Saturday, February 14, 2015

True and False Conversion: Wheelbarrow Christians, Bitter Backsliders, and Inoculated Infidels

True and False Conversion:
Wheelbarrow Christians, Bitter Backsliders, and Inoculated Infidels

            One of my biggest concerns when speaking to youth, whether in large settings like this, Sunday school or small groups, or even in one on one conversations, is the importance of owning your own faith. There will come a time when you move out of your parents’ house, go to college, or strike out on your own, and you may be separated from whatever it is that kept you going strong in the church. If you have a really cool pastor, and you love going to church where he is, what will happen to your faith when he moves on to a different ministry? Will your faith crumble? Or let’s say your dad is the deacon at the church and every time the church doors are open, you and the rest of the family are there. What happens when you go off to college and your dad isn’t there to make sure you go? Or maybe you go to church because you like the other people who go to church. What happens when they drop out? Will you drop out too? If you have a genuine faith of your own, you will not need to rely on others to keep you going.
            “People who need people to walk with God, don’t walk with God. They walk with people.” Emeal Zwayne.
            Today we are going to talk about two things: 1) Wheelbarrow Christians; and 2) True and False Conversion.

Wheelbarrow Christians:
            If you have your Bibles turn to 2nd Chronicles 24. I’m going to read three verses in 2nd Kings 11 as well but the majority of the text will be in Chronicles. This passage is long and can be confusing because of all of the weird names. Let’s do a quick intro in this section introducing the key players involved.
 -Joash: Joash is the king. When he was 1, his father died and his power hungry grandmother killed all of his relatives to secure her position as queen. Fortunately, Joash’s nurse hid him and he was raised in the temple by the high preist. When he was 7 years old, he was revealed to be alive, and his grandmother was forcefully removed from the throne and killed.
Athaliah: Joash’s ruthless grandmother.
 Jehoiada: High priest and spiritual mentor to the king. He raised Joash from when he was 1 year old, and was basically like a father to him.
 Zechariah: A prophet and the son of Jehoiada. He would have been raised like a brother to Joash.

2nd Kings 11:1-3
Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
 [There was a coup; Joash was revealed to be alive and the rightful heir to the throne, Athaliah was killed]
2nd Chron 24:1-22
 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.After this Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. And he gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you act quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly. So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the congregation of Israel for the tent of testimony?” For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also used all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. And proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. 10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished. 11 And whenever the chest was brought to the king's officers by the Levites, when they saw that there was much money in it, the king's secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and take it and return it to its place. Thus they did day after day, and collected money in abundance. 12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who had charge of the work of the house of the Lord, and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13 So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it. 14 And when they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made utensils for the house of the Lord, both for the service and for the burnt offerings, and dishes for incense and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada.15 But Jehoiada grew old and full of days, and died. He was 130 years old at his death. 16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house.17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. 18 And they abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. 19 Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord. These testified against them, but they would not pay attention.20 Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’” 21 But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”

Questions: Let’s break this passage down.
            1) What’s the deal with the taxes and the temple being rebuilt? Why is this important?
                        -Today we might judge the success of a president by asking, “Did he keep the country safe? What was the unemployment rate? What was the general well-being of the people he governed?” At that time a king was judged by protection from foreign countries, the upkeep of the temple, and the continuing of religious services.
                        -The previous kings, in their disinterest in God, had let the temple fall into disrepair, even taking the gold out of it for their own purposes. The temple was the one place where God said he would dwell. A king could show his piety and devotion to God by how he took care of the temple. In the beginning of this passage, Joash is very zealous about taking care of the temple, even reprimanding those who were taking money to fix the temple but weren’t doing what they were supposed to do.

