from Lynda Lindsey
Samson, to his father and mother: “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” Judges 14:1-2
So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people. Judges 14:17b
So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” Judges 16:6
He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Judges 16:20b
Perspicacity. Not a word we use often today. But very applicable to Samson’s life. Samson was born with great human potential, but his life was marred by poor perspicacity. Perspicacity is the quality of having a ready insight into things; a shrewd perspective. To have a clear, penetrating discernment. To comprehend with clarity and insight how to comport oneself in life.
Samson’s poor judgement in women, his dalliance with riddles, revenge, and his seeming refusal to take the Holy Spirit’s coming upon him in power seriously, indicates a lighthearted, prideful view of life. How many times must Samson, and we ourselves, try something over and over again, each time with disastrous results, before admitting that it just doesn’t work? Samson, after being blinded and humiliated by becoming an entertainment to the Philistines, certainly had much time to feel sorrow for his willfulness and lack of obedience.
And yet. And yet. Samson was used by God. With his myriad instances of poor judgment, poor perspicacity, and with all his sins and foibles, Samson is forgiven, restored to right relationship with God, and given a clean slate to begin again. No matter what our foolish actions reveal, no matter how little spiritual insight we show, no matter what besetting sins we battle, God’s love is constant. Samson’s life is marked by great ups and downs. God graciously answered Samson’s prayer for returned strength at the end of Samson’s life. Even so, the question remains: Wouldn’t it bring more honor to God if His subjects lived before Him with a more consistent obedience? Now that indeed takes great perspicacity