One of the most frightening verses in the Bible to me is Judges 16:20. Samson was a judge of Israel and probably the strongest man who ever lived. He was given supernatural strength at times in his life and was used by God to fight the Philistines. We all know how Delilah tricked him into telling the secret of his strength. When she had his hair cut off while he was sleeping, she let Philistines in the house to capture him. Verse 20 says, “Then she shouted, ‘Samson! The Philistines are coming!’ He woke up, thought, ‘I’ll get loose and go free, as always.’ He did not know (realize) that the Lord had left him.”
The first thing that stood out to me is that the enemy is coming. There’s not a time as a believer that the enemy is not coming for us. He is always behind the scenes trying to get to the source of our strength. He knows that if he can get to our source, he can cause us to fall. Like Samson, he wants to bind us up and blind us spiritually. The enemy desires to make each one of us as ineffective as possible. We must stand guard against him. I Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
The next thing I saw is that Samson became complacent with the gifts God had given him. He assumed that what had always worked in the past would work in the future. He felt like he was above sin. He thought he could play with fire and not get burned because he had always gotten away with it. Numbers 32:23 says, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Just because you’ve sinned and haven’t had major consequences in the past doesn’t mean you won’t get them in the future. Don’t become so complacent with sin that you think God will always overlook it.
The last thing that frightens me is that he didn’t even realize that God had left him. Since he was a young boy, the Lord’s spirit had been with him. It had become normal for him to experience it. For some reason, he forgot that his strength was supernatural and thought it was his own. He relied less on God’s presence and more on his own wisdom. When we do that, we push God’s presence out if our lives. God expects us to get our spiritual strength from him and to not rely on our works to save us. In II Corinthians 12:9, God reminded Paul that it wasn’t about him. He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
Samson’s biggest problem was assumption. He assumed that he would always be able to defeat the enemy and that it was his strength and not God’s. His assumptions caused him to lose the power of God in his life. When he repented, God was able to use him one more time to defeat the Philistines. He finally learned that it wasn’t about his ability, but God’s. He remembered that his strength came from God and not from within. When we do that, we can be prepared for any attack the enemy brings and defeat him in the strength of the Lord.