Archive for the ‘Judges 17’ Category

The Costliness of Sin

I couldn’t help but be reminded of yesterday’s 1,100 pieces of silver (16:5) when I read today’s chapter, Judges 17. I almost wondered if a Philistine woman who once lived in the Valley of Sorek might have migrated a little north to the region of Ephraim.

I can easily picture Delilah and her 1,100 pieces of silver being chased out of town after her boyfriend killed a pagan temple full of men and women (3,000 all said and done)!

So let’s just assume that the “mother” with 1,100 silver shekels in today’s chapter is the Delilah of yesterday’s chapter who received 1,100 pieces for her betrayal of Samson. Now isn’t that convicting?!

One notable positive about Samson is that we never read of him engaging in idolatry. As unpredictable as he was in his behavior, he always seems to be calling on the Lord and acknowledging Him in all his ways (even if those way were questionable).

But he did have a besetting sin of improper relationships with women (interesting to trace the three mentioned in the chapters about Samson). And the last woman he was with, Delilah, betrayed him for the silver.

And she, being a Philistine, gave sacrifices to Dagon (16:23).

And she, being loved by a faith-filled Israelite (hey, that’s not my assessment, that’s God’s [Hebrews 11:32]), had knowledge of the Lord Jehovah.

So, in chapter 17 we see confusion! Absolute religious confusion in the tribe of Dan and Ephraim. And I have a sneaky suspicion, it will infect the whole nation of Israel before this book is over.

And it all started with a beautiful woman catching a man’s fancy.
A man’s fancy not being held in check.
A man overestimating his own strength and
underestimating the power his sins had over him.

And though Samson is not mentioned in the same breath as idolatry, his behavior leads directly to it. It creates the religious chaos we discover in chapter 17.

Oh, the confusion there must be to ask the Lord Himself to bless the very objects (silver) that will be made into a craven image (disobeying the first and most important commandment)!

Lord Jesus, I pray keep me from engaging in behaviors that are pleasant to me, but may end up causing chaos and confusion in the lives of others. Help me to live a focused and honoring life for You. And if Lord God, I should ever ask You to bless the very thing that grieves You, please set me straight rather than letting it go through to seeming success.

Just as a side note, you can see where the Philistines lived along the Great Sea (Mediterranean). Samson was from the tribe of Dan, and during his time (they move way north later on) that tribe lived at the top portion of the Philistine’s land. Ephraim is the next tribe over and that is where we find ourselves in today’s chapter. Not hard to imagine Delilah having to move on after her boyfriend killed more Philistines in his death than he did in his life!


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