Down for the Count
And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. ~Judges 16:20
In the sport of boxing, a boxer is considered beaten and defeated when he falls to the canvas and does not get back up. He is “down for the count.” As soon as he is on the canvas, the referee will count to ten. If he is not up on his feet by the end of the count, the other boxer is declared the winner by knockout. No matter how hard the boxer trains for his contest, when he goes down for the count, he goes into the record books as being defeated. This morning, we see how Samson went down for the count.
He went down because of what he loved.
Samson’s primary weakness as a man was his lust for women. Lust is an intensely strong sexual desire. Lust controls a man’s desires. Lust corrupts in a man’s heart and mind. When lust takes control, a man has crossed the forbidden line of morality in his heart and imagines satisfying his desires in an illicit relationship. In Judges 14:1, Samson saw a Philistine woman at Timnath and told his father and mother that he wanted her. In Judges 16:1, Samson saw a harlot at Gaza and had an improper relationship with her. In Judges 16:4, he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. It is God’s will that we abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul. We must remember that who or what we love is the motivation behind what we do.
He went down because of what he lacked.
Samson lacked self-restraint. In addition to his uncontrolled lusts, he had an anger problem. Strong leaders are men who make things happen. They are men who like to see things done and see them done in a certain way. While this is a trait of leadership that is important, it is also an outlet for fleshly anger when things do not happen the way they want it. Samson lacked discernment. When a series of failures happened in his life, he failed to see that these events were consequences and a fallout from his sins. He failed to call on the Lord before he made critical decisions. Samson lacked a good conscience. Even the enemies of the Lord recognized that he was lacking in scruples, modesty, and good judgment. We must pay careful attention to areas of our life that are weak and susceptible to attack.
He went down because of what he lost.
The lords of the Philistines promised Delilah a big payoff if she could get Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. After constant badgering, nagging, and manipulation, he gave in to her. He told her that he was a Nazarite from birth and that if his hair was shaved off, he would become like other men. The truth was that his hair was a symbol of his calling and had little to do with his strength. God was the source of his incredible strength. Samson told Delilah all his heart. He fell asleep in her lap, and she proceeded to have his hair shaven. He placed himself in a vulnerable and dangerous position of being comfortable with the enemy, even to the place where he did not feel his hair being shaved from his head. He lost God’s power at that moment. The Philistines easily overcame him, bound him, blinded him, and put him to grinding. He lost his power for service. He lost his reputation as a judge of Israel. He lost the honor that God had entrusted to him. When he went down for the count, he should have seen it coming, but he refused to do so. Don’t let today be the day that you go down for the count. Meditate on Samson’s defeat and humble yourself before God so that this does not happen to you.
Have a vigilant God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 146-150