Day 82: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 82: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

Samson has been the subject for our last several devotions.  He was an impulsive man, unable to curb his sexual passions.  He continually got in trouble with promiscuous women.  It was the standard of the times of Judges: And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD (Jdg. 2:10, 11).  Just before Samson was born: And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. (13:1). Israel needed a liberator who was morally pure…Samson was physically strong…but…

He [Samson] shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” (13:5).  In Judges 16 he fell in love with another woman – Delilah, and she proved to be his match. Delilah’s name meant ‘feeble. The irony that a woman could best Israel’s champion will be humiliating.  She deceived him for gain.  She strategically outmaneuvered him.

The basis of their relationship was not mutual respect and love. They danced around the real issues of life, not the reality of giving oneself fully to the other.  They were using one another, and that was a recipe for disaster.  Both knew it, and neither changed their intentions.  They did not value their partner they used the other for sex or greed.

Here is a good rule of thumb:  Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Cor. 15:33).  Biblical thought is good thinking.

Delilah was no shrinking violet.  She was intent on getting her money.  She willingly traded sex for her goal.  Samson was willing to trade his legacy for sex. They used each other.

Delilah…pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. (Jdg. 16:16). Samson the superhero got bludgeoned.  Warriors could not defeat him, the wiles of a woman hammered him into submission.  Samson blabbed: And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.” (16:17).

He finally trusted her with his secret, his deepest, God-given gift.  Would she value his vulnerability?  Will she guard her lover’s heart, his most vulnerable secret?  This would be the test of genuine love. Sadly, she does not respect him enough to protect him.

He naively trusted her.  Before this he had been guarded and hyper-vigilant (vv. 9, 14) but something changed: She made him sleep on her knees (16:19). Did he finally trust her with his well-being? We’re not sure, but we know he was betrayed and defenseless.

Here was a sad narrative in this sordid affair: Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him (16:19). ‘Torment’ carries the idea of humiliation.  She began to maliciously afflict him, intending to depress him.  She successfully shamed him.  The next phrase, was telling: his strength left him.  V. 20 clarifies: But he did not know that the LORD had left him (16:20).  Sadly, Samson’s lover was intent on harming — the Lord wasn’t.  God removed Himself from this decadent event.  The Lord did not want humiliation to be Samson’s legacy and life — like Delilah wanted.

The phrase is filled with sadness: ‘he did not know the Lord had left.’ Samson had become unaware of the basics of spiritual health!  He was wrapped up in his drama, and he let his relationship with the Lord languish. It simply atrophied.  His exciting relationship with Delilah was the shiny object that received his attention, not the satisfying, fulfilling relationship with the living Lord.

Samson gave up the eternal for the temporal.  He got tantalizing experiences rather than satisfying, eternal hope.  Samson received humiliation, rather than the Lord’s promise: I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (Jn. 10:10).  The Lord is not a stingy God, He wants to bless – abundantly!  Samson chose Delilah’s rewards. A lousy bargain.

Look at Samson’s decline.  First, he was motivated by sensuality.  Next, this led to being overwhelmed (16:21). Finally, his decline led to shackles (16:21) an experience of being helpless, and imprisoned, held by poor choices.  His choices led to helplessness.

Is this the end of story. The Lord is never aloof and distant: Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love (Ps. 33:18).  He is always aware and ready to act.  He knows you’re not perfect.  He’s not going to ditch you.

Judges 16:23 – 27; tells how Samson experienced public scorn and disdain.  The Philistines focused on his impotence and ridiculed him, but the Lord was watching and ready to respond.  The Lord is waiting for our cry: This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles (Ps. 34:6).  Asking is the beginning to restoring relationship.  Humbly petitioning, wanting the Lord, is the basis for interaction.  Often, the Lord waits for us, not to withhold goodness, but to let us experience life without Him.  Life’s lousy without Him.  I know!

Samson was at the place in his life, where he was desperate for the Lord.  Nothing else mattered to him.  Finally, he sought the Lord, wholeheartedly.  This is the genesis that gets people running to the Lord. Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him, (Dan. 9:3). Daniel was not seeking stuff from the Lord, he was intensely seeking – Him!

How about you?  Are you seeking passions, notoriety, or wealth? Or, are you seeking Him? You will find no fulfillment in the things of this World, trust me – I’ve tried.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10).

The Philistine’s reaction to his capture?  And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes…  (Jdg. 16:21).  Barbaric cruelty comes from the unredeemed, not from the Lord.

Did God turn His back to Samson?  Will He ignore Samson’s pleas?  The Lord had pity for Samson, just as He does for you and me.  That is what God does.  God does not give up on Samson, leaving him in a pitiful condition.  Nor will He abandon you.  There’s more to come.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Protect me from my poor choices.  Tackle me, sack me, prevent me from behaviors that bring heartache to my family, myself, my friends.  Let my reputation be untarnished, so that it points to you.  I want my life to enhance you in the eyes of others.  Don’t let my passions rule my life, rather let me conquer my desires for your honor.  Help me not to weaken myself, so my family does not face humiliation.  Let my choices be pure and without selfish gain, so others benefit, and are protected.  Let people be shielded from any failure by me.

Then keep me pure.  Let my family see my choices so they yearn to duplicate them. Let them see the value in redemptive and holy living.  Do not let me pretend, but help me live an authentic, honorable life.  If I fail, give me the humility to acknowledge my failure.  Help me to ask forgiveness if I’ve offended.  Help me to be humble allowing others to see my genuine repentance.  I ask for your character to be revealed in my behavior and actions.  I want others to see you in me, so it is a reality for them, and a credit for you.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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