Tuesday, May 21, 2024

What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?

Suggested Reading: Judges 16:4-21 or Judges 16 (the whole Samson and Delilah story)

I may lose some readers over this statement, but...I can't stand the LifeTime channel.  Every time it's on, there is a movie playing about some woman who made the mistake of trusting a man and is now running for her life because she gave herself prematurely to a seemingly perfect guy who turned out to be a psycho.  When the guy reveals his true colors, I always want to say, "Well, what did you think was going to happen? You're on LifeTime!" (Ok, so I know only most of LifeTime's movies have that plot line…)

The story of Samson and Delilah, for me, reads just like a Lifetime plot in reverse. In Judges 16, We read how Samson "fell in love" with Delilah who immediately began asking him the secret of his strength. At first, Samson gives her a number of stories we know aren't true. "If they tie me up with seven fresh bowstrings that have never been dried, I'll become weak like any other man," Samson says in verse 7 (HCSB). So, Delilah has the Philistines tie him up in seven fresh bowstrings while he is sleeping. Then he gives her another way to take away his strength, and she has the Philistines try that. Then another and they try that. Finally, because of her nagging, Samson tells her the truth, "If I am shaved, my strength will leave me and I will become weak like any other man," he says in verse 17 (HCSB). Then Samson goes to sleep only to be roused by shouts of, "The Philistines are here!" And I think to myself, What did you think was going to happen? I mean, everything else Samson told her she tried. Did Samson really think that this time would be any different? Or did he somehow believe God's rule did not apply to him?

Just like Samson and LifeTime, however, there are certain situations in life when I want to ask people, "What did you think was going to happen?" My daughter hits her brother (or vice versa) and gets in trouble. A partier who has had too much to drink gets behind the wheel and has an accident (or worse). A student cheats on a test and gets caught. A good Christian couple on a date goes someplace secluded and hangs around too long and ends up going farther than they intended. Every day we see circumstances that, as outsiders, compel us to say, "What did you think was going to happen?"

The thing is, if we are honest, most of us knew what was likely to happen. We knew that we were putting ourselves in a bad situation. We knew that we were setting ourselves up to fail and we chose our path anyway. Why? Maybe because we just really wanted it to happen. Maybe because we fooled ourselves into thinking we were better than everybody else. Maybe because we rationalized it until we believed that ours were special circumstances and the same rules didn't apply to us. But ultimately, we knew we were putting ourselves in a bad situation and ignored the warning sirens going off in our heads.

The next time you hear warnings and are tempted to ignore them or the next time you find yourself coming up with reasons why this unwise thing is ok for you, stop and ask yourself, "What do you really think is going to happen?" Who knows? Maybe it will keep the evil two-faced girlfriend from shaving off your hair.

Getting Lost in Discussion

Suggested Reading: Acts 8:26-40 I have this really bad habit of discovering online discussion boards and then getting lost in the discus...