Samson And Delilah
Someone was watching Cecil B. DeMille's 1950 Block Buster and I got a glimpse of a moment of it. It was where the King of the Philistines granted Samson the right to marry Delilah-played by, for my money, the most seductive woman in the world at the time-breathtaking Hedy Lemarr. According to the movie, Delilah loved Samson, but Samson wanted Delilah's older sister played by young and lovely Angela Lansbury.
I know Scripture doesn't read quite like that and I have seen the movie many years ago. The movie was made in 1949 and Samson and Delilah lived in about 1000 B.C. But in response to Samson's choice, I said out loud, "Are you nuts?" Everyone started laughing.
I later thought about the movie's interpretation of the Scripture story, and that is the way God would work. It has got His Fingerprints all over it.
I would go straight forward, let me marry Delilah-Hedy Lemarr and live happily ever after. But something much much bigger was unfolding.
The Jewish people had been in bondage to the Philistines for about 40 years and God promised a deliverer. Up rises Samson, the strongest man and the most vicious fighter in the world. Only problem is he loves Philistine women. He's preoccupied with them.
The Philistine King gives Samson the right to marry Delilah's older sister and on their wedding day, Samson tells the Philistine Warriors, their wedding guests, a riddle. A bet of 30 garments- the number of guests, is made. Delilah loves Samson and can't bear the thought of her sister having him, so she secretly gets one of the Philistine Warriors to get her older sister to get the answer from Samson. Samson tells his bride to be, the answer, and she tells the Philistine Warriors, they answer the riddle and Samson goes off the deep end.
He goes out and robs 30 travelers of their garments, takes them back to the Philistines, but the bride to be's father has already given her to a Philistine. Samson ends up killing most of the Philistines, his former bride to be, is killed in the ensueing battle and Samson is now a wanted man.
Delilah marries the Philistine King. The entire Philistine Kingdom is living in fear of a raging Samson. No one can stop him because of his great strength and power. Delilah volunteers to get the secret of Samson's great strength for a price. The Kingdom Princes eagerly agree, so the King has to let her go.
She takes some servants and a Royal Tent and sets up in Jewish country and begins a romance with Samson. Samson is enchanted by her beauty and overpowering seductiveness. He tells her his secret-his strength is from the Lord as long as he does not cut his hair.
Delilah loves Samson more than life itself and she tries to get him to go to Egypt with her. A young Jewish woman who also loves Samson, convinces Samson to return to his people. Delilah gets Samson to drink wine with her one more time-this time she drugs him and cuts his hair.
In her agreement with the Philistine Princes, no knife can touch his skin and not one drop of his blood may be spilled. So when she turns Samson in with short hair, the Princes blind Samson with heat of a red hot poker. Samson is now blind for life.
When Delilah finds out, her reason for living is gone and she cries out to Samson's God.
Samson is put in chains and made to push the concrete wheel that grinds the grain...Samson prays...continually.
A season has passed. The Phlistines are going to pay tribute to Dagon in the temple for a great harvest and Samson is going to be put on display to show Dagon's power over Jehovah. Delilah goes to Samson. Samson raises Delilah over his head, he is going to kill her. She told him to go ahead, she would not cry out. Samson can not. He still loves Delilah. But in the process, he breaks his chains; his strength has returned. He tells Delilah what he wants her to do when they put him on display in the temple, she agrees.
That afternoon in the temple, they put Samson on display. Delilah leaves the King's side and pretends to whip Samson with the whip. Then, with Samson holding the end of the whip, she leads him to the pillars holding up the temple. He tells her to leave the temple. She pretends to, she stays silient, but she cannot. She loves Samson so much, she wants to die with him.
Samson with his great strength, pushes the pillars out that are holding up the temple and it comes down...killing the King, the Princes and most of the Warriors, along with both Samson and Delilah. Isreal is free from Philistine bondage and Samson and Delilah are united in death.
That is the way God works. No battles, no victories; no rewards. Little battles, little victories; little rewards. Big battles, big victories; big rewards.
If I had it my way, Samson and Delilah would have got together right from the start and lived a good life; end of story. No one would have heard of them because they wouldn't have had any trouble and would have accomplished nothing.
Here we are, 3000 years later, reading one of the greatest melodramatic love stories of all time. Let God finish your ending...
Have a nice day.