Friday, 22nd January 2021
God loved the Israelites and that’s why He chose Samson to be the Judge. God also loved Samson and gave him opportunities again and again to turn back. Even though Samson sinned against God, whenever he cried out to God, God still strengthened and helped him. Samson experienced many miracles, and he knew God’s a real God, but he continued to walk his own way instead of living out the destiny God has for him.
Section One: V1-3 Walk in Lustful Desires
Samson experienced so may conflicts with the Philistines, yet not only did he not leave the land of the Philistines, but he also went to Gaza and saw a woman he liked. Do we treasure the identity God has given to us and hold onto it no matter what? Samson was a Nazarite, who was not a priest nor a Levite, but someone set their lives apart for God. God continued to give him opportunity to return, to stop sinning against God, but when he went to Gaza, he saw a harlot, and went close to her.
When someone lives in lustful desires, they will be confused. Samson did not have the alertness, there were enemies around to kill him, but what he did was to take down the city gates and bring them to Hebron. This will create a war between Philistines and Israelites. In chapter 15, the tribe of Judah brought 3,000 men to come against Samson instead of supporting the Judge appointed by God. Both Samson and the people of Judah were in confusion, they should have united together to fight the Philistines, but they created riots and wars to each other. Are we also like them, forgetting the calling from God and becoming a puppet of the enemy?
Section Two: V4-22 Mistakes After Mistakes
Samson was still in confusion, every time when he fell for a Philistine woman troubles came to him, but he still fell for Delilah (whose name means “weak”). When we make one mistake after another, we don’t learn the lesson and we fall into temptations again and again, then God’s presence will leave us. Delilah was easily bought off with eleven hundred pieces of silver. We are the chosen people by God, like precious gold in His eyes, and no amount of money should be able to measure our values.
Delilah was persistent in asking Samson the secrete of his strength, so finally Samson gave in and told her the secret. A strong person, who could kill a lion with bear hands and a thousand people with a donkey’s jawbone, fell in the hands of a woman and became defiled. When we let sins come in our hearts, we will be defiled and lose freedom from God, we will be bound by the worldly desires, and we will make one mistake after another. If we do not use our freewill to reject sin, we are walking in the path of death.
We never know when God will leave us. God left Samson so he was captured and tormented by the Philistines. But in verse 22 we saw his hair was growing back, which meant God’s mercy was still with him. God could have not let his hair grow back, but He still has mercy and compassion for Samson.
Section Three: V23-31 Live in Selfishness
God chose and prepared Samson to fight for the Israelites and deliver them out of the hands of the Philistines. Samson walked in the way of lustful desires instead of in God’s destiny and brought shame on the Israelites. He also brought shame on the Lord as the Philistines worshipped their idols when they captured Samson.
When Samson again cried out to God, God did not fail him. Yet, he was only thinking about avenging himself. He ended up killing himself along with 3,000 Philistines. God called Samson to be the Judge of Israel, but he chose to walk in his own lustful desires, which led to his death. Samson’s destiny was to lead the Israelites, but he didn’t care about this destiny, he chose his own path of death. If we are unwilling to turn back from our mistakes and make things right with God, who will answer when we call upon Him, then we will never live out our destiny God has given for us.
As long as we choose to turn to Him, God is faithful and will take care of us to the end. Are we willing to turn back from our mistakes and be faithful to God all our lives?
We thank You Lord for letting us see through Judges 16 that when our lust is not dealt with, it takes root in us, allowing us to make mistakes, and leading us to death. Lust is not only the sin and weakness in us, but it also makes us lose our destiny. Lord, come and help us. LORD God, You are a faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for us. You take responsibility for every chosen person to the end. When Samson cried out, You still delivered him. We ask the Lord to help us come out of our lust and self-centeredness, because we have despised the destiny You gave us. Let us make good use of our right to choose, choose Your path, live in Your destiny, and seek Your face all our lives. Your word is the light in us, to drive away lust, bringing us out of darkness into light, and to experience Your wonderful work. Help us hold onto the destiny You have given to us and to live it out.
1，参孙经历过这么多与非利士人的冲突，不但没有离开非利士人的地方，还在那里“看见”一个妓女。之前参孙也是这样“看见”了，喜欢了，就去要，没有看重自己拿细耳人的身份。我们有没有看重神给我们的身份？若看重，就要紧紧抓住不放手。参孙作为拿细耳人 – 一个自愿献给神的人，去到非利士人的城市，与所看见的妓女亲近。他没有在那里救以色列人脱离非利士人的手，反而与那里的妓女亲近，说明他离开神，选择世界、情欲的路。
2-3，当我们走在情欲里，我们就忘记神给我们的命定，连人身安全都不顾了。一个活在情欲里的人是活在混乱中的。参孙没有警觉性，不去处理那些要埋伏他的非利士人，反而令人费解的去把迦萨城门拆除，带回犹大人之地。这会引发非利士人对犹大人的战争。为什么他选择犹大地？原因在士师记15章（9-13节）有记载。犹大支派本是非常勇猛的，但他们非但没有支持神所拣选的士师，还去将他捆绑起来交给敌人。我们是否也失去神给我们的呼召 – 如犹大支派一样变得软弱，成为非利士人的傀儡？如此，参孙选择将城门带到犹大地。一个在情欲中的人，带给弟兄们的是纷争，不是平安。
4-5，“妇人”- 是一个有夫之妇。参孙 – 一个分别为圣的拿细耳人-从一开始跟一个非利士人女子结婚，到触摸死尸，到现在亲近大利拉 （名字是“虚弱”的意思），他的脚步越来越离开命定。耶稣教给我们的主祷文说不要遇见试探，但参孙明知故犯，走进试探，一错再错。非利士人要用钱来买参孙 – 求神让我们看见，我们是神所拣选的黄金，我们身价不菲。