            Here we have a textbook example of a “Wheelbarrow Christian.” A Wheelbarrow Christian is a person who claims to be a Christian, but in all reality, they aren’t going anywhere unless someone comes along, picks them up, and takes them there. I’m not talking about a temporary lack of transportation. As a youth pastor, I have done my fair share of picking people up for church and other events. I’m talking about someone who does not have a genuine faith. They do not own their own faith. They are more than happy tagging along as long as they want to, but have no motivation, will, or desire to do anything on their own.
            Joash’s spiritual life was going along really well with Jehoiada as his spiritual mentor, running around, picking him up, and toting him places, until the unthinkable happens in verse 15. Jehoiada had the audacity to die at the youthful age of 130. (I wonder if Jehoiada ever got tired of hauling not only his own spiritual burdens, but picking up Joash and carrying him everywhere too.)
            A wheelbarrow will stay in pretty good shape as long as it gets moved every once in a while. Unfortunately, when the only person picking up Joash and moving him around died, it was like he was left out in the rain and got all rusted out. Because Joash didn’t own his own faith, when Jehoiada died, so did his interest in God. Verse 18 says he abandoned the temple, he had so zealously worked to repair, and began leading the country into worshiping idols. Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah in a manner fitting of a prophet says in verse 20, “Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.”
            Joash, in the depths of his depravity, rather than humbly admitting his guilt and repenting of his sins, he chose to kill the son of his spiritual mentor, someone who was raised like a brother to him.
            Which leads us to our second topic:
True and False Conversion:
            The term “Wheelbarrow Christian” is really a misnomer. Who can tell me what a misnomer is? It’s a wrong description of something, or the wrong name. In this case, I would have a hard time calling a wheelbarrow Christian a Christian at all. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a cheeseburger.
            A Christian is someone who has had a life changing experience with Jesus Christ, repented (or turned away) from their sins, and have trusted Jesus for their salvation like they would trust a parachute before jumping out of an airplane. In short, they own their own faith. They have a meaningful relationship with God and there is nothing they won’t do for Him.
            A wheelbarrow is just the opposite. They are totally reliant on another person to assist them. Their get up and go has got up and left. If they don’t get picked up, they aren’t going anywhere. They are what I call a False Convert.
            False converts come in a variety of different types, but usually stem from either a misunderstanding of the gospel, or a watered down version of the gospel. Many times people will present the gospel as a way to solve all of your problems, and then you can lead a rich and fulfilling life. This is what I call:
Your Best Life Now False Convert
The problem is that it is simply not true. Imagine a man getting on an airplane. When they reach cruising altitude the stewardess walks up to him, hands him a parachute, and whispers in his ear, “Put this on. It will help you enjoy the flight.” The man doesn’t understand how it would help him enjoy the flight but he does it anyways. After putting it on he realizes that it is bulky, heavy, and he can’t even sit back comfortably in his chair. A few minutes into the flight he notices that not only is he the only one wearing a parachute, but the other passengers are pointing and laughing at him. The parachute only gets heavier as time goes on. A few more minutes pass by and the stewardess comes around and spills hot coffee on his lap. The man jumps up, clearly agitated, takes off the parachute and throws it in the aisle. He screams at the stewardess and swears he’ll never put on another parachute again, and probably won’t.
            Now imagine the same scenario. A man gets on an airplane and finds his seat. As they reach cruising altitude the stewardess hands him a parachute, and whispers in his ear, “Put this on. The second engine just blew. In a few minutes we’ll be jumping from 20,000 feet.” The man quickly puts it on. He realizes it is bulky but doesn’t mind the weight. He doesn’t care that he can’t sit up straight. He sees that the other passengers are making fun of him but it doesn’t bother him. When the coffee gets spilled in his lap, it makes him uncomfortable, but all he is thinking about is at any moment he may have to jump out of that airplane. Would he ever take off the parachute and throw it on the ground? No, never. Why? Because it’s not about being comfortable. It’s about being saved when the airplane inevitably fails.  
            A second type of false convert is the:
Easy Believism
            Easy Believism is a watered down version of the gospel and can be spotted when someone uses phrases like “all you have to do is: (repeat after me), or (say this prayer).”
            I used to run a lot of Track and Cross Country. Both sports are very simple. Ridiculously simple: “Start here. Run to there. First one there wins.” Simple, yes. Easy, no.
            The gospel is simple. Anyone can understand it. But it is not easy.

