Philistines (Palestinians) are in Gaza to this day.  They were trouble for Samson too.  But then going in to a harlot is trouble for anyone.  He was disappointed with his first experience with a Philistine woman, and seems to be determined to find one even in the wrong places. 

Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.  And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.  And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.  Judges 16:1-3

Remember, they made the city gates to keep armies out, to resist battering rams.  When Samson got mad he got more than even.  That stroll took him over ten miles of rough terrain to the hills of Hebron.  That’s a lot of anger!  Remember though that God had a purpose in using Samson.  Israel was too willing to live under Philistine domination, and no one seemed to be able to find any anger.

God intended Israel to absorb their land slowly, but not to lay down for their enemies.  He needed a man who would motivate Israel to act.  At times I think we are beginning to lay down and allow the world to run over us.  Perhaps we need a few good men here today.  Israel had one then.

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.  And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.  And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.  And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.  Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.  Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.   Judges 16:4-9

At first Samson married the woman that attracted him.  Now he is just living in fornication with Delilah.  He is not faithful to God, and not too concerned about Delilah being faithful to him either.  He lies to her, and she betrays him.  Having an unfaithful woman would be one thing, but this is a treacherous woman. 

And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.  And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.  Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.  Judges 16:10-12

She calls him a liar, while she is setting him up for an ambush.  Again men are jumping him with violent intentions.  This is not the stuff of a good relationship Samson.  

And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.  And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.  Judges 16:13-14

What part of “she hates you” don’t you get Samson?  But she is a professional whiner it seems, as she finally gets the secret of his strength.  She pressed, urged, and vexed him:

And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.  And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;  That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.  Judges 16:15-17

She knew he had given up his secret this time.  She was the first to afflict him.  Even Samson didn’t know that he was undone.  He didn’t know that something was different.

And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.  And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.  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.  Judges 16:18-20


When I am caught in my sin I still want to think that I am in the right.  I look to blame someone else, and I may expect God to be with me in this.  Where is he when all this bad stuff is happening?  I don’t even recognize that God left before I turned away from him.  Then I remember where I am and what I did.  This is a look at Israel and we are Israel today too.  Israel had many misadventures in the false religion of their neighbors.  Did they point at Samson and the error of his departure from God’s law?  Did they recognize the message of his errors in their own lives?  Samson had a purpose from God in his behavior, even if he didn’t know it yet.  His enemies didn’t know it yet either. 

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.  Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.  Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.  And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.  Judges 16:21-24

What could I have done if I had turned to God earlier in my life?  How might I have lived better if I stayed on the path since I got saved?  God knows when we will fall, and when we will recover.  He lets us grow very slowly until we are ready.  He let Israel occupy the land very slowly, until one day they will be ready to move in.  That day is coming soon.

And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.  And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.  Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.  Judges 16:25-27

If the enemies of God think that tempting the Saints as Balaam did will defeat us, they do not know our God.  He is patient and merciful to us as he is with Samson.  Their confidence will betray them as we remember our God.  In modern history Israel has repeatedly stood as strong as Samson against overwhelming odds.  We too are Israel.

And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.  And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.  And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.  Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.  Judges 16:28-31

Israel became a great nation, but in her strength she grew careless.  Like Samson, they were vulnerable when left to temptations and overconfidence.  Israel would be taken into captivity in time, as the modern church too may also do.  The world needs the strength and boldness of a confident church.  A few souls who are willing to follow the sacrifice of Christ can influence the whole world.  We may need to remember to be as pure as the faithful Nazarites to be victorious.  God is faithful to forgive a few slips along the way if we remember to call on him daily.