Pastor Craig Groeschel’s study of Samson in the Fight Devotional arrived (for those of us who are reading it at Hope City Church) at Judges 16 where Samson has his infamous affair with Delilah. I had read Judges more than a decade ago but apparent
I had read Judges more than a decade ago but apparently not as closely as I should have. I was under the impression that Samson was an outstanding man of faith. A Biblical hero who made one dreadful mistake in his relationship with Delilah. In everything I’ve seen so far in these devotionals, the affair with Delilah was merely the logical end of a boundaryless, selfish, hedonistic, and arrogant lifestyle pursued by Samson.
While it seemed for most of his life that God was with Samson, Samson was not with God as evidenced by his pulling honey from the stomach of a dead lion or pursuing women that were not of his faith- both of which the Lord forbade him to do.
From the perspective of your faithful blogger, arrogance more than anything else led to Samson’s downfall. Perhaps I am of that opinion because I’ve seen my arrogance wreak havoc in my own life.Unfortunately, we live in a time and society where arrogance is celebrated. I am sure we as a society didn’t mean to do that, but we did it just the same.
As a child messages from parents, teachers, media, and other places told me that I was special. And I was. Still am, in fact. I believe God made us all special and we were put on this earth to do work for Him that only we can do. The problem is that somewhere along the way (at least for people such as myself) that messaged morphed into arrogance and entitlement.
I honestly didn’t believe the rules should’ve applied to me because I thought I was special.
I truly felt that I was immune to the law of cause and effect because I was special. It didn’t help that in many circumstances my parents shielded me from that law. This isn’t to knock them- they were doing what psychiatrists, educators, and “experts” told them to do in their hope that they would raise good children. They wanted to protect my self-esteem and were trying to be good parents. This was the same misguidedness that fueled the early years of parenting with my son.
So I grew up in arrogance that I have only recently started to shed as Jesus has taken His rightful place as head of my life.
I didn’t believe I should be corrected in anything because I thought I was special.
I thought I should buy this and that even when it made no financial sense to do so because I thought I was special.
I didn’t believe the rules should apply to me because I thought I was special, superior and somehow above it all.
I believed I should have been on the throne of my own life as God because I thought I was special.
The problem is that specialness didn’t exempt me from the real world as God set it up. I made bad choices and I wound up with bad results. I wasn’t taken away by Philistines in chains, stripped of power and dignity with my eyes gouged out, but I was, in the summer and fall of 2014, alone in a sub-par, mouse infested apartment, with no close friends, one inappropriate relationship with a woman, and virtually no money. I was in absolute despair and angry with Jesus for cursing my life.
It would be laughable to me now if it weren’t so pathetic.
You could say the Lord withdrew His hand from me, I suppose. But in the case of Samson, and in the case of me, how much would that be true? Did God curse us? Or did we curse ourselves with our terrible decision making? I can’t answer for Samson but I can answer for me. It was the latter. Jesus made me for him. And he made the world to run by cause and effect. I made bad decisions and got bad results- over and over and over again.
“Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly,” – Proverbs 26:11.
I will be the last person to treat Samson as an idiot for repeatedly going back to Delilah despite it being obvious that she was going to bring him down. I’ve had many Delilah’s in my own life. Self-centeredness. Overeating. Porn. I could go on and on as there were many things. It should have been apparent (and it probably was) to everyone around me that these things were going to bring me down at some point. I should have been able to see it. But I was blind like Samson, who first was blinded by arrogance and then was blinded by Philistines.
“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17)
As Pastor Craig wrote today “Your sin will find you out.” And as Blind Willie Johnson and Led Zeppelin sang, It’s nobody’s fault but mine.