Cover to Cover
Reading: Judges 15:1-17:13
Focus: Judges 16:1-20
Let’s face it, men have a common weakness…women. For all we guys may try and ignore the issue, whether it be our mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, or just female friends…they have a “special” part in our lives. It is the greatest of all love-hate relationships, that is, between man and woman. As the cliché goes, “You can’t live with ‘em, you can’t live without ‘em.” Yet, there are times when particular women become the bain of our existence and all hell breaks loose…in those times, you wonder why God made them in the first place (and women constantly wonder why God made men at all! hehe…)
One of the most well-known characters of Judges is Samson. He is known for his great strength and, known just as much, for his relationship with Delilah. The life of Samson is told in relation to the women of his life. First, his mother and his birth. Second, his wife and the subsequent massacre of 1000 Philistines, a prostitute and an anticipated ambush; and finally, Delilah and his subsequent fall and capture by the Philistines. Talk about bad luck with women… (that is, besides his mother.)
In the end, Samson’s weakness, his Achilles heel, cost him his eyes, his pride and his life. Sure, Samson destroyed the Philistines in the process, but at what cost… surely all of this could have been avoided and he could have been a great leader/judge among the people of Israel. Yet, such is the reality of temptation (particularly, adultery) and its consequences. God may have used Samson for His purposes, but it sets up a grim circumstance of the consequences of when we allow ourselves to fall into temptation and sin.
Paul made it clear to the Corinthians that temptation is not something you can avoid, however, what you can do is to choose how you will respond. Further, he made it clear that you would not face temptations that you could not deal with…it may stretch us, challenge us, belittle us, tear at our being, but God will not allow us to enter tempting circumstances that we are not be able to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13):
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Next Reading: Judges 18:1-19:30