"Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute. He went to her. The news got
around: 'Samson's here.' They gathered around in hiding, waiting all
night for him at the city gate, quiet as mice, thinking, 'At sunrise
we'll kill him.'
Samson was in bed with the woman until midnight. Then he got up, seized the doors of the city gate and the two gateposts, bolts and all, hefted them on his shoulder, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron .
Some time later he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek (Grapes). Her name was Delilah. The Philistine tyrants approached her and said, 'Seduce him. Discover what's behind his great strength and how we can tie him up and humble him. Each man's company will give you a hundred shekels of silver.'
So Delilah said to Samson, 'Tell me, dear, the secret of your great strength, and how you can be tied up and humbled.'---Judges 16:1-6
I know I've said it before, but if there was ever a chapter that needed to be sent to each and every man that you know and love (whether single, married, divorced or widowed), I promise you that, aside from all others, it would be this one. Other than the story of David and Bathsheba, I can't recall a greater tale of what can happen when you bond yourself to a woman that God did not give to you (anyone who is not your wife). But I'm getting ahead of myself so let's start at the beginning.
If you don't catch anything else about this story (although I pray that you do), catch this:
When God says that his mercies (compassionate treatment; a disposition to be kind and forgiving ) are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24), he means it.
When God says that there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1), he means it.
When God says that when we are tempted, he will provide a way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13 ), he means it.
And when God says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), he means it.
One of the greatest tricks of the Enemy is one that, more often than not, goes totally undetected and that is the spiritual world's concept of time. It's simply not the same as ours. 2 Peter 3:8 reminds us that with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day. Many of us will prayerfully be blessed to see 75 of that 1,000 while on this planet and so you can see why our lives are as but a blip on the map of destiny.
Now, there are two ways you can take this fact. Either you can say, "Shoot, since my time is so limited, I might as well kick it as hard as I can" or "Since my time is so limited, I might as well make the absolute most of it."
Recently, I had the very fortunate opportunity to go to a "Celebration of Life" party for a spiritual mother of mine. One of the things that stood out to me (and there was a lot), was a personal narrative that her spiritual mom wrote for her. It was unbelievably eloquent and too intricately detailed to even paraphrase; however, one of the parts that I filed in my mental rolodex was the fact that before the beginnings of the Earth, God knew everything about Janice (my spiritual mom) and her purpose for even being here. Of all of the sperm and eggs that could have been linked throughout history, God allowed a very detailed chart of people to bond----the only ones who could've ultimately produced her.
With that said, how dare we treat any day of our lives as if we should just be "kickin' it". The truth is that in all of our worlds, every time a man has sex with a woman, millions of sperm are fighting and struggling to get to that one egg…and when God allows that union to happen, immediately purpose takes place.
We are all a living testament to that battle and yet here we are wasting time (on average 75 years) on things that are so insignificant: television, adult entertainment-related web surfing, gossiping, arguing, drinking, smoking, drug dealing, fame and fortune obsessing, lusting and fornicating, envying, outward appearance judging, whining and complaining, self-abusing, lying, manipulating…oh, I could go on and on. How ungrateful we all are. Gee, when you look at it from this perspective, you can understand why the wrath of God is approaching (Colossians 3:5-7) and why it is a principle that what you sow, you will reap (Galatians 6:7).
How dare we live our lives as if they are our own.
How dare we consciously place ourselves into positions that put us in harm's way (and whenever we sin, we are doing just that).
And, when God does extend his grace and mercy, how dare we take it for granted.
One of my favorite quotes is by an American Theologian by the name of Tyron Edwards: " Hell is truth seen too late----a duty neglected in its season ." Sadly, the Enemy wants us so focused on hell being later, that we don't even realize that our disobedience is giving us a taste of what's to come even now.
Which leads us to Samson.
Now remember in the previous chapter, he had gone through some of his own "hell" already by letting his eyesight rather than his vision choose his first wife. As a result, he came to resent her, which caused her to move on (to his best man no less) and ultimately lose her life.
In 2004, I penned an autobiography (Inside of Me) and in the second chapter, I wrote, " If there is anything that I can warn a rookie in the game of lust, it's that, like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, someone who wants to sleep with you will be patient. They will converse, and if necessary, charm you long enough that you begin to believe that having sex with them is the right thing to do even if it's under the wrong circumstances ." If fornication, adultery, pornography, masturbation or any of the like aren't strongholds for you, don't worry. You can substitute "sin" for "sex" in this paragraph and the statement still applies to you in a very personal way.
In the Enemy's world of time---again because it is not like ours because we are made of flesh and he is a spirit----the fact that Samson escaped his first marriage seemingly unscathed was not a real issue for him. All he knew was that Samson was a threat to the kingdom and so he wanted him dead. Today would be great, but tomorrow will work too. Just so long as he's gone and his mission is aborted.
