Samson slept with a prostitute……I knew the story but I did not realize how important this sexual escapade was for me to know correctly.



There comes a dangerous confidence to those who have been doing “their thing” for a very long time.  After 3 decades of pastoring and 20 of them the same church , you start to get a cockiness  as if to say “I know how this goes”.  That is where things can go really , really bad for you. That attitude is nothing close to being sober minded as Peter instructs us.


Peter warns us that  a sober mind helps us to realize the prowling lion that lurks near all of us.  His goal…to devour. (I Peter 5:8)


The word that Peter uses for “sober minded” is interesting.

It literally means “to be free from the influence of intoxicants”.  I believe that is not just alcohol but anything that clouds your judgement.  And one thing for sure, a long run at a job, career or ministry can cloud your judgements about yourself.  You can feel the “I got this” attitude.


The danger of this all comes to me after reading about a man and his sin ALL WRONG.

The man is Samson.

The sin is sleeping with a prostitute.

But it is “THE WHEN” this happened that astounded me.


I think I have read this passage all wrong for so many years.



Judges 16:1

“Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.”


I read it like this:  Samson was this young , buff guy and one day , while his shirt was off and he was flexing, he saw a prostitute and messed up his career as a judge in the OT.

Not so…..Judges 15:20 is startling.

It’s what I am talking about.



Read this verse

20 So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.



Samson falls into immorality , not as a young man , but as a veteran judge.  He has judged Israel for 20 years.

I have always missed that.


Sexual sin , is not the sin of the young, it can happen to anybody.  Just as God is not a respecter of persons…neither is sin.  If it goes after the baby in a mother’s womb, it will go after senior pastors, senior leaders and even seniors.


What this shows me is that the old christian chorus is so true…

“I need Thee….EVERY HOUR….I need Thee”.


Just because it’s been quiet for 20 years doesn’t mean your off the enemy’s radar.

For Samson , the enemy waited patiently for his Gaza visit.


Be careful of where you go. 

Be careful of what you see.

And be careful of who you connect with.


The Bible says Samson violated all three of these things…

“Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.”



The prostitute came not in the beginning of his ministry of judging Israel but at the end.

This is scary for me as I approach 3 decades of full time ministry.


I want to finish well.


Billy Sunday was a pro Baseball player in the early 1900’s who became one of the most famous preachers of his day and laid the groundwork for Billy Graham in Crusade Evangelism. Billy Sunday said “Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out.” It doesn’t matter how well you start if you fail to finish.”


I don’t want to stop at third but I want to cross the plate.

Just because I have been at this for 30 years does not mean I can’t  fail.  By the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m crossing the plate.  



  1. GOAL —->>> Starting Right and Finishing Well
    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
    Apostle Paul never mentions winning the race, only completing it. The Christian life is not a race to be won in a sprint, it is a contest to be finished through employing a steady, unwavering, pace. And on the CROSS Jesus declared, “It is finished!”

    The One who enlists you to the run the race–Jesus Christ–will also strengthen you
    to run the race, and to finish well. ~BM

  2. that’s why, we all need to ask god to guide us everyday. because we are in this sinful world and the devil is trying to make every move to destroy us. if you do fall short don’t let it be to lusting after another woman. I will pray for you and your family. im a single women , and I have feelings to. but I ask god to delivery from them until I find a husband

  3. My dad (Brother Jack) in his last sermon emphasized paying the price to finish well – I can still hear the words “Pay the price to serve God” ……These words are ingrained in me, it is not without a price but it will be worth it all when we see Jesus.

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