Topic: Marred by an unequal yoke
Text: Judges 16:13-22
Key verse: But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
The dictionary defines a yoke as, a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they pull. Its is an agricultural equipment used to harness the strength of two oxen on the farm land.
Similarly, a relationship, like marriage is often referred to as a yoke, because two people are now constrained to live and work together for the common good of the family.
When the yoke binds two animals of different sizes or type, the outcomes are counter productive, they cause each other pain, as they pull in different directions. Therefore, they are unable to achieve the goals of being yoked together.
This constant pain from the bruises leads to wounds on their necks that will cause them to be marred for life.
Marriage was designed by God for companionship, fellowship and partnership. It will take a marriage seminar to unpack these, but let’s look at how a failure to understand these can lead to bruises, hurts and heart wounds that can leave couples Marred for life.
In our text, we see a relationship between Samson and Delilah, rooted in selfishness.
“And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah”.
We do not read that Delilah loved Samson, the love was not mutual. I even dare to say it was not love Samson had but lust, considering the manner in which he had handled his affairs with women previously. It seems to me he just went for whoever he found attractive or lusted after, without consideration of her other qualities, values or belief system.
Delilah had nothing for Samson. She saw him as a means to an end, she did not hesitate a minute to agree to set him up for a handsome reward.
And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
She quickly swung into action, and though she failed several times, she didn’t give up. Her heart was set on the monetary reward. When relationships are entered into only based on the financial benefits, the parties are often so desperate that they can do anything to get that money.
She was yoked to Samson, she was very close to him to know the times he was most vulnerable. She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.
The danger of being yoked together with the wrong person is, there’s no place to run to. You are constantly locked up together in the home. As she deployed the tools of her craft which include, nagging, accusations, manipulations etc, she wearied him till he gave in.
Note that she did not care about the consequences of giving him up to the Philistines Lords. She never asked what will happen to that relationship after Samson is stripped of his physical strength. In picking a mate, or considering a marital relationship with another individual, you must first consider the beliefs and values of the other person. Their daily choices will be determined by their values. The times of companionship was spent mostly for sensual pleasure, never for spiritual edification or intellectual exchange. He wanted pleasure, she wanted Mammon all for Selfishness.
They had been several attempts on Samson’s life, to weaken and destroy him ultimately. Even though it failed several times, Samson did not smell danger and confront her. This is because, when you are in a relationship with another, you learn to trust and believe that your interests is a priority to your partner, and you will rarely suspect foul play, even when a third party suggests it.
Some say “Love is blind“, but true biblical love is not blind. You are only blinded by selfishness.
Samson modelled a high level of selfishness. He never cared about God’s word or the counsel of his parents. He lived only for his pleasure. When you are driven by selfishness, you hurt people and you also position yourself to be a victim of other selfish people.
When you use your strength, whether financial or political to take advantage of people, one day those who have worked closely with you will learn your tricks and use it against you.
Samson had a very brutal attack, orchestrated by the one he loved. So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.What a horrible outcome for a man anointed from the womb!
It didn’t just happen; Samson failed to prioritize his relationship with God, so when God’s presence departed he didn’t notice. When you have a relationship and your partner is not interested in spiritual things, you need to beware. Man is a spirit being living in a body having a soul. All three parts of man must be cared for at all times especially the spirit.
A relationship that is always causing you emotional pain is a threat to your soul. If not attended to quickly the effect can lead to physical health issues. Samson lost his eyes, some people have had acid attacks, broken arms and heads, unfortunately some have lost their lives because of a mismatch, an unequal yoke.
The yoke was made by man, it can also be broken by man. Walk out of an unequal yoke while you can. Separate yourself from that partner and review the merits of your union. Are you able to function in partnership to achieve mutually agreed goals, or is your life all about the other person? Is your life in danger, have there been near misses?
Samson had enough time to escape from that destructive relationship, but he could resist the laps of Delilah, he always ended up there.
Some people stay on in abusive and toxic relationships because of greed, money, cars, gifts continue to lure them into the trap even when they have physical scars to remind them of the danger around them. Some stay on because they want to please men, maintain the family name and save face.
He was marred for life, but God was not finished with him. His hair began to grow again.
You may have lost so much like Samson, or may have been subjected to very humiliating circumstances, its still better to be scarred than dead. Your hair, the source of your glory, will grow again, in Jesus name! But before long, his hair began to grow back. When God gives you a second , third or even a seventh chance, watch what you do with it!
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”
he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.”
Samson knew how to pray, but what he asked for was deadly. He was on a suicide mission, he was seeking revenge! You might ask me, what use was his life without his eyes? I dare to ask you, “The God who could give him the power to kill so many with a blow, is it a difficult task for him to restore his sight? Watch your prayer life when you have been hurt. Seeking vengeance is not godly or biblical.
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19
If you kill all your enemies, who will you lead to Christ? Who will see your good works of forgiveness and give glory to your Father in heaven?
We are Christians not Jews, we ought to be Christlike. What would Jesus do if he were in your place? Ask Jesus for grace to do same. Samson got what he wanted, but he ended his life and ministry. You don’t have to end yours, God can start work again as the Potter and make a new vessel out of your life.
Your loss may mean you will never have the privilege to give birth naturally, you can still be a mother by adoption. You may loose the marriage but you can still have other relationships with family, friends, colleagues and brethren that are enriching and bring the best out of you.There are so many possibilities, Abigail had a second chance after a frustrating unequal yoke, so can you.
Get healed from your heart wounds first, then start to dream again. God knows how to deal with issues in a way that brings blessings now and in eternity. Don’t end the story of your life as a tragedy, you may be a Marred vessel, but you are still in his hands.
But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
God is ready to start over are you?
It will be my pleasure to walk with you and cheer you on as the Potter transforms you. Contact me on closinggapsko@gmail. com