As the mother of four aborted children, it gives me greater insight into just how hateful the Enemy really is when it comes to purpose. Here he has women looking at pregnancy termination as a "suitable option" for their recklessness when, in reality, those sperm and eggs are no different than the ones that created Janice. Even in the rebellion of pre-marital sex, God had a purpose for every child's life that is snuffed out (over 1,000,000 each year in the US alone).
I know I am speaking to someone who is pregnant through God's permissive will even as I speak and to you I say, "The Enemy is no friend of yours. He hates that you survived and he wants to kill off your legacy. It's not about what man thinks or what you have or don't have. It's about honoring God today. You can't do anything about yesterday other than repent and trust that God remembers your sin no more (Psalm 103:12)." But take it from a sistah who had her last abortion seven years ago this December; the guilt and condemnation are no longer there (which is why I can speak so freely about it), but you will reap what you sow, and you never know when or how your reaping season will come.
Also, remember, when Eve was judged, God cursed her by saying that she would have a difficult labor experience (Genesis 3:16 ). However, when God did that, he also placed within her the power to endure the consequences of her sin. When you choose to abort, God's covering cannot be on that because it is against his will. Don't let the Enemy trick you into believing that you can handle the result of such a decision. It really is a crap shoot (sorry super legalistic people, but the word applies) and remember, the Enemy's objective is not just to see you suffer, but to steal from you and then kill and destroy you (John 10:10).
While we're on this subject, let me say something to the fellas: I recall someone once telling me that he could purchase an entire car with the amount of abortions he has paid for. Shoot, even one of my own babies' daddies once said that he sees nothing wrong with abortion (even now) because it's better that the child be laid to rest than grow up in a broken home. Oh, how we love to rationalize our foolishness and selfishness (I've been there).
Bottom line, if you are someone who is the father of an aborted child or children, repent now to God, the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19), yourself and the mother of that child. As a man, you have been given dominion over the Earth (Genesis 1:26 ) and so therefore you're supposed to be preserving life (speaking against those women who make those clinic appointments). When you co-sign on the death of a child, that is murder and you will be judged. When God said that you had dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth ( 1:28), yes, children are included:
"Now we recognize and know that the Law is good if anyone uses it lawfully [for the purpose for which it was designed], knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers, [for] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnappers, liars, perjurers--and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine."----I Timothy 1:8-10 (AMP)
Some of us are wondering why we are not being "fruitful and multiplying" in our present day gardens and it's because the weeds from our past are choking the life out of plants we are trying to grow and nurture. When you commit a sin, repentance must take place (2 Timothy 2:24 -26), before you can fully move forward or you will find yourself in the Samson cycle. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.
Anyway, I find it to be so interesting that after Samson's first marriage ended, it was some 20 odd years (Judges 15:20) before the next recorded (illicit) sexual encounter took place. Twenty years. To us, that seems like a long time, but again, in the spiritual world---it's nothing. After all, what's the rush? Hell lasts for an eternity.
The Enemy has a great memory; far better than ours. He remembered how weak Samson was in the flesh when it came to the physical beauty of a woman. He also recalled how a woman's coercing had the power to cause Samson to uncover himself. So, yes, even 20 years later, the Enemy used the same formula to try and trap him. Hey, if it ain't broke, why fix it, right?
So, in Judges 16:1, it says that Samson came across a prostitute and her went in to spend a "part of the night" with her (yes, it would appear that there were booty calls even then). When the people of Gaza heard this, they plotted to kill him, deciding that at dawn, they would attack him in her home...hotel room…whatever.
Now, this should have been a warning sign to Samson. Something in the back of his mind should've said, "People are always trying to get something from me and they are always using women to get it." But his lust superceded his common sense, which is precisely what lust is created to do.
Let me just pause here for a moment. Unfortunately, I have more than a few male friends who've admitted to soliciting prostitutes because with them, there are no strings attached. It's a business transaction---you know, "check 'em in and check 'em out". For most men, they agree with the philosophy of Solomon when he says:
"Here's how a prostitute operates: she has sex with her client, takes a bath, then asks, "Who's next?"---Proverbs 30:20
But have you ever noticed what he says directly following that verse?
