Read Judges 16:1-6
1 One day Samson went to Gaza,where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told,”Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night,saying,”At dawn we’ll kill him.”
3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate,together with the two posts,and tore them loose,bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4 Some time later,he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said,”See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson,”Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” (NIV)
The reputation of Samson as a strong man is one of the most memorable of the stories of the Bible. Back in Sunday school days he was portrayed as a mighty man of God. Then again,back in those days we didn’t hear about his visiting prostitutes or unfortunate choice of female companions.
His great physical strength didn’t translate to great moral strength. This strongest of men had a great weakness for women-perhaps women of the ‘wrong sort’. The sequel to our text today has Samson revealing to his petulant and persistent lover that the length of his hair is the secret of his physical power. So it was that his hair was cut off and his eyes put out. A very strong man who was not strong enough to resist the entreaties of a woman.
It tells us that human beings are only human. Physical courage can conceal moral decay. Upright sexual morality can cover up dodgy business ethics. Being strong in one area doesn’t always translate to strength in other areas. We so much need the grace and mercy of God to make the most of our strengths and resist our weaknesses.
Like Samson,we can show both the strength of a lion and the weakness of a kitten.