A fully updated edition of Spurgeon’s morning and evening devotional The Interpreter using the ESV.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Year One, July 16

Take Care That You Are Not Carried Away With the Error Of Lawless People1
We do not have space to include Samson’s famous triumph at Gaza, where he pulled up the heavy gates to the city and carried them to the top of a hill. Instead, we must come to the unhappy story in which this great man became a victim of his own foolishness; that is, the event that took away his power to judge and protect his countrymen. Delilah was paid to seduce Samson and persuade him to reveal the secret of his great strength.
  
Judges 16:6-20
6So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”
7Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 8Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known. (After this narrow escape, Samson had no excuse to hang around this double-crossing woman. “For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird.”2 But this man was so infatuated3 with Delilah that he plunged right back into the trap he had just escaped from. Sin is madness.)
10Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.” 11And he said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 12So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And the men lying in ambush were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.
A second time betrayed! A second time delivered! Is this not enough to make him run away from the deceiver’s house? Sadly, no. It would be easier to teach a moth to stay away from the flame than to convince someone who is under the influence of sin to stay away from its sparkle and glitter.
13Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 14So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web. And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.
This time he came dangerously near his secret. The whirlpool in which he was surging was sucking him down. Poor Samson!  Who could save you when you were determined to destroy yourself?
15And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.” (Samson’s dedication to the instructions the angel of the Lord gave his parents was his real strength. His uncut hair was the symbol of that dedication. When he gave up his secret, the Lord left him and he received the just reward of his sinful pleasures. He sinned deliberately, and therefore God allowed him to suffer the harm that naturally comes with it.)
18When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. (Bad men and women are always ready sell out the very persons they loudly claim to love. They are never to be trusted.) 19She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him. (We cannot hope to succeed if God is not with us. We may have been brave and powerful in the past, but if the Lord leaves us we will fail and the devil will have the victory. What a warning this unhappy story presents to us. May the infinite mercy of God allow us to truly learn from it.)
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1 2 Peter 3:17
2 Proverbs 1:17
3 infatuated - Head over heels in love with, lovesick for, attracted to, smitten with, crazy about, enchanted by.

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