"Three things are too much for even the earth to bear, yes, four things shake its foundations— when the janitor becomes the boss, when a fool gets rich, when a whore is voted "woman of the year," when a "girlfriend" replaces a faithful wife."---Proverbs 30:21-23
Fellas, if you want to obtain favor (a gracious, friendly, or obliging act that is freely granted ) from the Lord, get a wife (Proverbs 18:22). If you want to curse your life and everything within it, hook up with a whore:
"Your spring water is for you and you only, not to be passed around among strangers. Bless your fresh-flowing fountain! Enjoy the wife you married as a young man! Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose— don't ever quit taking delight in her body. Never take her love for granted! Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore? for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?"---Proverbs 5:17
"They'll protect you from wanton women, from the seductive talk of some temptress. Don't lustfully fantasize on her beauty, nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes. You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread, but a wanton woman may well eat you alive. Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants? Can you walk barefoot on hot coals and not get blisters? It's the same when you have sex with your neighbor's wife: Touch her and you'll pay for it. No excuses. Hunger is no excuse for a thief to steal; When he's caught he has to pay it back, even if he has to put his whole house in hock. Adultery is a brainless act, soul-destroying, self-destructive; Expect a bloody nose, a black eye, and a reputation ruined for good. For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband; wild for revenge, he won't make allowances. Nothing you say or pay will make it all right; neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him."---Proverbs 6:24
"The mouth of a whore is a bottomless pit; you'll fall in that pit if you're on the outs with God."---Proverbs 22:14
Oh, I can hear the ladies now: "That's righ!. Don't be coming up on me when you are hangin' with those hoes."
Hold what you got, mamas. For clarification's sake, let me share with you what the definition of a whore is:
A person considered sexually promiscuous (having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners; lacking standards of selection; indiscriminate; casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior )
A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.
Hey, don't shoot the messenger. Besides, the messenger has been there. I may not have walked up and down Dickerson Rd (a street in Nashville notorious for prostitution), but I have definitely been promiscuous and compromised my principles for personal gain. Ladies, princesses, my sistahs, I have already addressed time and time again that a man who cannot control his flesh has no right to be the leader of your heart or home, but guys let me warn you of the fact that when you get caught up with whores, strings are always attached. For some it may be rope, for others it may be yarn, for a chosen few it may appear like floss, but sex immortality was designed to keep you bound because anytime you put your flesh before God's spirit, you are committing idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
Remember, the First Commandment says that we should have no other gods before us (Exodus 3:20 ) and apart from God, we can do nothing (John 15:5). When you are caught up in the womb of a woman who is "a prostitute", "sexually promiscuous", or "compromising her principles for personal gain" (even if it's just for affection, attention or affirmation), you are living in darkness, and in darkness God is not present (I John 1:5).
The end result? You end up getting lost on your life's journey:
"…Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness may not overtake and overcome you. He who walks about in the dark does not know where he goes [he is drifting] ."---John 12:35
Which brings God and his Word full circle because it says in Proverbs 3:6 that if we acknowledge God in ALL OF OUR WAYS, he will direct our paths . Dominion holders (and that includes all men), you may be wondering why your career is not going as you would like, your finances are not prospering as they should, your educational or relational goals are at a stand still and it's because you are letting the scent of a woman lead you into darkness. If you want God to bless you, come into his light and out of her bed sheets.
Although God's creation day is sunset to sunset (Genesis 1:3) and not midnight to midnight (thank the Romans for that), it seems that God's mercy was indeed renewed for Samson that same day that he sinned because Judges 16:3 states that at midnight he left; just in time to avoid the plotting from the people of that city. And, like so many of us, rather than praising God for protection in the midst of his disobedience, he became far too comfortable in his skin...and sin.
I understand just where he is coming from. In my past, after "kickin' it", there would be times when my period was late. And after getting a negative pregnancy test result, do you know how I would celebrate? I would have sex.
Silly rabbit and yes, praise God for mercy.
Let me tell you, because God loves you, when you are on the road to destruction, God always sends you warning signs (I Corinthians 10:11). For Samson, before even meeting Delilah, it was his first wife and that prostitute in Gaza. The Enemy is pretty tenacious, though and so when those two women didn't work out, he sent one of his best workers, Delilah---another Philistine woman. Again, Samson became so overpowered by her looks and how she was bringin' it (c'mon now, you know he must've been whipped) that he didn't take time to discern her character and spirit. Quite frankly, he was too caught up in his addiction to care.
Last year, I wrote an article for King Magazine (yes, King) on how while men are "pimping" women, society is "pimping" them to the point where they don't even realize it. How interesting that the double-standard of a woman being a "good girl vs. a ho" still applies, when, in fact, a man who cannot control his flesh is far worse off. Yes, men are stimulated visually and yes (depending on who you ask), they may have a higher sex drive; but AGAIN FELLAS, YOU WERE GIVEN DOMINION OVER THE EARTH. If anyone should be able to "say no and go", it should be you even more so than us.
