“And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth.” Judges 16:6.
“And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.” Judges 16:20.
“The Israelites made Samson judge, and he ruled Israel for twenty years. But one wrong step prepares the way for another. . . . He continued to seek those sensuous pleasures that were luring him to ruin. “He loved a woman in the valley of Sorek,” not far from his own birthplace. Her name was Delilah, “the consumer.” . . . The Philistines kept a vigilant watch over the movements of their enemy, and when he degraded himself by this new attachment, they determined, through Delilah, to accomplish his ruin.”
“A deputation consisting of one leading man from each of the Philistine provinces was sent to the vale of Sorek. They dared not attempt to seize him while in possession of his great strength, but it was their purpose to learn, if possible, the secret of his power. They therefore bribed Delilah to discover and reveal it.”
“As the betrayer plied Samson with her questions, he deceived her by declaring that the weakness of other men would come upon him if certain processes were tried. When she put the matter to the test, the cheat was discovered. Then she accused him of falsehood, saying, “How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?” . . . Three times Samson had the clearest evidence that the Philistines had leagued with his charmer to destroy him; but when her purpose failed, she treated the matter as a jest, and he blindly banished fear.”
“In the society of this enchantress, the judge of Israel squandered precious hours that should have been sacredly devoted to the welfare of his people. But the blinding passions which make even the strongest weak, had gained control of reason and of conscience. . . . “
“Samson’s infatuation seems almost incredible. At first he was not so wholly enthralled as to reveal the secret; but he had deliberately walked into the net of the betrayer of souls, and its meshes were drawing close about him at every step.”
“Day by day Delilah urged him, until “his soul was vexed unto death;” yet a subtle power kept him by her side. Overcome at last, Samson made known the secret: “There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: If I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” A messenger was immediately dispatched to the lords of the Philistines, urging them to come to her without delay. While the warrior slept, the heavy masses of his hair were severed from his head. Then, as she had done three times before, she called, “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson!” Suddenly awaking, he thought to exert his strength as before, and destroy them; but his powerless arms refused to do his bidding, and he knew that “Jehovah was departed from him.” When he had been shaven, Delilah began to annoy him and cause him pain, thus making a trial of his strength; for the Philistines dared not approach him till fully convinced that his power was gone. Then they seized him and, having put out both his eyes, they took him to Gaza. Here he was bound with fetters in their prison house and confined to hard labor.”
“What a change to him who had been the judge and champion of Israel!–now weak, blind, imprisoned, degraded to the most menial service! Little by little he had violated the conditions of his sacred calling. God had borne long with him; but when he had so yielded himself to the power of sin as to betray his secret, the Lord departed from him. There was no virtue in his long hair merely, but it was a token of his loyalty to God; and when the symbol was sacrificed in the indulgence of passion, the blessings of which it was a token were also forfeited.”
“Had Samson’s head been shaven without fault on his part, his strength would have remained. But his course had shown contempt for the favor and authority of God as much as if he had in disdain himself severed his locks from his head. Therefore God left him to endure the results of his own folly.” Conflict and Courage p.134.4