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Some wake up calls don't stick.

Judges 15:18–16:3

Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the LORD and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. When the Gazites were told, “Samson has come here!” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him.” And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

All teenagers think they’re invincible; that’s why their car insurance rates are so high. Samson is close to being actually invincible. This makes his impetuousness even worse.

But extreme thirst acts as a wake-up call and, for just a moment, his attitude is impressive. He’s incapable of staying alive on his own, and he cries out to the LORD.

Good. Maybe he’s growing up and becoming aware of what’s really important.

Most importantly, he gives credit to the LORD for this great deliverance. That’s encouraging. Then Chapter 15 closes with the first of two mentions in Judges that Samson judged Israel for twenty years.

Maybe he’s even gotten on track and can be the great judge he has the potential to be.

Fat chance.

Chapter 16 starts right off dashing any hope that Samson has outgrown his teenage attitude (though he’s likely older now). His tryst with a harlot leads to his being surrounded by enemies who deign to kill him.

They think they have him hemmed in, but he pulls a superman stunt and escapes. It’ll take the locals a while to even find where he put the gates. Getting them reinstalled will take a very long time—during which the city will be insecure.

So, once again, Samson’s adversaries have seen their schemes backfire.

But there’s an even larger issue. How come the guards weren’t awakened by the gates being uprooted? And how come they decided to wait until morning to attack Samson in the first place?

The answers are, I think, related. Their priority was partying.

These guys are not a high-functioning bunch.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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