You will realize how strong you are by the enemies sent to engage you
The Holy Scriptures tells the story of a man named Samson. He was a promise from God to a man named Manoah. The only deal that God had made with his parents was that he was not to shave his hair. The other deal that was stressed was that he was supposed to not have wine nor eat anything that came from the vine. This is an amazing story as it relates to strength. I can’t get into all of it but I believe that the truth of what I am about to share will sink down into your soul and strengthen you.
You would never think someone thought of you as a threat if you were a giant and they brought a boy out to fight you. You would almost consider it a disrespectful gesture. How many people would bet on the boy to win unless they knew something you weren’t aware of?
There are 3 stories in the life of Samson that speak to our subject but here is the main point where we will begin. In the entire story of his downfall, it was never about his strength.
The first story was about the first time Samson fell in love. He takes a trip down to the vineyards of Timnah where he kills a lion with his bare hands. What is he doing near vineyards if he wasn’t supposed to be eating anything from the vine or drinking wine? Wrong place, wrong time. While there in Timnah, he found a woman (in Timnah) that he wanted to marry and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. His father gets with her father and they make arrangements for the wedding. During the wedding ceremonies, Samson decided to tell the guests (his haters) a riddle adding a bet of clothing for all if they can figure it out. The riddle was birthed from a memory of his personal encounter with the lion. There was no way they were going to figure it out!
So they go to his bride and threaten to kill her and her father if she doesn’t get them the riddle. She goes to Samson and pulls on his heart strings, crying until the seventh day when he finally tells her the riddle. She tells the secret to his riddle and he loses the bet. Once he realizes the betrayal, he goes and kills 30 men and takes their clothes to fulfill the bet. He goes home and his father in law gives Samsons’ wife to Samsons’ best man AT SAMSONS’ WEDDING!!!
Samson goes on a rampage and burns their fields. They in turn kill his wife and father in law. He retaliates by killing them. This brings the second story. Because of this issue, Samsons’ people turn him over to the Philistines. When his enemies see him bound up and tied, he looked like he was no match for them. They begin to cheer in triumph as their very difficult task now looks like child’s play. When he sees them cheering as if they had done something great, he breaks the strong, new ropes that had bound him. He grabs a jawbone and kills the entire company of Philistines – almost a thousand men!
Third and final story. Samson falls in love with a woman named Delilah. She lived in the valley of Sorek, which means grapes (here are these vineyards again!). To make a long story short, the Philistines pay her to get Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. After several failures and manipulations, she is successful and uses Samsons’ love and heart to destroy him. Samson loses his strength and the Philistines come and overpower him. They blind him and take him to prison. Sometime later, they throw a party to celebrate their victory over Samson. They decide to bring him out to make fun of him. During the party, they place him between the 2 pillars that hold up the temple. Wrong move! He destroys the pillars and dies with his enemies. In his death, he kills more than he had in his entire life.
Here is my point: you will realize how strong you are by the enemies sent to engage you. What is interesting in the three stories that I told you, Samson doesn’t ultimately lay his life down because they learned the secret of his strength. The enemies that were sent to engage Samson were strong. Yes, he had to deal with at least thirty haters at his wedding but they were not the enemy sent to engage him. The enemy that was sent was his bride. They threatened the person with keys to his heart. Yes, he killed the thousand men who came to kill him, but it was their cheering like they had won that hit his ego – that’s why they had to die! The enemy that reared its head in that situation was ego.
Lastly, Delilah – the woman whose name is synonymous alongside Samson’s. He fell in love with her and told him everything in his heart. She used his heart against him and broke his heart. In these situations, we see that his enemy never learned the secret to his strength. The secret to his strength was the promise between God and his parents that he honored. When Delilah took advantage of it, his hair still grew back. The strength of Samson lay in his heart. Get to his heart and you get to Samson.
Always remember that with any great leader, there are two things we must guard. We must guard our hearts and we must guard our ego. Every one of us have good hearts, but moments can arise that will challenge us to decide whether or not our hearts will remain clean, untainted by society and situations. We must also guard our egos and yes, we all have egos. We are all vulnerable and susceptible to the thing we least fear or love most. We all have learned in one way or another that Delilah can be a person or a situation. We are all capable of being influenced or harmed by the thing that we love the most or fear the least.
Follow the signs. There will always be warnings to destruction and directions to safety. Samson could have avoided the woman at Timnah situation had he avoided the vineyards. That issue birthed the problem with his ego where he killed a thousand Philistines. Then he goes to Sorek, the land of grapes and falls in love with Delilah. Had he honored and clung to his vow, the land of grapes and the vineyards of Timnah would have not had their pull on him.
Leadership is loneliness. So many times, we just want to talk to someone. We don’t always want that someone to be the same individual. Leaders like different opinions and views. Samson got into trouble because he trusted his heart and his head to the wrong people with the wrong influences. Watch and guard!
Finally, I was looking over this story and something hit me that I had never seen before. Samson at the end of his life was not murdered. He committed suicide. He chose to die along with his enemies. He killed more in his death than he did in his life. Never allow your heart, your ego and the situations that you face to make you so bitter that you surrender your life in order to win. In hindsight, the woman at Timnah and Delilah from the valley of Sorek were situations that were recoverable. Don’t die in the midst of your recovery.
I speak healing over your life today. Whatever has set itself against you will fail because it hit your strength but never got your secret! You will not die in the midst of your recovery. I decree and declare that health is already on its way back to you. I can prove it! When you go to get your hair cut, how soon after it is cut does it begin to grow back? If you said immediately, you are wrong. Your hair never stopped growing just because it was cut. And neither will you. KEEP GOING!!! KEEP GROWING!!!