Judges 16:1-3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 27, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 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.'
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.” (Judges 16:1-3)

At this point in the story of Samson’s life, he’s been looked to as a leader of Israel for the past 20 years. They respect him for his strength and how God empowered him against the Philistines. Because of how many Philistines he had killed, naturally Samson waited many years before venturing into Philistine territory again. Even in the remote reaches of the Philistines’ territory, Samson’s reputation was well known.

One of Samson’s weaknesses was women. He easily gave into temptation with a prostitute. The Philistine men saw him there, and they decided to wait and see if they could capture him. Even 20 years later, they could not have been happy with all the destruction Samson had caused their people. The men likely fell asleep while they were waiting, but they figured there was no way Samson could get out through the locked city gates overnight anyway.

But, they obviously forgot the amazing physical strength that Samson had shown previously. During the night, Samson goes out and rips loose the large, heavy gates, along with the structure that it was connected to! And he doesn’t just rip them off and just lay them aside; he carries them away out of the city!

The symbolism of the gates is significant. The city gate was the place where the city’s rulers or judges would sit to discuss the issues of the city, similar to a city council that we may have today. Samson showed that even the city’s leaders had no power over him.

Samson showed his physical strength and Israel respected him for that, but they should be trusting in God who is even more powerful than Samson. Samson would not have had those powers except through God empowering him. But even with Samson there as evidence of God’s power in their lives, Israel still chose to go astray from God and disobey Him.

Today, we have even greater power than Samson! As believers in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit living in us and empowering us. What are you doing with that power? How are we impacting our culture for God’s Kingdom? How are we (figuratively) ripping off the city gates and making an impact? Pray about how God would empower you to make a difference where you live.

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