Acts 21:1-36; Judges 16; Psalm 42
“If you loved me, you wouldn’t ask.” We teach girls to say things like that to boys who try to take advantage of their love in bad ways. In truth, it’s a question that can be asked any time someone seeks to lead us astray. It’s a question that might have served Samson well. Samson was not the sharpest tack in the box and he kept falling in love with women from the oppressive Philistines. He was a thorn in the side of the Philistines and they worked any way they could to capture him. Many died in the process because Samson, while not too bright, was strong. He could have made any NFL team today without using PEDs! So, the Philistine leaders found Samson’s last squeeze, Delilah, and coerced her to find the source of his strength. “So Delilah said to Samson, ‘Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.’” (Judges 16:6) Samson delayed her the first three times she asked this question with lies, and then finally told her the truth that the secret was in his hair. You can guess the rest of the story if you don’t know it. But here’s the lesson: if someone nags you to do wrong, to find ways to break up your relationship with God, or even to do something that makes your witness as a follower of Christ less effective – run. Yes, God can work in any situation and in His grace Samson’s hair grew so that he could end his life with a bang, but why would anyone tell another person their greatest weakness. Imagine answering the question: “How can I tempt you to leave your faith?” Don’t answer – just run. While the question is usually more subtle, we face it every day.
Lord, it’s so easy to be tempted by the allure of this world. I give in to those temptations so slowly that I don’t realize how far away from You I’m moving. Give me the strength to resist any and all temptations and to keep my eyes on You.