Don’t You Realize?

Samson knew who he was. Even though he was interconnected with the Philistines, he recognized that he was an Israelite from Judah and that his life was dedicated to God. The Lord was with him, and he knew it.

Because of this knowledge, Samson walked in a lot of confidence. He moved about without a lot of fear, even if that was seen as being too brash by those around him.

As a result of his wife being given away and then subsequently killed along with her father, Samson attacked and killed several of the Philistines, provoking them, the Philistines, into coming to look for him amongst the Israelites in the tribe of Judah.

The Israelites knew where he was and they didn’t want to be killed by the Philistines, so they went to get Samson so that they could hand him over to them. They knew Samson’s strength, so they sent an army – 3000 men – to capture him and bring him back and deliver him to the Philistines. They said:

“Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”

Judges 15:11

I think we should learn from this scene. Here are the Israelites with 3000 men coming to take Samson to deliver him to the Philistines. They could have sent those same 3000 men to fight against the Philistines, to throw them off of them. They could have lived as a free people, as they should have. In fact, we know from the story of Samson that the Lord wanted to confront the Philistines, but it would require a certain type of person to do that. Why? Because the others saw the Philistines as their rulers. They had gotten used to the idea of being subject to the Philistines, an idea that was wrong.

But Samson didn’t think in the same way. He didn’t mind provoking the Philistines because the Spirit of the Lord would give him strength. He didn’t mind challenging the status quo, to take on that which is wrong to move it toward becoming what would be right because he was clear that the Lord would use him in the way that the Lord wanted.

Very frequently, we also ask ourself and each other… Don’t you realize?

This can be with a sinful action. Or it could be with a situation that is preventing us from moving toward what we know is best before the Lord. But we are afraid to move out from underneath the situation because we are afraid of what might happen. We ask ourselves… Don’t you realize…? This other thing could happen, and that could be worse.

Or… the other option is that God is with us. The other option is that we could be directly in the will of God and he could be presenting us a situation that would allow us to move beyond what is wrong into what is right. That may very well be the situation that we find ourselves within and instead of asking whether or not we realize what could go wrong, we could instead ask ourselves if we realize what could be set right. Don’t you realize?

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