Going Back To Old Ways

18th May

One day Samson went to the Philistine town of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute. Word soon spread that Samson was there, so the men of Gaza gathered together and waited all night at the town gates…”

Judges 16:1-2b

The writer of proverbs wisely warns, that temptation might be as “sweet as honey” but “in the end…its as bitter as poison and as dangerous as a double edged sword.” Today’s passage gives another important example of how giving into temptation only leads to problems.

Samson was a judge of Israel for 20 years. During his time, he had extreme lows and acted foolishly and irresponsibly. None more so than in the story found in chapter 16. Yet again, Samson decided to live a lifestyle contrary to the way he had been dedicated into as a young boy. Instead of keeping pure and holy, as an act of submission to God Almighty, he again allowed his lustful and selfish nature to dictate his life and again feel for a pagan Philistine woman.

However this time, not only did he make himself spiritually vulnerable by sleeping with a prostitute, he also made himself physically vulnerable, by allowing his location to be revealed. Hence why verse 2 of chapter 16 tells us that an angry Philistine mob were waiting to capture him in the morning. Yet Samson’s strength came to the rescue again and saved him from the morning ambush. During the night, Samson dramatically ripped the doors of the town gate, carried them on his shoulders and escaped up the hill to Hebron. The consequence of Samson’s sins could have been fatal, yet because of the grace of God, he survived another day.

Samson’s neglect of his responsibilities as the judge of Israel, only damaged his walk with God and further highlighted his weaknesses. It is a lesson we too can learn when faced with temptation. When we allow ourselves to give into temptation, it opens the door for the enemy into our lives. However, there is good news. James tells us that if we “resist the devil, he will flee.” Resisting does not come in our might (as proven with Samson), but comes from the power of the Holy Spirit and through the Name of Jesus Christ.

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