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June 9, 2018

Judges chapter fifteen closes with this verse, “And he judges Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.” During that time, I can only surmise that Samson had limited or no interaction with the Philistines because the bible does not record any conflict between them. However, things are about to change in chapter sixteen for once again, Samson returns to a Philistine town and engages in harlotry, and sadly, we watch as defilement, deception, and destruction ensues.

When the enemy hears that Samson is in their territory, they set up an ambush for him, but God allows him to escape carrying the city gates that was closed upon his shoulders to Hebron which is located in Judah.

Next, Samson falls in love with a woman named Delilah who lived in Sorek, which was in the enemy’s territory. The lords of the Philistine communicated with her and offered her a bribe if she was able to obtain from Samson information that would allow them to capture him. Delilah accepts their offer and initiates her diabolic scheme.

Unbeknownst to Samson that Delilah is asking him questions that will result in his capture, he lies to her three times giving information that proves false when she attempts to render him helpless.

Finally, after being pressured many days, Delilah’s persistence pays off, and Samson reveals the truth to Delilah, and she has his hair shaved off while he is sleeping. Unfortunately, the next series of events was not what Samson expected. Judges 16:20-21 states, “And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. 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.”

During a celebration to their god Dagon, the Philistines decided to make a spectacle and sport of Samson whose hair had begun to grow; so, they brought him from the prison to the place of their gathering. While there Samson prayed and asked God to avenge him of his lost eyesight and strengthen him by allowing him to push the main pillars of the building where he and three thousand man and women were assembled. God answered Samson request, and Samson and the three thousand individuals were killed as the building collapse on them.

The sixteen chapter and story of Samson’s life ends with his brethren retrieving his body and burying it in the burying-place of Manoah, his father.

This chapter gave me a plethora of thoughts on which to reflect, and here they are:
1. Avoid temptations.
2. Continual sinning anesthetizes you to your sinful actions.
3. In your actions, you can be your own worst enemy.
4. The lust of the flesh enslaves you and causes you to act recklessly.
5. Lust dulls your perception.
6. People will hold vendettas against you for a lifetime.
7. People are watching what you are doing.
8. When you are out of place, news about you whereabouts always spreads.
9. Enemies operate in the dark.
10. Your enemy is talking about you.
11. Your enemy seeks ways to kill you.
12. Your enemy will set up ambushes for you.
13. The enemy is willing to pay for your downfall.
14. Your enemy will remain hidden until he can overpower and capture you.
15. The enemy is relentless in his efforts to conquer you.
16. The enemy seeks to wear you down and out.
17. The enemy desires to strip you of your strength.
18. The enemy wants you eternally blind and unable to see your way out. He strives to take away your vision.
19. The enemy uses seduction and deception to ensnare you.
20. Often, the enemy is rewarded for his perseverance.
21. The enemy seeks to humiliate you; he rejoices over your downfall.
22. Don’t tell the enemy your secrets; don’t divulge crucial information.
23. Without God’s presence, we are powerless.
24. It is a sad and dangerous thing when you fail to realize God’s presence is no longer with you.
25. There are consequences for our wrong choices; choose wisely.
26. When you lay your head down in the wrong place, you are likely to wake-up finding yourself in trouble.
27. Watch out for those who have the ability to lull you to sleep.
28. Illicit sexual activity will lead to your downfall.
29. Lusting after the wrong thing will eventually imprison you.
30. God is a restorer.
31. Starting well does not guarantee a perfect ending.
32. Use your strength to do God’s will.
33. God’s assignment for our lives will be fulfilled despite our failures.
34. Ask God to help you distinguish deception.
35. Not once in Judges chapters 14 – 16 did Samson ask God for forgiveness for breaking the Nazarite vow; yet God still used him, and his name is recorded in the Hebrews’ heroes of faith.

As I now conclude this five blog series, I pray you have enjoyed it and obtained insight and helpful information that you are able to use as you walk victoriously in the Lord.



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