Dangers of False Conversion:
            There are tremendous dangers in a false conversion. First and foremost is the danger of hell. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. To me, this is the scariest passage in the entire Bible because this means there will be people who think they’re going to heaven when they die, but are actually going to hell. All because they never had a true conversion.
            The second danger is the false converts become bitter and inoculated. What does inoculated mean? When you get vaccinated, the doctor actually injects a weak or dead form of the disease that they are actually trying to prevent inside of you. You may feel the effects of the vaccine for a short time, but your chances of ever getting the disease are extremely low. Remember the first passenger that put on the parachute? He was promised that it would make his flight more enjoyable. When the parachute did not live up to his expectations, he threw it off, became bitter, and swore he’d never put it on again. Some people are told that becoming a Christian will make their lives more enjoyable. When it fails to live up to that promise, they cast their faith away, become bitter, and swear never to try anything like that again. Which makes it that much harder for someone to share the gospel with them again.

True Conversion:
            So what must we do to make sure that we have a true conversion, and go to heaven when we die?
            The Bible actually says there are two ways to get to heaven.
1) Keep the Ten Commandments perfectly from the time you were born until the time that you die. It’s hard for us to understand just how perfect, holy, and just God is, but one failing, misstep, or sin in our entire lives would keep us from heaven. Imagine you have a five gallon bucket of your favorite ice cream in the world. Now imagine another five gallon bucket filled with human waste. You can scoop all the ice cream you want into that second bucket and it wouldn’t change what it is, but if you take one spec of poop and put it in the ice cream, it’s ruined. Our sin is the spec of poop in God’s ice cream.
            So let’s look at some of the Ten Commandments and see if we’re putting any poop in God’s ice cream.
            1. Have you ever told a lie? What do you call someone who has told a lie? How many lies do you have to tell to be a liar? That’s the 9th commandment. Now imagine how many lies you have told in the course of your life. Probably a lot. The Bible says that “All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.” (Revelation 21:8)
            2. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of value?  Downloaded music illegally? Watched a movie online? Cut in front of someone in line? That’s stealing someone’s time. What do you call someone that steals? That’s the 8th commandment.
            3. Have you ever used God’s name in vain? That’s called blasphemy. Instead of using a cuss word to express anger you used God’s name. A Muslim would never do that. That’s the third commandment and it’s very serious.
            4. Jesus said, “You have heard it said, ‘You should not commit adultery’ but I tell you whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery in his heart.” Have you ever look at someone and had sexual thoughts about him or her? That’s the 7th commandment. When Jesus preached this in the Sermon on the Mount, he was letting His listeners know that not only their actions, but their thoughts would one day be judged by God. The God who created your brain has access to your thoughts. Imagine if we put a microchip in your brain that recorded every thought you had for one week. After that week, we took the chip out, and broadcast it on the screen for everyone to see. How would you all do? Would you be proud or humiliated? What would your friends think of you? Your parents? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Would you ever show up in public again?
            5. Jesus also said that if you are angry with someone without cause you are guilty of murder. Have you ever been really angry with someone? That’s the sixth commandment.
            So, how did we do? Just looking at five of the Ten Commandments we’ve discovered we’re lying, thieving, blasphemous, aldulterers, and murderers at heart. That’s a lot of poop in God’s ice cream. Fortunately, the gospel means Good News for a reason. If the story stopped there we all would be going to hell. Who can tell me what Jesus did 2,000 years ago so we wouldn’t have to go to hell?
2.) Jesus died on the cross, taking all of the punishment we deserved on Himself, so we could go free. This was a free gift from God. All we have to do to accept it is repent of our sins (or turn our backs on our sins), and trust in Jesus for our salvation as we would trust in a parachute before jumping out of an airplane.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bad Girls of the Bible: Delilah

Bad Girls of the Bible: Delilah
Judges 16:1-30

Bad Girls:       Bad to the Bone- Not a single kind word was ever spoken about them in scripture; a pattern of sinning; no evidence of remorse, repentance, or a desire to change; they sinned with gusto. Made in the image of God, so not truly bad to the core—they just behaved that way.
                        Bad for a Moment- Women who made one huge, colossal, life changing blooper that was recorded in scripture to teach everyone else a lesson. Seem to be believers in the one true God at the start but when forced to make a decision, chose disastrously.
                        Bad for a Season, but not Forever- Sins in their past, but were willing to change and be changed.

