October 28: Samson Defeats the Philistines

Read Judges 13:1-16:31

3 …the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.[a]

7 Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. 8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel.                                   (Proverbs 3:3-5, 7-9)

Solomon’s warnings above were written centuries after Samson’s experiences proved them to be true.  At least three times, this judge over Israel gave himself to women who were arguably the wrong choice.  The first?  She was a Philistine who did not share His faith in Yahweh God.  More concerned about the Philistines than her husband, she coaxed and pried until she had an answer to a riddle.  The second?  She was a prostitute that served as a trap almost costing him his life.  The third?  Delilah was a Philistine who whined until he told her the source of his strength so that the Philistines could capture him.  You see, Samson ended up giving his strength and ultimately his life because of these poor choices.

Made any poor choices in your life?  Chances are, every one of us can look back on decisions that weren’t the best, and we may have experienced some not so favorable consequences…whether they involved marriage, sexual sin, or another area of temptation.  And now, we may be tempted to wallow in the guilt over our past.  Don’t allow that to happen!  Confess your past sin and acknowledge God’s forgiveness (I Jn. 1:9).  Flee from that sin and pursue purity (1 Cor. 6:18).

Beyond guilt from the past, we may also have doubts about the future.  “God could never use me after what I have done, could He?”  Before we close the curtain on our own usefulness or on the life of Samson too soon, remember that he had a strong finish in faith.  True to divine promise, God used this judge over Israel to rescue His people from another cycle of sin and punishment.  That same God can also use you if you come to Him in repentance and avail yourself to Him for service.