The Bible has its own scissor story. I’m sure you know which one I’m referring to! We are introduced to the story in Judges 13:1-3 with the appearance of “The Angel of the Lord” visiting the “wife of Manoah” a woman who is barren. The angel brings surprising news. Mrs. Manoah is about to conceive a son and he will be dedicated to the service of the Lord. The Bible briefly mentions Samson’s birth and his upbringing (v. 24) and heads right into his adulthood where one would expect then to see a young man seeking after God’s will and leading the people in a righteous manner. But Samson is anything but that!
We learn in 13:5 that Samson was to be a “Nazirite” to God. Nazarites are first mentioned in Num. 6:1-21 as a person who undertook a special vow to be “separated for the Lord”. During the timeframe of the vow that person was not to cut their hair, touch a dead body, drink any fermented beverages or consume any product from the grapevine. Most vows of this nature were for a limited time but the angel tells Mrs. Manoah to abstain from these as well because Samson was to be a Nazirite “from birth” (Jud. 13:4). However it seems that Samson never took his dedication seriously. We see this in the impulsive and over the top way he lives (Jud. 14:8-14; 15:4-5, 14-16; 16:1-3). But Samson’s greatest mistake and downfall was his relationship with Delilah (Jud. 16:1-22) which resulted in the world’s most infamous scissor story.
While Samson’s choices and behavior were highly questionable, Scripture makes it clear that many times his behavior became a catalyst for God’s judgment on the Philistines who were oppressing the Israelites (Jud. 13:4, 6, 19; 15: 14-20; 16:28-31). God did not condone Samson’s behavior nor tell him to do these actions. Things like mixed marriage were forbidden (Dt. 7:3) because sooner or later one value system and faith will override the other (Solomon is another great example of this principle- 1Ki. 11:4) and Samson’s first marriage certainly was the beginning of his undoing . God did not force Samson into his ill-conceived decisions but even though they were not right, God was still able to accomplish His will in spite of the lack of wisdom in Samson. Thankfully God can work through even our worst mistakes!
But why compromise? Why do we insist on following a path we know is wrong when there is a better choice? One author wrote, “Even with the blessings of God in his life, Samson gave in to his own physical desires. His life was ultimately ruined because of his insistence upon having whatever he wanted”. Ironically what Samson wanted was often due to what he SAW at the time (mostly women!) and the first thing the Philistines did to him was gouge out his eyes. But Samson’s blindness finally got him to see what the Lord wanted for him and in the end he repented and literally gave his life to vindicate God before his pagan captors. This act earned him recognition as a man of faith in Heb. 11:32 in spite of the reckless life he lived beforehand. Thankfully when we suffer the consequences of our ill-conceived choices, God can use them to shape and mold us into a better witness for Him (Heb. 12:9-11).
Jesus warned against succumbing to compromise (Mt. 5:27-30) saying that even if one body part causes even the slightest hint of sin one should destroy it. Was He really advocating mutilation? No, of course not, but His use of hyperbole shows us that compromise sneaks up so quietly and stealthly that drastic measures have to be taken to get rid of it and it’s not surprising He uses the two senses which were Samson’s downfall. If you and I think we are above that, we should think again! Do we compromise in the area of entertainment? I think we do. Do we take care of our needs first and then give what’s left of our time to the Lord? I think we do. It’s easy to compromise. It’s not easy to “clean house” after the effects of that compromise have taken their toll. So when you’re tempted to compromise this week, ask yourself if you’re about to pick up a pair of scissors for “just a little trim”.
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
https://www.annhlefevre.com; Olivetreeann@mail.com; https://www.linkedin.com/in/annhlefevre; https://www.facebook.com/ann.h.lefevre