defeat, but we will talk more about that tomorrow.
Before you quickly turn to judge Samson, don't forget the times in your life where you have let your distractions keep you from your purpose. Now, if it is not chasing after love, it might be social media that distracts you, or Netflix, or your desire to please people that keeps you from living out your purpose. Whatever it is that keeps you distracted, take a moment to refocus. Turn away from your distractions and move toward Him. It's never too late to turn back to God.
We know from Scripture that we are commanded to know Christ and to make Christ known. Thinking about that command, take some time right now to make your own personal purpose statement that falls under this command to know Christ and to make Christ known. If you are married, you may want to sit down with your spouse and make a family purpose statement. As you write out this purpose statement, put that statement on a notecard and place it where you will see it often.
One day Samson went to the Philistine town of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute. Word soon spread that Samson was there, so the men of Gaza gathered together and waited all night at the town gates. They kept quiet during the night, saying to themselves, “When the light of morning comes, we will kill him.”
But Samson stayed in bed only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors of the town gate, including the two posts, and lifted them up, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and carried them all the way to the top of the hill across from Hebron.
Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.”
Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”
So the Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings, and she tied Samson up with them. She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as a piece of string snaps when it is burned by a fire. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
Afterward Delilah said to him, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.”
Samson replied, “If I were tied up with brand-new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as anyone else.”
So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. The men were hiding in the inner room as before, and again Delilah cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.
Then Delilah said, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.”
Samson replied, “If you were to weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle, I would become as weak as anyone else.”
So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric. Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle. Again she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.
Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.
Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”
Delilah realized he had finally told her the truth, so she sent for the Philistine rulers. “Come back one more time,” she said, “for he has finally told me his secret.” So the Philistine rulers returned with the money in their hands. Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him.
Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!”
When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.
So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.
But before long, his hair began to grow back.