March 19 - Nº 78 Judges 15:1 – 16:3
When Samson angrily stomped out of his wedding ceremony, his fiancée was immediately married to another man who had been in the wedding party. But Samson did not know this. So, he later went back with a gift to try and patch things up. “I was so sure you hated her,” the girl’s father responded, “that I let one of your groomsmen marry her. But, hey, her younger sister is even more attractive. Why don’t you marry her instead?” Samson was enraged. He told the father, “I am going to get even with you Philistines, and I will do a lot of harm!” So, he caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together in pairs, and put a torch between each pair. Then he lit the torches. As he let the fiery foxes go, they ran through the wheat fields and the sheaves of corn that had already been harvested setting everything on fire. They even destroyed the vineyards and olive groves. When the Philistines found out that Samson had caused this massive destruction because his bride had been given away, they sought revenge by killing her and her father. This made Samson even more furious! He viciously attacked the men who had done this, slaughtering many of them. Then he hid in a cave in Israel. The Philistines mobilized their troops and invaded Israel. They set up camp and declared, “We have come to take Samson prisoner. We want to do to him what he has done to us.” The Israelites sent 3,000 soldiers to the cave where Samson was hiding to tie him up and hand him over to the Philistines. They obviously didn’t have any regard for him as their leader. Samson said he would go with the Israelites peacefully if they promised not to kill him themselves. They agreed. After tying him up with strong ropes they led him to the Philistines. When the Philistines saw him coming, they began shouting and cheering. Instantly the Spirit of the Lord filled Samson. He easily broke the ropes, grabbed the jawbone of a donkey that was lying nearby, and killed a thousand Philistine warriors with it. Then he tossed it aside. After this amazing victory, Samson was thirsty. He cried out to God, “You have given me this great victory, but now are you going to let me die of thirst?” God miraculously opened a spring of water in the rocky cliff. Samson drank and his strength returned. One day Samson went to a Philistine city named Gaza and spent the night at this seaside resort with a prostitute. When the people of the city found out he was there, they surrounded the place where he was staying. Some of them camped out by the city gate all night. They planned to capture him when the sun rose and the gate reopened. But Samson got up at midnight and snuck to the gate. He tore away the doors and their posts and carried them on his shoulders to the top of a hill. His God-given strength seemed unstoppable. But although he was physically strong, Samson was morally weak. It wasn’t long after this that he fell in love with another Philistine woman named Delilah.
Do you understand the importance of guarding your heart? Samson did not do a good job of this. Instead, he “followed his heart” which led him into many sinful places. We each need to give our heart’s desires to God and allow Him to control them, or they will bring disaster into our lives.