Do We Seek Temptation or Avoid It?
Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. Judges 16:1
Read Proverbs 4:20-27
In Judges 15:20 we read that Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. That sounds very positive. To be a Judge in Israel meant that the crooked and dangerous practices of the nation would be put right according to the holy standards of God. Moreover, such a judge would be an example for the nation and a real blessing to it.
However, in the chapter that we hope to examine over the next days, we are confronted with something very different. Samson went to Gaza, a dangerous place full of temptation. This dangerous city was a stronghold of the Philistines, the arch-enemy of Israel; they were out to diminish Israel’s power. This place was also enticing, because blatant attacks of temptation would be directed at Samson. Would he be wary and watchful, looking to the Lord to keep him from getting entangled in the net of the enemy?
It is true that Samson’s physical strength was extraordinary, but what was the condition of his heart? The devil knew Samson’s weaknesses, and instead of suppressing the sinful inclinations of his heart, Samson entertained temptations that would quicken the sinful nature of his heart. Samson did exactly the opposite of what Joseph did in Egypt when he fled from the woman who tried to seduce him. What attitude do we take when it comes to temptation? How do we spend our God- given time?
Thought: When fighting temptation, it is important to avoid circumstances where we may be confronted with temptation.
Psalter 385:1, 3 (based on Psalm 140) Deliver me from evil, Preserve me, Lord, from wrong; Against the foes that gather, Be Thou my helper strong. From those who plot to hurt me And spread their treacherous snare Preserve me, Lord, and keep me Safe-guarded in Thy care. Let evil smite the evil And cause their overthrow; The needy and afflicted, The Lord will help, I know; Thy saints, redeemed from evil, Their thanks to Thee shall give; The righteous and the upright, Shall in Thy presence live.