TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

Judges 15 – 16

Judges 15

After his anger cools Samson goes back to take his wife around Pentecost.

Judges 15:1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

The father explains what he has done and offers Samson the younger woman to make things right, but Samson is again enraged for he had loved his bride. 

15:2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her. 15:3 And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.

Then Samson burns the fields of the Philistines which were ripe and dry.

15:4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.

15:5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn [standing grain; referring  to the wheat just at harvest] of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn [wheat], with the vineyards and olives.

The Philistines then burned his wife and her father, for they could not stand before Samson.

15:6 Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

Samson then attacks the Philistines once more, for his rage was hot.

15:7 And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease. 15:8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.

Then the Philistines went out to get rid of this troublemaker Samson.

15:9 Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 15:10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.

Judah then goes to bind Samson and turn him over to their masters the Philistines.

15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.

Samson permits the Jews to bind him.

15:12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves. 15:13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.

The strength of Samson was by the Spirit of God, revealing lesson four of Samson; that our own strength is nothing compared to the strength of God.

Spiritually, it is by the strength of God the Father and Jesus Christ IN US; that we overcome sin; not by trying to fight the battle alone.

15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 15:16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

15:17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.

15:18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

God brings water from the jaw of the ass

15:19 But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.

15:20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

 

Judges 16

The Philistines supposed that they had surrounded and trapped Samson in a harlot’s house and that he would remain there until morning. Visiting harlot’s is not the act of a righteous man, but God still uses the weakness of Samson to help deliver Israel from the Philistines.

Samson made many mistakes but he ultimately overcame in the end. 

Judges 16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. 16:2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.

Samson arises at midnight and removes the strong and very heavy city gates to a far hill top. This exploit would have astonished the Philistines and convinced them of his strength.

16:3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.

Samson still finds pleasure in foreign women.

16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Delilah is offered a huge irresistible price for finding out the secret of Samson’s strength,

16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

Delilah seeks the secret from Samson but he toys with her.

16:6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. 16:7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

Delilah then tests out what Samson has said delivering him to the Philistines. Samson is still distracted by her charms and does not reject her for betraying him.

16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 16:9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.

Delilah quickly uses her influence to get the secret of Samson’s strength, before he can come to his senses and reject her.

16:10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.

Samson again deceives her not willing to reveal his secret.

16:11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. 16:12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.

Again she betrays Samson and again he cleaves to this traitorous woman, and again they play their little game.

16:13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.

Delilah wove his hair and fastened it to a main beam of the house, yet he rose up and carried the beam away.

16:14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.

Again the game is played by Delilah and one wonders at Samson and his blind passion for her.

16:15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.

Finally even though she has betrayed him many times, Samson is foolish enough to tell this traitorous woman his secret.

16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; 16:17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.

Delilah then caused Samson to lie down with his head on her knees so that the Philistines could easily cut his hair while he slept.

16:18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. 16:19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.

16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

Samson was then taken by the Philistines and his eyes blinded; he was then made to grind the grain like a bullock.

16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

16:22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.

16:23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. 16:24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

The Philistines held a victory feast for their god Dagon the fish an ancient fertility god. Fish are NOT Christian, as thought by many today. The papal crown is a Dagon hat, and depictions of fish for religious purposes are Dagon worship.

16:25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

They made sport and mocked Samson rejoicing for they supposed Dagon had power over Samson and the God of Israel.

16:26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

16:27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

Then Samson called on the Eternal to strengthen him one last time.

16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

16:31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

The story of Samson was recorded for our instruction.

His mother and father were instructed to maintain the holiness of avoiding all uncleanness from the moment of conception, yet Samson loved an unconverted women and did not hesitate to engage in whoring.

Yet in spite of his weakness, God used him to perform God’s will. Samson was an example of how NOT to live, when called out to God! Yet Samson was also used by God to demonstrate to us that God’s will, will be done regardless of the actions of men.

We have been called to a zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God; a zeal which Samson did not initially have. His love for the unconverted is a type of the modern day spiritually called out brethren’s love for worldliness and their idols of men; for in scripture the great false religion and her daughters are painted as a great whore.

We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts; and we are not to marry unconverted spouses; or associate with false doctrines and false religions.

God will judge all people based on what they do, or do not do, with what they have been given.

Samson had many things going for him including a set of virtuous parents who scrupulously followed God’s instructions regarding Samson’s rearing. Yet in the end it was Samson and no one else, who determined what he would do with the special calling God had granted him.

Many of us are familiar with the biblical teaching: Proverbs. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We also know that Paul was inspired of God to write: I Corinthians 7:14 “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Many converted parents model God’s way for their children in their example and they teach them to live by every Word of God.  Yet when some of these kids reach the age of personal accountability, parents sometimes have their hearts broken by seeing their children turn their backs on God and the teachings and examples of their parents. With the possible exception of having to bury a child, there is no greater heartache for a parent than to witness such a spectacle in the lives of their own child or children.

They then wonder: What did I forget to do? What did I do wrong? How did I fail my child? I am sure that Samson’s parents must have wondered these same things as they watched how their beloved son made such serious mistakes.

Sometimes the answer is that the parents did nothing wrong and that the children simply did not understand.

Finally the really big lessons from Samson, are that being called of God does not mean one has it made or that the way will be easy; there are many sorrows to work through and it is written that many are called and few will be chosen (Mat 22:14).  Sampson despite his several failures did overcome in the end (Hebrews 11), while Saul and others did fail to persevere.

We are called to a life of growing, overcoming and living by every Word of God.  It is not the calling to God or an office that saves; it is our response to God’s calling to live by every Word of God, or to go our own way which determines our final end.  

Baptism and or ordination itself, means absolutely nothing if we do not live by every Word of God!

1 Comment

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  1. Hey James, your comment: Finally the really big lesson from Samson, is that being called of God does not mean one has it made; for many are called and few will be chosen (Mat 22:14).

    It’s sometimes hard to understand but Samson those have it made for the better resurrection!

    Heb 11:32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.

    Also in Judges 11:30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

    And in Judges 11:39 it plainly says that Jephthah has fulfilled his vow (took his daughters life),
    39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

    Yes, Samson had many troubles but did overcome in the end, Jepthah also kept his vow and dedicated his daughter to God. But there are others not on Paul’s list like Judas, Saul and Diotrophes.

    Thank you, your constructive input is much appreciated. I will correct the comment in reference to Sampson. James

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