Samson‘s Passions - Judges 16:1-4
September 19, 2022, 8:16 AM

“One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”  3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.  4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.”  

Saint Ambrose, an early Christian father, said this of Samson “Samson when strong and brave, he strangled a lion but he could not strangle his lust. He burst the fetters of his foes, but not the cords of his own passions."  And so, it is true the strong man was indeed very weak in controlling himself. 

In all of this, we still see the hand of God moving and putting the pieces right where He wants them to be according to his greater plan.

The author of Judges explains the moral and spiritual decay when everyone did what was right in their own eyes. But in these ages, God raises up people to rescue the Israelites from their enemies. Paul put it so beautifully in Romans 8:28 “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purposes.” 

Samson was living according to his purpose, not according to the teachings of the Bible. But God was lifting up Samson as a type of Christ as a conqueror. Like Samson, Christ was a special child announced by the angels before he was born.  Samson had physical strength to withstand his enemies; Jesus had spiritual strength to withstand his enemies. Samson goes to sinful people and Jesus goes to a sinful people. It was God‘s plan for Samson to begin the deliverance physically as it was in God‘s plan for Jesus to begin the deliverance spiritually. Even if Samson was not going to follow His prescribed plan, God will still use him to keep His promises and used his position to create good to destroy the Philistines.

I’m afraid Samson becomes more for us a negative example than a positive example. The lesson this chapter teaches is how passion and temptation to which we yield are passions which affects our total being. There are consequences when we yield to temptation.

Joni Eareckson-Tada who underwent a swimming accident leaving her a quadriplegic, fought and struggled with God for many months until she gave Him the one talent she still had- to draw pictures with her teeth. She testifies in her book “after acquiring fame in speaking to crowds of thousands, we’re told that God does not deal with us according to our sins and iniquities. My accident was not a punishment for my wrongdoing whether or not I deserved it. Maybe he knew I’d be ultimately happier serving Him. When I was in high school, I reacted to life selfishly and never built on any long-lasting values. Now I wouldn’t change my life for anything. You know you don’t have to get a broken neck to be drawn to God, but the truth is people don’t always listen to the experiences of others and learn from them.”

Samson‘s pride and passions destroyed him. Those are two important areas of your life to put under control. 

Prayer:   Lord, today let me begin a new life of victory over my flesh and the lusts that lie within and around me.   Help me resist the lures that the media is throwing at me.   I seek contentment in You, in Your purposes for my life.