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Persistence Breaks Down Resistance

Happy Monday!

Today, we will finish up our study of Judges by looking at Delilah and Samson.

Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. When the Gazites were told, “Samson has come here!” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him.” And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the Lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.

  1. So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you.” And Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” So the Lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, and she bound him with them. Now men were lying in wait, staying with her in the room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he broke the bowstrings as a strand of yarn breaks when it touches fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.

  2. Then Delilah said to Samson, “Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with.” So he said to her, “If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” Therefore Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread. Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies.

  3. Tell me what you may be bound with.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom”— So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom. Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.”

  4. And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the Lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart.” So the Lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand. Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison. However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.”

-Judges 16:1-22 NKJV

Delilah’s alluring presence and persistence broke down Samson’s resistance, which took him to another existence that he never believed could deplete him. She used her allure to manipulate him for money. (This also reminds me of a New Testament story about Judas who took a bribe to participate in the arrest of Jesus.)

Women, this is not our best way to communicate. Yes, sometimes it might be the easiest, but it’s not the truest. This is not being authentic. In this day and time, we do not have time to be someone else for someone else. It’s time to connect to ourselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to better understand ourselves which will then help us to better understand and communicate with others. Persistence is not a bad thing, but in this story, it was used in a negative way.

So, let’s flip the narrative.

What if we took that same persistence of Delilah to help break down the resistance of the Gospel to those around us? Our existence will no longer be based upon (fill in the blank), for we have true existence in eternal life with Christ.

Let’s continue the story.

Now the Lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice. And they said: “Our god has delivered into our hands Samson our enemy!” When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said: “Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, The destroyer of our land, And the one who multiplied our dead.” So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may perform for us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars. Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them.” Now the temple was full of men and women. All the Lords of the Philistines were there—about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed. Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!” And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the Lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life. And his brothers and all his father’s household came down and took him, and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel twenty years.

-Judges 16:23-31 NKJV

For a short time, Samson lost his strength/anointing. Yet, I believe his Heavenly Father never left him. However, he had to learn his anointing was not in his own strength, but given by the Father above. Somewhere along the way, he forgot his Maker, for he was invincible to the Philistines up to that point.

When loss of control starts to exist in an area, manipulation seems to be present. I have learned that letting go is the kingdom way of living, for if we don’t, burdens/pressures seem to be the result. When we rely on Him for strength, it remains. But when we get prideful and think it was our doing for all the blessings, our strength seems to wane.

Back to the statement of flipping the narrative. Can we find creative ways to break down the resistance to get through to others living in their earthly existence?

If you live in the Bible Belt parts of the region like me, there is a church on every corner and most everyone would say they know Jesus or knows about Him. We have to be more creative in our delivery. If you recall, Jesus talked in parables and allegories using the agriculture to explain most kingdom truths. So, let’s get creative!! We serve a God who is the best at sending us an idea that hasn’t been said or done yet.

Wow, y’all! Judges has been turned up for me this month. These stories of women continue to inspire me to see beyond the commonly preached and pull out some qualities that hopefully make you think a little differently.

Until next time,

Stay Tender

Connect to the Mender

Be a Sender

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