Battleground Earth 21: Samson 5 - David Mitts
Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the LORD and said, "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned, and he revived. Therefore he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.(Jdg 15:18-20 NASB)
Click here to listen to "Samson 5"
I thirst. Where have we heard that before?
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, "I am thirsty." (Joh 19:28 NASB)
Thirst is a primal calling from the place of life and death, the core of our marrow. This is the first time we see Samson directly interacting with his true Father. This is such a powerful interlude in the story that we need to camp here for a moment. Samson has just slain a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Yet in that place of great triumph we see the vulnerability of his heart towards his life’s dreadful purpose.
Thirst. Yeshua spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well.
Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."(Joh 4:10 NASB)
Thirst clarifies source in our lives. Where will we find the true water that satisfies the cry of our heart?
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Joh 7:37-39 NASB)
Water is the element of life. In Chinese medicine, which I practice, water is activated by a point known as the “gate of life”. Water carried the seed and makes it alive. Masuro Emotodemonstrated that water crystals change based on the word seeds they are exposed to.
In the dessert of testing Israel revealed their desperation for God through thirst and He responded with water from the rock.
So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me." Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exo 17:4-6 NASB)
The Apostle Paul connects the physical reality of thirst to the spiritual reality of true thirst:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. (1Co 10:1-4 NASB)
Samson is declaring his dependence on life from his Father, the Voice that directs his and our life in the wilderness of this world. Remember this isn’t just Samson the superhero, like Marvell Comics, but Samson, the child of God who is wrestling with principalities and powers that have gripped the hearts of God’s people. He is spent from dealing with an opposition that is greater than just physical flesh and blood conquests.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12 NKJV)
This battle cannot be won with just our natural gifts and talents. No matter how strong we or Samson are, we will reach the point of exhaustion if we do not come to Him and drink of His living waters.
So God responds as He always will and strengthens His son, Samson with water from the rock which is Christ, the Word of Life. Samson responds by naming the place in his heart where he reached out and the physical location, “Ein Hakkoreh” which means the spring of the call or the cry of the heart. Like Yeshua our eternal savior it is the desperate cry of a heart for true water that produces life in and for us.
After this betrayal, the hurt and the emptiness of vengeance, Samson is in a really broken place in his life. Put yourself in his sandals for a moment. He was birthed by God for a terrible purpose. He is anointed to somehow in a world divided by conflict and ruled by power, fear and oppression, to bring a deliverance for God’s people by showing them the love of God.
Every time he turns around he is facing betrayal and more and more aloneness. The woman he loved, his first love was given to another and then she and her father were burned alive for being associated with him. All he sees around him is that he, the supposed deliverer is really just the bringer of pain and ruin. Even Judah, his own people who were named as worshippers betray him and sell him to the Philistines. Love seems totally elusive to him anywhere in his world.
In this place of hurt and isolation which has always been with him but now seems magnified a hundredfold, he turns to the deadest form of love, a prostitute in Gaza.
"Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there and went into her." Jdg 16:1 (NASB)
Clearly, this is a new low for Samson. He is so desperate for love, he has reduced it to fulfilling his physical desire through paid for sex. He is a stranger in a strange land and obviously finding a prostitute in Gaza is no big deal. This tells us something of the depravity of the Philistine culture and society. We learn later from the prophet Hosea that God uses harlotry as a sign of the brokenness of the people of God.
"When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD."" Hos 1:2 (NASB)
I believe Samson is making a similar statement about the condition of both Israel and the Philistines. He doesn’t marry the harlot but as the anointed love deliverer, this is as anti-love as you can get. He is broken in his heart and as Lisa’s song says this is the very place, he wants to show God’s love. Samson’s relationships are not just about Samson but about God and His people.
The Philistines somehow hear of Samson’s time with the harlot and plan to ambush him, but he has another plan:
"When it was told to the Gazites, saying, "Samson has come here," they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, "Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him." Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron." Jdg 16:2-3 (NASB)
The Philistines plan their ambush at the gate of the city. Samson arises at midnight and takes the doors of the gate and the doorposts and pulls them loose and carries them up to the mountain across from Hebron which is an overlook down to Gaza and the sea. He is telling the Philistines that God controls their gates.
