Day 94: Samson and Delilah
Judges 16:1-31 Through trickery, Delilah prompted Samson to disclose the secret of his strength, which was in his uncut hair. When he was asleep, Delilah cut his hair, and Samson was immediately weakened and taken captive. His long hair had been the visible sign of his Nazirite vow that signified fidelity to God’s commands, making him God’s instrument and a beneficiary of God’s strength. The removal of his hair resulted in disfavor with God and the subsequent loss of extraordinary strength. His strength was restored as his hair grew back, re-empowering him for his final act against the Philistines. (CCC 1490)
Psalm 147 The final four psalms are effusive in their praise. Though God’s intervention in history is likened to a worker who rebuilds Jerusalem, he is a FATHER FIRST, healing the wounds of his people. God uses his infinite power to lift up the downtrodden and exact justice on the wicked. On account of his many merciful manifestations of love, we offer him praise and thanksgiving for all that he has done.
“The Lord, therefore, acts with his Word not only in creation but also in history,” said St. John Paul II. “He reveals himself with the silent language of nature but expresses himself in an explicit way through the Bible and his personal communication through the prophets and fully through the Son. They are two different but converging gifts of his love” (St. John Paul II, General Audience, July 23, 2003). (Cf. General Audiences, June 5, 2002, and August 20, 2003)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Given Samson’s preceding liaison, and the fact that Samson sleeps with Delilah with no mention of marriage, she is likely a harlot.
Five Philistine lords will each pay her 1,100 pieces of silver to betray Samson, further identifying Delilah as a woman who can be bought.
The narrator does not tell us whether she is an Israelite or a Philistine, but the Philistine lords’ access to her and the trajectory of the entire Samson narrative suggests strongly that she is a Philistine.
Indeed, since “evil in the eyes of the Lord” is sexual relations with foreign women and this phrase introduces the story of Samson, it would seem that Delilah is a foreigner.
Delilah, in the intimacy of her inner chamber, the sexual connotations of which are obvious, attempts to discover the secret of Samson’s strength.
Although Samson does not disclose his secret at first, he gives away more information with each encounter.
Finally, Delilah discovers his secret, cuts his hair, and hands him over to the Philistines, who bind him and put out his eyes.
At this point it is enlightening to know that Samson means “sun” and Delilah means “night.”
The Philistine “night” eclipses the Israelite “sun.”
The strength of Israel is lost when that strength is given to pagan women and harlots.
Samson is Israel, dedicated to the Lord by a covenant oath.
Now, by pursuing harlotry and doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord, he in turn becomes blind.
Why is the story of Micah placed here, after the story of Samson?
The narrator, using ancient literary methods, gives two clues in the opening of Micah’s story that show important links to the Samson narrative.
The first link is Micah’s lineage; he and Samson are both of the tribe of Dan.
The second link is the 1,100 silver pieces that Micah steals from his unnamed mother, an amount repeated twice for emphasis (Jgs 17:2, 17:3).
An astute reader will remember that Delilah received this exact sum of money for betraying Samson.
In a culture where wealth was rare for women outside royal houses, how could Micah’s mother obtain such a sum?
By listing her wealth in the same number that was paid to Delilah and by making no mention of Micah’s mother’s name, the narrative suggests that Micah’s mother is none other than Delilah—and that Micah is the son of Samson.
This seems even more likely given the constant theme of harlotry and idolatry that runs throughout the narrative of Judges.
The harlot mother of Micah (Delilah) employs her wealth to make pagan images and idols, thereby seducing into idolatry not just one man (Samson) but the entire tribe of Dan.
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
Here we go :)
Samson, WHAT THE HECK, DUDE!
How RIDICULOUS is Samson?
Samson is RULED BY HIS PASSIONS
He has his STRENGTHS
But he also has his WEAKNESSES
Samson is OVERWHELMED BY HIS DESIRES
Delilah asks him FOUR TIMES the SECRET OF HIS STRENGTH
He tells her a lie THREE TIMES, KNOWING THAT THIS IS THE WOMAN HE CANNOT TRUST!
For WHATEVER REASON, he keeps going back to her (I have my theories 🤔)
He ultimately ends up TRUSTING HER
This is a lesson for all of us
Many of us have been in BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS
The other person has demonstrated that THEY ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED
WE KEEP GOING BACK TO THEM
WHY IS THAT?? (I have my own idiotic reasons for why I kept going back 🤮, how about you? I mean, if this has happened to you in your relationships, I mean)
It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship
It doesn’t have to be an illicit relationship
It can even be a legitimate relationship
We KEEP TRUSTING people who CANNOT BE TRUSTED
Samson reveals to us that this is a FOOLISH THING TO DO
Samson also reveals that God works through BROKEN PEOPLE
This is a RECURRING THEME going back ALL THE WAY TO GENESIS
This is Samson, a JUDGE OF ISRAEL
This is Samson, a SAVIOR OF ISRAEL
Samson is a FOOL IN MANY WAYS
After Samson gets his eyes gouged out and his hair cut off and after he is in prison, he wants REVENGE on the Philistines
Keep this in MIND
The Book of Judges is Fr. Mike’s favorite book when in times of trouble
The greatest person that God raised up at that time, Samson, and he was such a BROKEN HUMAN BEING
We can look up to our leaders, wherever they are, in the Church, in the Nation, in Business, and think THIS IS THE BEST WE’VE GOT?!?!
