The Foolishness of Solomon.
For a man who had a reputation for wisdom, Solomon was such a fool. How else would you describe a man who married 700 wives and had 300 concubines on the side?
Marriage to one person is complex enough, who then but a lunatic or a fool would acquire 700 spouses?
Solomon thought he was wise but any wisdom that moves you away from depending on God is foolishness. First, he married an Egyptian princess, the daughter of Pharaoh to form a political and military alliance with Egypt, to secure his kingdom. Then he proceeded to marry 699 more princesses, daughters of the kings that surrounded him on all sides. He wanted to form an alliance with his enemies so that there would be peace in his kingdom. It all seemed wise. He got the temporal peace he desired, but at what price? Continue reading
The car crawled along in the lazy traffic.
Akeem looked at his watch. It was 10:45am. Dark clouds threatened to ruin the beauty of the morning sun. If it rained, the traffic would be unbearable and he would be late for his business meeting. He prayed silently that things would work out for him. He mentally calculated how much he would make from the deal and smiled to himself. He rose up in his seat and stretched his neck to investigate the cause of the slow traffic, that was when he saw her.
First he saw the big orange bag she carried, then he saw her grey dress. She was pretty, dark and full bodied. Her hair was done in braids which poured over her shoulders. She stood apart from the large crowd waiting at the bus stop.
Akeem’s eyes settled on the woman and their eyes met.
In an instant he made a decision.
His car came to a halt in front of her. She opened the door and got into the car without saying a word. As he moved his car forward, an old woman in a blue wrapper and a white blouse crossed the road. He pressed hard on the brakes and the car leaped forward like a drunk man doing the Abiriba war dance. The old woman, with completely white hair cut into an Afro, stood in front of his car and looked directly at him.
Horns blared furiously behind him like the deliberations of a congress of angry baboons. His eyes were fixed on the old woman who crossed to the other side of the road and disappeared into the crowd at the bus stop.
The woman sitting beside him hissed under her breath. His eyes searched for the old woman but he couldn’t find her.
What was that all about? Akeem wondered as he drove on in the lazy morning traffic.
He turned his attention to the pretty woman sitting beside him. Her dress rolled a few inches up her legs, exposing her thighs but she didn’t bother to cover it. Akeem looked at her legs, his eyes filled with lust.
“Hi. What is your name?” he asked, still looking at her legs.
“Where are you going?”
“Where do you want it to be?” Joy smiled.
Akeem licked his dry lips.
The Enemy Within 6.
He woke up suddenly and looked around him. He had a bad headache and seemed to be suspended between two worlds. He felt completely lost. Two candles were almost burnt out in the holders.
A woman lay beside him. Her hair covered the pillow. She moaned softly and rolled over. He looked closely at her. It was Suki.
He dragged himself out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. Alcohol did more to distabilise him than a thousand Philistine soldiers. He entered the bathroom and poured some water on his head. The water ran down his locks, his back and dripped on the floor.
“Who’s there?” Suki asked from the bedroom.
“Go back to sleep,” Samson murmured.
There was some ruffling of sheets and seconds later she went back to sleep.
Samson sat on a chair. The window beside him was open and the darkness crept in, making the candles struggle to brighten the room.
It was like the state of his soul: open, vulnerable and dark.
He shook his head to clear it but the effects of the alcohol clung to him, like a blood thirsty vermin, refusing to release his mind to think clearly. Continue reading
The Enemy Within 5
“Don’t accept that invitation. It’s a trap!”
“My friend don’t be so dramatic,” Samson read through the golden scroll he had just received from a messenger. “It’s a party organised by Delilah to honour my contribution to the people of Gaza.”
“I swear it is a trap!” Jahula insisted.
“So you overheard two people discuss how they will set a trap for me. That doesn’t mean anything.” Samson said.
Jahula was getting frustrated with his friend. He just wasn’t listening. Samson could be so obstinate.
“Do you know how many people plot against me daily? They come up with crazy plans and I always outwit them. Last week, when I was in Suki’s house, I saw some strange movements around the house and suspected that the Philistines were planning to trap and destroy me there. I woke up at midnight and carried the gate of the city on my shoulder. They couldn’t do anything to stop me.”
“But if you hadn’t been at Suki’s house that wouldn’t have happened in the first place. You weren’t supposed to be there.”
Samson was lost in thought. “Suki was very good to me. I plan to see her again this week.”
Jahula held his friend’s arm. “Forget about that ungodly woman and listen to me. They seek to destroy you at this party.”
Samson snatched his arm away. “Can’t you tell by now that I am indestructible?”
Hearing those foolish words proceed from the mouth of his friend made Jahula cringe. This wasn’t the man he had known for the past twenty years. This was a different man. A certain darkness had come over Samson’s soul, it had blinded him to the dangers surrounding him. Now he thought he was indestructible. The sin in his soul had deceived him. Samson used to be deeply spiritual but he seemed to have lost the spiritual fervency he once had. It began with the parties, the wine, then with more successes at war came the women. Beautiful women wanted him and he wanted the very worst of them. Samson seemed to have a death wish because he always fell in love with the most treacherous of women. It was either a prostitute today or the daughter of a priest of baal tomorrow. Continue reading
The Enemy Within.
A lot has already been said about the tragic story of Samson in Judges 13-16. However, I would like to draw your attention to an aspect of his life: his failure to conquer the enemy within.
Samson was special. He was blessed with amazing physical strength which gave him great advantage over his enemies. But he had a problem. His strength couldn’t help him deal with the enemy within his own soul. He could fight and defeat the enemy without but was quite clueless when it came to fighting the enemy within.
Fighting external battles was important but fighting and winning the battle within was crucial to his long term survival as a leader in Israel. The invisible battle within his soul was more important than the physical battles he fought and won daily.
Samson never lost a single battle he fought against the enemies of Israel, but he lost many battles within his own soul. When Samson fell, he wasn’t captured by his enemies during a battle, he was captured by the enemy which lived within his soul. Samson lived with that enemy daily. He nurtured it, bred it and fed it until that enemy became a monster that controlled and eventually destroyed him.
He failed to master the enemy when it was little, but in his arrogance he watched it grow until it became a monster in his life.
It is easier to pray against the enemy we can see and totally overlook the destroyer that lurks in our hearts. What we see is easier to deal with than things we don’t see.
From the story of Samson we discover that little things, little weaknesses, never remain little for very long. They grow. They become big and begin to dominate and take control of our lives in unbelievable ways.
Delilah didn’t destroy Samson.
She couldn’t have. She didn’t have the ability to. Continue reading