The Samson Mirror
Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.” Judges 16:6
God gave Samson, one of the Israelite leaders, superhuman strength, which was dependent on his long hair. Though he possessed colossal power, he also possessed profound stupidity. In the story, Samson pursued Delilah, even though she repeatedly tried to betray him.
Three times, Delilah begged Samson to divulge his secret and three times, he gave her false information, which she then attempted to use against him. Though she proved her role as a traitor, Samson eventually gave up his secret.
Delilah predictably betrayed him, shaving his head as he slept, rendering him powerless. All because of his lust, Samson surrendered his power, had his eyes gouged out and was made to be a slave of the Philistines. Samson was an idiot.
What makes me uncomfortable, is that Samson is a mirror in which I see myself – not the superhuman strength part, but the stupidity part. I’m not exaggerating, when I say that I’ve made some profoundly bad decisions in life. I can’t claim that I didn’t know right and wrong or that I was ignorant of the consequences. I knew, and I still made horrible decisions.
Most of us can identify with this. We want to live right and follow God, but we have destructive behaviors which we do not want to do . . . but which we do anyway. No one wants to yell at loved ones. No one tries to be bitter or selfish. We do not plan to become addicted to drugs, money, status, affirmation or nicotine. Why then, do we engage in self-destructive behavior?
If we want to understand, we must honestly look in the Samson mirror and see his defects in ourselves. We must realize that we all have a flawed nature that desires those things that are disastrous to the life we want to live. We are all broken and we all struggle with something.
This is why we need God. Our destructive nature is not made perfect when we come to Christ, but we are given a new spirit life in which we can find freedom from slavery to our own stupidity. In daily following Christ, we have this daily choice to not follow ourselves. It is only in following Christ, that we can come to know life and joy instead of death and sorrow.