But in Judges 16:22 “But the hair of his head began to grow again, after it had been shaved.”
Samson is brought in before the Philistines to be mocked, and the Spirit of God comes upon him once again as Samson calls to the Lord
REMEMBER GOD’S PEOPLE ARE NOT PERFECT!!
They are STILL HIS
THEY STILL BELONG TO GOD
WE MUST REMEMBER THIS!
You and I ARE NOT PERFECT
BUT WE STILL GET TO BELONG TO GOD
Micah and the Levite in Ch 17 & 18
Micah stole 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother
He admits his theft and his mother is so proud of his honesty THAT SHE MAKES AN IDOL
GREAT JOB, MOM!!!
GREAT JOB, MICAH!!!
What is this revealing?
The key line at the end of Ch 17:6 “In those days, there was no king of Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
GO READ THAT AGAIN
Does that sound familiar in THIS DAY AND AGE?
How quickly things fall apart, eh?
Micah sets up a SHRINE to worship this idol he made from the 1,100 pieces of silver that he stole then returned to his Mom
Micah makes his son a priest
Then he finds a Levite
Remember that Levites are supposed to live in one of the 48 PRIESTLY CITIES
This Levite has gone out and become a Priest For Hire
The Levite ends up leading Micah, his mother, and their neighbors IN FALSE WORSHIP
This Levite SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN THIS, THAT THIS IS THE WRONG TO DO
Maybe the Levite did know this
But what was going on in Israel?
“In those days, there was no king in Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
Here is the KEY FOR TRUE WORSHIP, to KNOW THE LORD’S HEART DEEPLY, and to NOT SWERVE FROM IT TO THE RIGHT OR TO THE LEFT
Later on, the Da’nites are looking for a place to live and they come up to La’ish and they come upon this Mercenary Levite
They ask this Levite Priest for Hire to be the priest for them for a fee
The Levite Priest says yes, and what happens next?
The Da’nites take away the false idol that Micah made, took the Levite Priest, and set up this graven image as long as the house of God was at Shiloh (Judges 18:31)
OH MY GOSH!!
Up in the land of Dan, Micah is leading them in FALSE WORSHIP
This isn’t very long after Joshua has died (but there also other theories that it could have happened later on)
The fact of the matter is, WE CAN BE SO FICKLE
We can turn away FROM WHAT THE LORD HAS ASKED US TO DO
We can also PRETEND that we do not know what to do
It is UNLIKELY the Levite Priest for Hire did not know this was FALSE WORSHIP
EVERYONE KNEW THE STORY OF THE GOLDEN CALF
EVERYONE KNEW THE STORY OF THE FALSE IDOL THAT SUPPOSEDLY BROUGHT THEM OUT OF SLAVERY IN EGYPT
So we cannot imagine that this Levite Priest for Hire DID NOT KNOW
So what do we claim?
We claim that WE DO NOT KNOW
There was no king in Israel
Everyone did what was right in their own eyes
THE TENDENCY TOWARDS SELF DECEPTION CAN BE SO GREAT IN ALL OF US
So we need TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
We can look at the People of Israel and say, “Wow, I can’t believe these BROKEN PEOPLE and their BROKEN LIVES and their TERRIBLE DECISIONS!!”
THIS IS US
THIS IS A MIRROR
THIS IS A FLASHLIGHT
THIS IS SANDPAPER
This is reflecting to us THE TRUTH OF OUR OWN HEARTS
How quickly can each of us say, “WHO KNOWS??” and go WITH THE CROWD
How quickly can each of us say, “WHO KNOWS??” and go AGAINST THE LORD
We have one last and HORRIBLE day when it comes to the Book of Judges
Tomorrow, we will read Judges 19-21
This is the PG-13 going into the R-rated part of The Bible
Pray for Fr. Mike
Pray for EACH OTHER
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we do praise you. We do give you glory. We do lift up your name, because you are THE GOD. You are the God who not only has created all things, you are the source of all being, you are the foundation of all that exists. You are the source of reality and substance and you also reveal your heart to us, which is phenomenal. We can’t even comprehend this, God, so we thank you. You, the God who is above everything, EVERYTHING, The source of EVERYTHING, have chosen to care for us. You have chosen to care about us. You have chosen to reveal your heart to us. Help us to see your heart and to know your heart and to follow your heart and to find our place in your heart this day and every day of our lives. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”