Pastor Herna

Conquer or Be Conquered?

Samson, the judge of Israel, struck fear in the hearts of its enemies, the Philistines. They knew they were unable to defeat this mighty hero of Israel—he tore the lion apart with his bare hands (Judg. 14:6); the ropes that tied him were easily broken as they were like a charred flax to him (15:14); he struck down a thousand Philistine men (15:15); and he lifted the doors of the city gate on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill (16:3).

Towards the end of his life, though, Samson was captured by the Philistines and taken to Gaza. His eyes were gouged out and he was shackled with two copper chains (16:21). Samson, the judge, was now a prisoner. Samson, the ruler of Israel, was now the laughing stock of the Philistines, entertaining them (v. 25). The conqueror was now the conquered. Ironically, that happened not because the mighty Samson had been defeated by a Philistine mightier than he but by a mere woman; Samson’s heart was captured by beautiful Delilah, who seduced and tricked him into revealing to her the secret of his strength (16:17-22).

Strength need not necessarily be defeated by strength. The devil knows this very well. To cause us to fall into sin, Satan sometimes tempts us with something that is not obviously a sin but a subtle sin of compromise. A little compromise can lead us to a crushing defeat. Samson’s defeat was not Delilah’s fault. Neither was it the Philistines’. It was the fault of Samson himself.  If he had not compromised, he would not have fallen into Delilah’s trap.  If he had not broken his vow, he would never have been with Delilah in that precarious situation. His compromise caused him to sin, which led to his downfall.

Brothers and sisters, indulging in sinful thoughts; visiting questionable sites on the internet; and flirting with someone who is not our spouse are some instances that can drag us down and distance us from God.

There is no other way to prevent ourselves from falling into sin than by guarding our hearts vigilantly: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Prov. 4:23). By always guarding our hearts vigilantly, we will not turn from being conqueror to being conquered. Samson began his life story well, but did not end it well. Let us guard our hearts vigilantly so that we will be able to end our life story well, leaving a legacy to future generations.

Beware—the more you look at temptation, the better it looks! (ODB)