Intro: Tonight we’re going to be studying Delilah but you can’t understand the depths of Delilah if you don’t have a grasp of her co-star Samson. Samson and Delilah are cats that live in the same house I do, but for those of you who don’t know, they are actually Biblical characters, too. Without getting too in depth, an angel of the LORD appeared to Samson’s mom and dad and proclaimed that they were going to have a son who will be a judge over Israel. A judge at that time was the head honcho over the entire country. He also said that he would be a Nazirite from the womb, and that she should drink no wine or strong drink. A Nazirite was someone who had taken a special vow for a period of time, usually 1-3 months, where they didn’t drink any wine, come into contact with a dead body, or cut their hair, which was the earthly source of Samson’s strength. Samson was different because 1) He didn’t choose to take the vow; 2) The vow was from birth and lasted until death. On a side note, the angel declared that he would be a Nazirite from the womb and that his mother, who was not yet pregnant, could not drink wine. This is a great Bible verse that proves that life begins at conception. Samson, however, was not the greatest example of a Nazirite.
            Samson had super hero strength and mad fighting skills. As a kid I always pictured him as a WWF wrestler because of his huge muscles and long hair. I guess he always seemed like caricature. Now for someone who couldn’t touch dead bodies, he sure made a lot of them. Samson ripped a lion apart with his bare hands on the way to meet his philistine fiancĂ©, and then didn’t tell anybody about it. I would be telling everyone about it. Later when he went back to marry her, he found bees had made a honey comb in the dead lion so he ate some of it. He wasn’t supposed to touch a dead body. After this he challenged the men of the town to a riddle. The men threatened to kill the fiancĂ© and her dad if she didn’t find out the answer to the riddle from Samson. She persuaded him to tell her, Samson lost the bet, and went to another philistine town, and killed thirty men to pay off the bet.
            A little later Samson finds out that his father-in-law gave his wife to the best man at the wedding. In anger he caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together, put a torch between them, and set them loose in the Philistine town’s barley fields. After that he killed a thousand Philistines with a fresh jawbone of a donkey.
            Another time Samson went and visited a Philistine prostitute. The people of the city waited for him by the gate to kill him. When Samson came out he grabbed the entire gate and carried it about 40 miles. Samson could not be defeated by any man.
            It would take a woman.

Judges 16:4 After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
                Delilah was a valley girl. In Arabic Delilah means “flirt.” Delilah’s charm worked on him because it says that Samson loved her. There is no scripture indicating that she ever loved him. But we do know that he loved her because he trusted her and stayed there quite often, unlike the prostitute and his wife, whom he was not even aware that she was given to someone else in marriage. Both of those women were nameless, but Delilah has a name. We don’t know much else about her, though.
            She’s from the Valley of Sorek, which borders Philistia and Israel. We don’t know if she was an Israelite who betrayed her country, or a Philistine who managed to infiltrate their greatest enemy. She had her own house, which was odd for a woman. Was she a widow? Was she rich? If she was rich, why was she enticed by the money? Was she a prostitute? If she was why wasn’t she addressed as such like the prostitute earlier? If she was a prostitute, how did she find time to spend with Samson?
            Delilah must have been quite the looker, because Samson could have had any woman he wanted and he wanted her, even though we see no evidence of charm, wit, compassion, or affection. Samson’s weakness wasn’t his long hair. It was Delilah.   
            Scriptures define Delilah as “woman.” Since then commentators have called her a harlot, a prostitute, low down and mean, the Judas of the Old Testament. A kinder term might simply be, “pawn.”
Judges 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
            Betraying Samson wasn’t Delilah’s idea. One may ask if she chose to be with Samson and was then approached about betraying him, or was she out to betray him the whole time? We will never know this side of heaven, but it’s interesting to think about.
            She must have had a reputation of being able to lure men, as her name “flirt” would suggest. They realized that Samson’s strength was super human and wasn’t just because he worked out, or maintained a healthy diet. They wanted to know what it was.
            It is also worthy to note that the men didn’t appeal to Delilah’s patriotism (again we don’t know her nationality), or her intellect. They waved a lot of cold hard cash in front of her nose. They each were to give her 1,100 shekels of silver. That is 34 pounds of silver each. Times several men. An average man might work all year for 10 shekels.
            Before we condemn Delilah, let’s compare some notes here. On one hand she could stay with a large, hairy, violent and secretive man with a rocky reputation and a history of sleeping around, someone that we don’t even know she loved. Or she could take the money, and stay well fed, and well dressed for the rest of her life.