Finally, we turn to the famous story of Delilah. One simple verse, no details:
"After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah." Jdg 16:4 (NASB)
Samson cannot keep himself from love, it is in his anointing. In this place of vulnerability, the enemies seek again to undo him
"The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, "Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."" Jdg16:5 (NASB)
The word translated “entice” is a seduction. What is seduction? It is a manipulative use of an attraction or a desire. Delilah is offered a huge financial reward for seducing Samson. This is actually a contest between the kingdom of mammon and the kingdom of God. The eye gate is either a way into God’s kingdom, through death and rebirth or it is a way into mammon which only leads to death.
Delilah begins her enticement which you can imagine is totally transparent to Samson. Look at it from his perspective. He knows he is to be the agent of God’s deliverance for Israel He is on his third betrayal attack. By now, he probably suspects that this is no accident. God must be at work in these betrayals, so perhaps he realizes that he needs to cooperate with God in the betrayal. We may scream, No, No run away!!! But Samson has never run away. Like Yeshua he faces the betrayal of his Judas. Delilah is selling him out like Judas. She is willing to compromise Samson to the enemy. Similar to Yeshua, Samson knows, I believe that this the daughter of perdition, the daughter of death is leading Samson to fulfill his destiny of love by laying down his life.
His first response to her deception is that he will be weakened by 7 fresh or living vines.
"Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man."" Jdg 16:7 (NASB)
Seven is a sign to us that he already knows this is of God. Fresh vines or cords, represents that he is beginning to surrender to the living will of God, like in the garden of Gethsemane. This parallels the first cup of surrender. Of course it is not the complete truth but a pointer that it is God who gives Him his anointing.
The second deception is responded to with “new ropes”.
"He said to her, "If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man."" Jdg 16:11 (NASB)
The word translated “ropes” also means a darkness, like in a cave or inside a room in a house. It parallels the second cup of wrath in Gethsemane and increases the surrender of Samson.
The third seduction and deception from Delilah is the one that touches the anointing. Samson reveals the location physically of his Godly empowerment and again we see the number 7.
"Then Delilah said to Samson, "Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web [and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man."" Jdg 16:13 (NASB)
Samson is revealing the location of his anointing, his hair and the number 7 again points to his surrender to the Lord, the third cup of betrayal. These cups also parallel the cups of the deliverance in the Passover Seder. Samson is preparing the way of the Lord for deliverance from Philistine bondage. The true bondage is of the flesh and of the system of the world, anti-Christ, man’s efforts at self-godhood, what is behind the political forces of our times as well, man using fear and domination to get man’s godless agenda enforced. There is an existential fear that grips the heart of man. Samson now has entered the true realm, the realm of the heart.
Delilah, knowing her sexual seductions have failed, now resorts to revealing her heart.
"Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is."" Jdg 16:15 (NASB)
This is the cry of the unredeemed man against God. How can you say you love me God, when you won’t do what I want? I need to have your power for myself. You can hear the words of the deceiver, eat the fruit and be like God, knowing good and evil. You can escape death and consequences.
Samson came to show love and so he surrenders his will to God. He tells all to Delilah and makes himself vulnerable to his death.
"So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man." When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands." Jdg 16:17-18 (NASB)
Betrayal, Delilah, his Judas claims his anointing, his life. The life of the deliverer is exchanged for mammon. Yet the enemy who always uses death as the ultimate victory doesn’t see beyond death to resurrection life, to deliverance, to true peace. Samson has taken the step of taking off all divinity. He lays in Delilah’s lap asleep, finally at peace.
"She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. She said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him." Jdg16:19-20
The Lord had departed from him. A necessary step for the laying down of his life. Yeshua cried out:
"About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"" Mat 27:46
Like Yeshua, Samson is finally totally alone. This is the place of being forsaken. Even God has departed. Why? For victory beyond the bounds of death.
They blind him and toss him away. Then they bring him out to entertain them and the story ends with his death and Israel is delivered, a picture of the cross and Yeshua’s love.
"Then Samson called to the LORD and said, "O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life." Jdg 16:28-30 (NASB)
Activation: Love requires surrender. Ask God what do you need to surrender to show His love to another? What pillars are holding up your breakthrough? What compromise with the Philistines of your life need to die?