Day 81: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 81: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

In our last devotion, we noted Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. (Jdg. 16:1).  This was contrary to his mission: he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” (Jdg. 13:5).  Gaza is Philistine territory, and Samson was to liberate Israel from their cruel bondage.  He short circuits his mission for the sake of his drug of choice – sex.  The Bible is just reporting not condoning.

When Samson visited the prostitute, his enemies were alerted to his location and planned to ambush him in the morning, when he was groggy with sleep.  But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron. (16:3).  Goodness, he’s super active, all pumped up with adrenaline, even after his sensual escapade! Adrenaline, oxytocin – competing hormones were coursing through his body, making him a walking bio-chemical schizophrenic!  His alertness didn’t diminish after his sexual foray!

Why did the Lord ever choose a hero like this?  Samson would be great for Greek or Roman mythology, but for the goodness and glories of a Holy God?  Did the Lord know what he was doing?  What’s going on?  Or why did God choose me?  Or you?

Didn’t the Lord know that Samson would fail?  Or me, or you?  If God knows what will happen, why did He allow us to be permitted into His Kingdom?  Are your attributes so exceedingly glorious, our character so perfect, He needed us for His purposes?  I know I matched Samson in hatred and debauchery.  Why am I redeemed?

Listen our sin and suffering grieve the Lord. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (Gen. 6:6).  He is moved by mankind’s sin and does not wish suffering for us.  Why does a sovereign holy God give us freedom to choose to be sinful, if He can stop it? He gives us freedom to choose Him, or allows us to pursue eternal alienation.  Unfathomable love vs. sovereign dictating?

He chooses and we choose.  He works in our lives to move events to the point we can choose.  He doesn’t coerce, just as when as a father I guided my children so they could make wise choices.  I introduced good principles that they willingly adopted – a win/win. The Lord could have made us robots, but he chose to let us choose Him.  Back to Samson.

Samson was energized by the Philistines trying to ambush him.  He came roaring out of the prostitute’s house, rips up the gates of the town, and carried them from Gaza to Hebron. He doesn’t drop the gates nearby but carried them over 60 miles!  These gates aren’t like a gate on a picket fence, they’re huge construction edifices. Hundreds of pounds of material!

Think of his intention to put the Philistines at risk, since gates were defensive systems for protection.  Samson’s desire was to give a measure of threat to the Philistines, though he does not hurt or kill them he cleverly changes his tactics to torment his adversaries. He’s shrewd at psychological warfare by removing their security, making them vulnerable. The Philistines need to take their mind off him, and back to their security.

Surely, the Philistines and Samson will come to their senses and desist from this crazy cycle of anger, violence, and revenge.  Does Samson take some time for fellowship and prayer with the Lord?  No, he retreated to his ‘comfort’ addiction – women: After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. (16:4).  The susceptibility to sexual release was his Achilles heel, and the Philistines were going to exploit it with ruthlessness.  Without guidance from the Lord, Samson will be vulnerable.  God does not stop Samson.

Illicit sex can be a raging problem for men.  Samson was controlled by it.  The Bible warns:  and be sure your sin will find you out. (Num. 32:23).  Sinful behavior will seep out, and be a problem in one’s life, even if not public…the Lord knows and will deal with it.  He has an array of options to use for getting one’s attention, and He will not dismiss the problem until it is addressed.  Though He gives us freedom, like a loving Father He’ll get our attention, and challenge us to change our attitudes, and help us with our choices and our conduct.

Samson’s risky behavior was chancy and carried a high degree of failure. It is illustrated in this famous story of Samson and Delilah.  Interestingly, Delilah’s name means ‘feeble.’  The irony of Israel’s great strongman, being bested by one who appears vulnerable and weak carries a message that drips with irony.  The Lord was watching this scenario and was not surprised by events, He’s an alert custodial supervisor over His Creation.  Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Gal. 6:7).  The natural order of things will play out, and the costs are not God’s desire, but circumstances reveal troubling issues, that will play out.  Remember, we have freedom to choose.

God’s our backup though — if we choose to call him.  Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jer. 33:3)

Samson was deceived, while assuming he had things under control.  He was thoroughly oblivious to conditions around him: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18).  Delilah became treacherous, because of avarice.  The Philistines learned their lesson committing atrocities, now they will use a gentlemen’s approach, and use bribery: And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” (Jdg. 16:5).  Samson’s first wife was threatened, then murdered (14:15; 15:6). That did not end well for the Philistines.  But enormous bribes might be effective, and Delilah was willing to betray for cash.  Samson used her for sex, she used him for $$$$$.  Sounds like modernity.

Delilah pleaded with Samson to reveal the secret of his strength, and he demurred and even lying to her.  Authenticity was not part of their relationship, they are both manipulative, both deceptive.  They do not trust one another.  Samson continued with the relationship since his needs are being met, but both were guarded with one another.  Samson was being hyper-vigilant, hinting at his wariness, but he was being slowly emotionally degraded.

He had immense physical strength, but spiritually he was a pipsqueak. External power does not cover emotional and spiritual deficits. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (Eph. 6:10).  We’ll see if Samson chooses the Lord or Delilah.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I can identify with Samson, since I’ve pursued passions rather than purity.  Yet I want to be a man of God, a man who pursues you Father. Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Ps. 55:22).  Your desire is to make me bold and victorious in the natural as well as the supernatural realm.  Let that become a reality in my life.  Don’t let ideas of spiritual strength be a hyperbole, rather let it be a concrete certainty. Don’t let me settle for pretending in spiritual matters, then turning to desires for satisfaction.  Let spiritual truth be my compass, and guide me to godly maturity, so you receive my praise, and your reputation gets into the public domain.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Ps. 51:10).  Lord I give you permission to change me.  Use whatever means to bring me to spiritual wisdom. Let my desires for notoriety, for passions, for wealth – anything that replaces godly choices, wane, and be meaningless.  Then give me desires for purity, maturity, while becoming a spokesman for your glory.  Don’t let my failings be my legacy, rather let my life point only to you and your wonders.  Let people see you in me, knowing that I represent you to the world: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, (2 Cor. 5:20).  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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