Judges 16:6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”
            She shot it to him straight. She didn’t water it down or appeal to his male ego, “What makes you so strong big boy?” and even added “So you can be subdued” at the end. The world asks, “How did she say it?” Did she say it teasingly? Brazenly? With a kittenish pout? A playful wink? We don’t know. However she did it, she did it well. Remember Samson has a history of riddles, and his girls getting the answers out of him. This may not have seemed so strange to him. So Samson plays along.
Judges 16:7-16  Samson 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.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now 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.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.” 11 And 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.” 12 So 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.
13 Then 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.” 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web.[a] 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.
15 And 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.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death.
            It’s weird how Delilah is the one who is always accused of deception when she has been nothing but honest; Samson is the one who has been lying. The difference is their intention. He lied for fun. She lied for cash.
            But Delilah was as persistent as her sister, Mrs. Potiphar, in seduction. She never professed love for him but used his love for her as a cattle prod, “You say you love me but….” At this point Delilah was whining. There’s no way to read those words without whining. Whine whine whine whine whine. Ugh. Remember Samson’s wife whined him into revealing his riddle’s answer. By verse 16 Samson had had enough. Scripture even says he was “vexed to death.”

Judges 16:17 And 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.”
            So three times he tells her an answer and three times she has Philistines ready to pounce on him—why would he allow the possibility for a fourth time?

Judges 16:18-21 When 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. 19 She 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. 20 And 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. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
            It’s hard not to compare Delilah and Judas. Both betrayed someone for silver. Judas for thirty pieces of silver, and Delilah for 110 year’s worth of wages times several people worth of silver. It’s not the amount that matters, it’s the sin, treachery, and deceit that matters. I heard a story about a man who asked a woman to have sex with him for a million dollars. She said “yes.” Then he asked her if she would for a dollar. She said, “What kind of person do you think I am?” He replied, “We already know that. Now we’re just haggling over price.”
            The comparing and contrasting of Judas and Delilah will go on, but for now we move ahead.

Judges 16:22-30 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
The Death of Samson
23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” 24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.”[b] 25 And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained.
28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.

            Why did they not shave his head, oh I don’t know, every hour?
            Delilah disappeared from scriptures never to be seen again. What happened to her? Did she take the money and run? Did she live a happy content life? Did she live with regret and remorse like Judas did? What I really want to know is if when they invited everyone in town to mock Samson at the temple if they brought Delilah in as the star of the show, the woman who brought down the strongest man in the world? There is no way to know for sure, but I believe she was there, and I believe she died with him before she could spend a single shekel of silver.
            Judas overcome with remorse returned the thirty pieces of silver and hung himself. I believe both received blood money and both died without experiencing the joy it was supposed to have brought them.
            I like the way Lizz Curtis Higgs finishes up this section, “Maybe Delilah left town long before that disastrous day. Or maybe the last thing she saw before her eyes closed for eternity was the strong hero she’d once brought to his knees, lifting up his eyes to heavens, calling on a God she would never know. Of all Delilah’s shortcomings, this was by far the greatest: not that she was rich in silver, but that she was poor in spirit.”

Application: Delilah was Bad to the Bone because she showed no signs of repentance or remorse, and no good thing was ever recorded about her. Remember Judas, overcome with remorse for betraying Jesus, an innocent man, so much so that he killed himself? There’s a difference in godly sorrow, and worldly sorrow. Paul describes the difference in 2nd Corinthians 7:10. Godly sorrow leads to repentance which leads to salvation. Worldly sorrow leads to death. Judas was sorrowful, but that sorrow should have led him to the foot of the cross where he could have found forgiveness and salvation. Instead he went to another tree and hung himself, separating himself from God for all of eternity.
            Sorrow is good. Remorse is good. We should feel sorrow and remorse for our sin which should lead us to the cross. We are sinners separated from God and in a world of hurt. Sin doesn’t make us bad, sin makes us dead. We don’t need to feel better about ourselves, or need a pep talk. We need forgiveness which can only come from Christ.