I know when I got to the point where I was "for real tho" ready to face my sexual indiscretions, one of the first things that I had to do was stop sugarcoating the situation. No, I didn't have a room full of porn (although I used to love---correct that---lust seeing a movie from time-to-time). No, I wasn't having ménage a trois or walking the streets. Yes, at least physically, I could function enough to where sex did not consume me (at least all of the time)---but I was still a sex addict.
And, fellas (and ladies, but I am directly dealing with the guys right now), when you are "occupying (oneself) with or involving (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively ", you are in addict. I don't care what your daddy told you about men and sex. I don't care how many of your male friends encourage this kind of lifestyle. I don't care how long you have allowed the illusion of the media to cause you to believe that a real man "gets it" and gets as much of it as he can. When you know something will bring forth judgment and death (both in the physical and the spiritual) and you choose to do it anyway, you my dear, are addicted. But, because some of you are in more denial than others, I have included the clinical signs of sexual addiction below:
Patterns and Examples of Sexual Addiction
For additional information, check out www.jenniferschneider.com/
1) Fantasy sex: neglecting commitments because of fantasy life, masturbation .
2) Seductive role sex: extramarital affairs (heterosexual or homosexual), flirting and seductive behavior
3) Anonymous sex: engaging in sex with anonymous partners, having one night stands
4) Paying for sex: paying prostitutes for sex, paying for sexually explicit phone calls
5) Voyeuristic sex: patronizing adult bookstores and strip shows , looking through windows of houses, having a collection of pornography at home or at work
6) Exhibitionist sex: exposing oneself in public places or from the home or car, wearing clothes designed to expose
7) Intrusive sex : touching others without permission , using position of power (eg, professional, religious) to sexually exploit another person, rape
8) Pain exchange: causing or receiving pain to enhance sexual pleasure (to me this also includes emotional pain)
9) Object sex: masturbating with objects, cross-dressing to add to sexual pleasure, using fetishes as part of sexual rituals, having sex with animals
10) Sex with children: forcing sexual activity on a child, watching child pornography (and if she's 17 and you are grown, she's a child)
11) Trading sex: receiving money or drugs for sex
And ladies, if you are in a courtship relationship with a man who has any of these issues, marriage, at least for now, is not the answer. Sadly, there are far too many people (especially in church leadership) who speak on marriage as if it's the cure to dysfunction---especially sexual dysfunction. Remember that if lust is an issue for you or someone that you love, "lovemaking" is not going to cure it because it's not a love-based issue.
When someone is putting themselves in a position where, at the very least, they are subjecting themselves to the potential of an unplanned pregnancy or contracting a disease, and at the most, violating someone else's temple (I Corinthians 3:17) and separating themselves from God, there is very little love---especially for themselves---in them. Remember, love is patient (I Corinthians 13:4) and a man who really loves you will wait...until he marries you.
At the same time, a man who loves himself will want to be the best man possible before even approaching you on a committed level. As a woman, you are not called to heal a man of his issues; only God can do that (Psalm 107:17). You are called to support his purpose in a season after healing takes place. If you feel in your spirit that someone is meant for you, stay on the path of obedience until God and that man reveals his worthiness to you. Remember, marriage is a spirit-based union and so therefore we are not to operate on our clock (flesh), but God's (spirit):
"So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith."---Galatians 6:9-10
In the next chapter, we will deal with how Delilah showed out (and Samson let her), but I enclosed the introduction to this story because I wanted to give one final warning to the guys today: A woman who knows God knows the source of your strength (God). She will not inquire of the secrets to your power. Things of God that are a mystery to these kinds of women are your first sign that you need to run and run far from her. At the same time, because you are called to cover your sisters, any time you co-sign on their disclosure, God is watching and he is not pleased. He gave you the power to protect and not abuse (abnormally use) us. Remember:
"An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny; an obedient, God-willed life is spacious."---Proverbs 15:32
You want God to move mightily in your life? Quit letting our "rope", "yarn" and "floss" entangle you. Remember that sex is only a blessing when God is in it.
Whew! Okay, the homework for today is as follows:
First, repent of any of your sexually-degrading ways so that you can get freed up from bondage. A new Psalm that I have come to fall in love with is Psalm 119:33:
"God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you. Deflect the harsh words of my critics— but what you say is always so good. See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways!"
Then, purpose in your life to come to a deeper understanding of what sexual bondage is in the physical realm ( www.jenniferschneider.com/
And finally, ask God to help you get on his schedule and off of your own. When you learn how to respect his timing, there's no reason to be anxious when it comes to your heart's desires (Philippians 4:6) and in the meantime, because life is so rare and precious, you will find ways to make the most of it!
©Shellie R. Warren/2006