Samson Made Bad Choices Which Led to His Death
Samson tried to follow God without being willing to turn from sin. Ultimately he was defeated because of lack of determination to follow God. His love for Delilah proved greater than his love for God. Here are some basic principles which can cause failure in the Christian life:
(1) He went where he should not have gone! (Judges 14:1) ~ Timnah was a Philistine town just a few miles from Samson’s home. The Philistines did not love God. Israelites were forbidden to go to the land of the Philistines.
(2) He involved others! (14:5) ~ Samson involved his parents with the Philistine woman.
(3) He partook of the forbidden! (14:8-9) ~ As Samson continues his downward slide the Bible says he went “down” to Timnah and came to the spot where he had previously killed a lion. He couldn’t resist looking to see if the carcass was still there which was expressly forbidden (Leviticus 11:27). We should not think of this as a skeleton of the lion—but the carcass. In hot dry climates all the moisture in a body evaporates sometimes in less than 24 hours following death—without passing into a state of decomposition. The body remains for a long time like a mummy—without change or stench. This is why bees often live in carcasses.
(4) He followed the pattern of the world and did the customary thing! (14:10) ~ Samson’s life had been consecrated to God. After his wedding Samson held a feast which lasted for a week. One favorite way of entertaining guests in those days was posing riddles—hard questions with tricky answers.
(5) He became a party boy! (14:11-12) ~ Samson enjoyed being in the limelight as the life of the party. It wasn’t long before trouble developed between him and his Philistine wife (14:20). Things continued in a downward spiral and his wife and father-in-law were burned to death (15:6).
(6) He began to play the field! (16:1-2) ~ For the second time Samson went back to Gaza, a Philistine city, to see a woman. Once again he was flirting with disaster.
(7) He met his match! (16:4) ~ Delilah was a Philistine woman whom Samson took into his confidence. She was not the first Philistine woman he saw. Sin has a way of allowing the sinner to appear to get away with sin at first.
(8) He lost his source of power! (16:4-19) ~ Three times Delilah tried to deliver Samson to the Philistines. By now his sins had desensitized him to the danger to which he had become accustomed.
(9) He was bound! (16:21) ~ Delilah most likely urged him to take a nap—customary for men during the hottest part of the day. Samson was in the habit of trusting the wrong people.
(10) He died in disgrace! (16:31) ~ Samson’s strength had been in the Lord, not in his hair. God used Samson mightily because of his Nazarite vows. But Samson continued in his own way until enough was enough! God humbled Samson.
Samson’s life warns us of the high cost of sin—and encourages us to trust the Lord and to resist Satan’s subtle temptations. “… truly, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3).
CONTEMPLATE: Samson’s failures (Judges 13-16) and their final result.