The secret of Samson's strength
Samson sins again through
his intercourse with "the daughter of a strange god";
he connects himself again with women of the Philistines,
amongst whom his father's house and the tribe of Dan were
placed. But he retains his strength until the influence
of these connections becomes so great that he reveals the
secret of his strength in God. His heart, far from God,
places that confidence in a Philistine which should have
existed only between his soul and God (chap. 16).
To possess and keep a
secret proves intimacy with a friend. But the secret of
God, the possession of His confidence, is the highest of
all privileges. To betray it to a stranger, be he who he
may, is to despise the precious position in which His
grace has placed us; it is to lose it. What have the
enemies of God to do with the secret of God? It was thus
that Samson gave himself up to his enemies. All attempts
were powerless against him so long as he maintained his
Nazariteship. This separation once lost, although Samson
was apparently as strong, and his exterior as goodly as
before, yet Jehovah was no longer with him. "I will
go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he
wist not that Jehovah was departed from him."
Samson's folly and
We can scarcely imagine a
greater folly than that of confiding his secret to
Delilah, after having so many times been seized by the
Philistines at the moment she awoke him. And thus it is
with the assembly: when it yields itself to the world, it
loses all its wisdom, even that which is common to man.
Poor Samson! his strength may be restored, but he has
lost his sight for ever.
But who has ever hardened
himself against the Lord, and prospered? Job 9: 4.
judgment of the world
The Philistines ascribe
their success to their false god. God remembers His own
glory, and His poor servant humbled under the
chastisement of his sin. The Philistines assemble to
enjoy their victory and glorify their false gods. But
Jehovah had His eye on all this. In his humiliation, the
thought of the Lord had more power over the heart of
Samson; his Nazariteship was regaining strength. He makes
his touching appeal to God. Who would fear a blind and
afflicted prisoner? but who amongst this world knows the
secret of Jehovah? A slave and for ever deprived of sight,
his condition affords an opportunity, which his strength
had not been able to obtain, before his unfaithfulness
deprived him of it. But he is blind and enslaved, and he
must perish himself in the judgment which he brings upon
the impiety of his enemies. He had identified himself
with the world by hearkening to it, and he must share the
judgment which falls upon the world .
If the unfaithfulness of
the assembly has given the world power over it, the world
has on the other hand assailed the rights of God by
corrupting the assembly, and therefore brings down
judgment upon itself at the moment of its greatest
triumph: a judgment which, if it puts an end to the
existence, as well as to the misery of the Nazarite,
destroys at the same time in one common ruin the whole
glory of the world.
In the details of prophecy
this applies to the closing history of the Jewish people . Only there the remnant is
preserved, to be established on a new base for the
accomplishment of the purposes of God.
 There was
something of this, though in a very different form and
manner, in Jonathan. His faith was not perfect. He held
the world with one hand and David with the other, though
the excuse of natural relationship might be there.
 As to the
professing church it is somewhat different, because the
saints are taken away to glory, and the rest, being
apostate, are judged; but the fact of judgment on the
world is identical.