Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. When it was told to the Gazites, saying, “Samson has come here,” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, “Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him.” Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron.
– Judges 16:1-3
Samson had women problems. Delilah is just the best known of them. This is not to say that God condones such misbehavior; rather, it’s that until His ministry as Jesus, God had to use the human vessels that were available to Him. Thus Moses committed murder, David committed adultery, and so on. God expects more from us than He did Old Testament believers because they did not have the spiritual resources that are available to us through Jesus Christ.
Samson is a type of Christ. The parallel can be seen even in this short passage. The unfaithful woman typifies the unfaithful human race – that is, unfaithful to its Creator. Jesus did not come to save the human race because it was pure, but rather because its impurity caused it to need saving.
In ancient times, cities were walled for protection. A city’s gates were the means of entrance and exit and, for this reason, were heavily fortified. Control the gates of a city and you control the city. There is a parallel here between the gates of Gaza and the gates of Hades (Sheol) – that is, the place of the dead.
We read that “at midnight” Samson “arose.” Recall that Jesus “arose” from the dead. As Samson in his great strength uprooted the gates of Gaza and placed them high above on the mountain, so Jesus in His great power uprooted the gates of death and placed them high above in heaven. Thus death now leads above to heaven rather than below to Sheol (Hades).
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, Your show of strength turns the curse of death into a blessing. Let me live my life today trusting in this work of Yours!…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)