I begin many of my days by reading from The Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers and Devotions. The last two days I have been pondering the following words of introspection. “Have you sought joys in some creature comforts? Look not below God for happiness; do not fall asleep in Delilah’s lap. Let God be your all in all.”
Of course, the reference to Delilah is a reference to the woman who was source of the undoing of one of Israel’s most famous Judges, Sampson (Judges 13-16).
In chapter 13, we read of an angel of the Lord visiting the wife of a man named Manoah. This woman had been barren up to that time but was told by the angel that she was about to conceive and give birth to a son, a son consecrated unto God from his mother’s womb. She was told that her son would be a Nazirite, his hair was not to be cut, he was to abstain from wine and strong drink, along with grapes and raisins (Numbers 6). We are then told that she gave birth to this son and named him Samson and he grew up before God.
But when he became a man, Samson began to stray from the path ordained for him by God. And even though one compromise led to another, he never cut his hair, the secret of his incredible strength. Judges 14-16 tell of his exploits. One of Samson’s great weaknesses was his penchant for women. We are told of his exploits with at least three women, the last one being Delilah.
It was under Delilah’s spell that Samson eventually shared the secret of his great strength. After he had borne his soul to Delilah, he fell asleep in her lap and while sleeping his hair was cut. She then cried out to Samson that his Philistine enemies were upon him, he awoke, shook himself as he had many times in the past but was captured. This capture was followed by some of the most tragic words every recorded in scripture, “But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him” (Judges 16:20). Which takes us back to the Puritan warning, “Do not fall asleep in Delilah’s lap.”
Samson’s life began and continued for years under the powerful hand of God. But his continual acts of compromise to God’s call on his life, eroded his spiritual sensibilities to the place that he began to believe that he was invincible in spite of his compromised life. But one day, when he needed his strength the most, it was no longer there. Then, his enemies seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they bound him with bronze chains, and then put him to work turning a millstone, grinding grain in a prison.
The moral of the story is that sin blinds and then it binds. This is true in the lives of individuals; this is true in the life of a church. We have witnessed in the past few years the lives of men and of churches who have at one time known the anointing of God, only to become careless in their living and wake up one day realizing that the power and presence of God has departed (Ichabod, I Samuel 4:21).
Remember the warning of the Puritans, don’t fall asleep in Delilah’s lap.