After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”
Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known. Judges 16:4-9 ESV
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 ESV
A crow was sitting on a tree branch with a delicious chunk of cheese in his mouth. A fox walked by underneath the tree. He saw the cheese, and it looked so good it made his mouth water. He started to talk to the crow. “You are such a handsome bird! Look at your glossy black feathers! Look at your sparkling black eyes! A bird with such good looks must have a lovely voice. If only I could hear you sing!” The crow was fooled by the fox’s flattery. He opened his beak and said, “Caw!” The cheese fell out of his beak, and the fox gobbled up the cheese and ran away.
Samson was just as foolish as the crow. He was in love with Delilah, and he loved to hear her talk about how strong he was. He also liked to show off for her. He told her a lie about what would take his strength away so he could show off by breaking the fresh bowstrings. He was so full of himself that he didn’t even seem to realize that Delilah was working with his enemies and that her purpose wasn’t just to have fun with him, but to hand him over to them.
It’s always a good idea to watch out for flattery. Some people are kind and generous with praise and encouragement, but sometimes some people might have a bad purpose for saying good things about you. It’s not good to always think about how great you are and want to show off to others. On the other hand, sometimes people say unkind and hurtful things, and this isn’t good. A real friend tells you the truth with love. A good friend gives support and encouragement, and also will sometimes tell you something you don’t want to hear, but that you need to hear.
Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. His words are full of love and encouragement for us, but they also tell us what we really don’t want to hear. Jesus tells us that we are sinners, and that our sins deserve God’s punishment. We’d rather think of ourselves as good people who deserve God’s love. But Jesus didn’t just talk about God’s law and our sins. He took our sins on himself and went to the cross with them. Because of what Jesus did for us, our sins are forgiven and we are God’s people now and forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being the best friend we’ll ever have. Please forgive our sins and keep us close to you. Amen.