Verses 1-3, The first inklings of the end of Samson’s twenty year run as judge of Israel are brought to our attention in these verses. Here we see Samson’s weakness–women–once again rearing its ugly head.
–Gaza was the main Philistine city and once it was discovered that Samson was in the city precincts they decide to lock the gates at night and wait until he emerges in the morning and then capture him.
–Either hearing about the plot or warned of the Lord, Samson emerges in the night and takes the small doors within the main gate and carries them some twenty miles away–mocking their plot to imprison him.
Verses 4-5, Here Samson’s eyes once again lead him astray and this time his heart is quick to follow.
–Delilah is not explicitly noted as a prostitute or Philistine; though it is likely that she was both.
–Knowing the source of Samson’s weakness, but not the source of his strength, the five Philistine lords entice Delilah to discover that source with 5500 pieces of silver.
Verses 6-17, Here we are confronted with Delilah’s nefarious persistence and Samson’s horrible weakness.
–The Philistines are laying in wait in an inner chamber, but each time they refrain from attacking Samson because he breaks all the cords, ropes, etc… All the while Delilah is acting as if she is only tying him up to test his honesty and see if he really loves her.
–It may still seem utterly foolish for Samson not to break away from this enchantress and a place of proven weakness…Yet what about us? Our sinful pleasures remain cherished in our hearts yet we know that they aim at nothing less than the death of our souls! We are under the same pull and slavery and deception as Samson in his sin. See Ecc. 8:11 and John 8:34
Verses 18-19, Revealing her wicked cruelty, Delilah is the first to inflict wounds and harm upon Samson. Adam the perfect man; Samson the strongest man; David the bravest man; and Solomon the wisest man were all taken down by women. Beware! Proverbs 7
Verse 20, Here we find one of the saddest and most tragic statements in Scripture. When God as departed from us we cannot do as we once did at other times.
–We ought always to pray, Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me! Rather that anything else be taken: friends, health, our very lives!
–Samson’s hair was the last symbol of his vow to the Lord, and surrendering that vow he has surrendered the source of his strength.
Verse 21, Sin blinds, binds, and grinds. Blinds us to God’s presence. Binds us to itself. Grinds us down to ruin, destruction, and death.
Verse 22, Hope! Samson had given up on God, but God had not given up on Samson. There may be an inference here that Samson has renewed his vow to God.
Verses 23-25, Dagon was a half-man, half-fish god. The Philistines use Samson as an occasion to give glory to their false deity.
–Let us never envy the mirth of the wicked. It is short lived!
Verses 26-28, This prayer was revealed to the inspired writer by God! That means that God wants us to hear a man pray–Look at me one more time as if I had never sinned–and know that it is a prayer He wants to answer.
–Is this why Samson is mentioned in Hebrews 11?
–There may yet be the heart of a strong man hidden and masked beneath weakness and sin. God wants that person to know that He heard and answered Samson’s prayer.
Verses 29-30, Samson is not seeking death, but saying that he is willing to die if God would have it be so. If God were able to win greater battles by your death than by your life would you be willing to give it?
–Say and think what we might about Samson, this was a powerful act of faith and surrender. Samson was a fighter, and always fought the enemies of God, and never feared man. For the course of a life, those are some very admirable traits.
Verse 31, Again we are told of Samson’s twenty years of judging Israel.
–God judges a life, not mere weeks or days. What is the tone, purpose, and goal of yours?