Key Word:- CONSIDER
Title:- Upon Naked Knees
Judges 16:4,5 Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”
It is rumoured that ‘thousands died upon her naked knees.’ Her real name was in fact Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, and her origin was in Holland rather than Malaya. It was her former husband, a Scotsman in the Dutch colonial army, who had taken her to Malaysia with him. Here she picked up her scant knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances. I say ‘scant’ purposefully; for it was her slow, strip tease, that overshadowed her falseness and filled dance halls and opera houses all over Europe with leering and longing men. This cool courtesan had a long catalogue of lovers, including high ranking army officers of all nationalities. Eventually she was accused by the French of revealing details to the enemy regarding the latest battlefield weapon (the tank) and thus causing the death of thousands of soldiers. This ‘eye of the day’, or as she is better known, ‘Mata Hari’, was executed by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris, today in 1917.
The book of judges contains a catalogue of Israel’s most unusual leaders. Top of my list of ‘You’ve got to be joking’ judges has to be Samson, the skunk of a hunk who single handedly slaughtered the Philistines. Sorek, so named after that particularly dusky red grape grown there, was both Samson’s battle field and playing field. Samson had lots of problems and all of them were women, but it was a delicious and delicate, dusky red lipped Delilah, who became the denizen of his delightful downfall. Now, Mata Hari may have passed on her pillow talk to the enemy but remember, it was high ranking officers that willingly laid their head upon her pillow. So with Samson. Delilah may have been the final temptation but the problem lay totally with him. There are several things of note here in this history.
Firstly, that we are openly confounded as to whom God uses as His instrument of deliverance and leadership! God’s choices are not our choices that’s for sure. Unusual times have always called for most unusual people. I mean Samson, for goodness sake! However, don’t be surprised at who God uses.
Secondly, that God uses imperfect people. Samson had problems that would have kept him in therapy for years! Be honest though friends, that statement must go for every single character we find in the Bible! God’s greatest friends, God's greatest weapons, are often the most imperfect of people. Don’t be surprised at who God uses.
Thirdly, note that Samson’s ‘gifting’ of supernatural strength, took him to the heights, but his sin of self gratification took him and almost destroyed him in the depths. It would appear that there is always some frailty that accompanies greatness. Yet it doesn’t stop God using a person. I tell you, don’t be surprised at who God uses.
Samson had a self gratification problem that manifested itself in particular with women. It’s not a new problem, as every latest leadership scandal clearly shows us. Maybe the greatest lesson we can learn from the Book of Judges regarding supermen like Samson, is to beware of the rise of the same self justifying, self satisfaction, that led to his personal downfall and shame.
Counsellors of fallen leaders will no doubt tell you, that this is the same manifest problem that led to the demise of those they are now attempting to restore! Don’t get too silly about Samson; his problem is writ large in scripture for a very good reason. The justifying of sin is also all of our root problem, and thousands die upon the naked knees of seductive, self satisfaction every single day.
Listen:- “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” Luke 9:23-25
Pray: - Lord, forgive me for falling for my own destructive Delilah, whatever it may be, that delivers me to the enemy and blinds my eyes to You. Lord may the access of sinful self to my spiritual house begin to cause a most terrible stench in the depths of my being, that I might be delivered from self satisfying, self justifying sin. Make me stink O God. Make me stink, in Jesus name I pray, amen.