I’ve read the account of Delilah’s deception of Samson dozens of times, but this is the first time I realized that although we, the reader, know that am ambush was waiting in the inner room each time she bound him and called out, “The Philistines are upon you,” Samson did not. We see the whole picture and think, “How could he keep falling for this deception?” But we don’t see in the text that Samson actually saw they were waiting for him, it seemed like a game she was playing. If anything, the fact that each time he broke free may have made him more trusting rather than less trusting.
We fall prey in much the same way. Sin entices once, and we succumb, but slip away unscathed, or so we believe. A second time we nibble at forbidden fruit, with no ill-effect, we think. We come back time and again, bolder each time, more secure in our belief that we are invincible, that our dabbling in things we know to be sin will not be found out.
But then comes the harvest of our pride and arrogance.
Another principle of sowing and reaping that Pastor J.D. shared last weekend is that the harvest comes later than the planting. It is not immediate. If you plant a seed, you may wait months to eat the fruit. Whether you are sowing to the Spirit in godly activities that feed your soul and build you up in Christ, or deadly sin, the results take time to see.
In Samson’s case, his sowing began with disregarding the calling God had given him. Instead of honoring the covenant, he treated it with disdain, violating it for a handful of honey. With each choice to ignore the command of the Lord, he planted more and more seeds of his own fall. The fruit of heartbreak, suffering, and death flourished as a result. Though his final moments show him turning to the Lord, begging for the gift that God had freely given him and he had squandered, his life is a cautionary tale. Not because we have miraculous strength, but because we are all prone to the same mistakes he made in treating with contempt the blessings of God, neglecting His calling in our life, and assuming the final result based on the immediate effect.
What are you planting? What do you think the harvest will bring?