“A Contradicted Man, Samson I Am.” Part 3
“And Samson said to them, “This time I shall be innocent in regard to the Philistines, when I do them harm.” So Samson went and caught 300 foxes and took torches. And he turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails. And when he had set fire to the torches, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines and set fire to the stacked grain and the standing grain, as well as the olive orchards.” Judges 15:3-5 (ESV)
“Temper, temper there Samson, don’t you remember you gave your wife back? Why not have her sister instead.” I don’t see when it is announced that Samson has become the Judge yet but I think it is safe to say that by this point in his life, he is pretty much on the road to become a Judge of Israel. And what he decides to do to the Philistines at this point in time is not only a massive act of arson according to our laws but he would upset P.E.T.A and make Michael Vick look tame. Then in retaliation for burning up the Philistines crops they in turn burn two of their own and go looking for Samson. Josephus has it recorded that the Philistines went further into Samson’s former wife’s family. This story is getting brutal.
This act of murder angers Samson and he goes at them “hip and thigh”. Gods plan against the Philistines is now in full throttle and Samson has created such a ruckus that his own people turn to him and say, “Holy Smoke Samson, most people would stopped at wheat fields but you make the Philistines, our rulers, really angry. You Go Now!!” But if we could take a moment here to reflect on Jesus, yes in the midst of all this chaos we can see Jesus. You see Samson is doing the will of the Father, just as Jesus had done. And the tribes of Judah, just as the Jews of Jesus’ time, want to bring punishment on one of their own to save themselves. And lets us forget Moses and what happened to Korah, “And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods.” (Num 16:32)
So now when Samson allows his fellow tribesmen to bind him and surrender him over to the Philistines his fellow tribesmen get to see the mightiness of God. The Spirit of the Lord comes upon him, burns the ropes and melts the bonds right off of Samson. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey and with it he kills 1,000 men. Wow!! The jawbone of a donkey, really? For any of us who doubt that God can use anything He wants to do His will you better think about this one. I don’t think that this jawbone was anything spectacular but it was of God and that is all that matters…right?
So anyway, Samson cries out, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have “I” struck down a thousand men.” I put the “I” in quotations because of something I read in Josephus’ account of this moment. He wrote, “Upon this slaughter Samson was too proud of what he had performed, and said that this did not come to pass by the assistance of God, but that his success was to be ascribed to his own courage”. Now of course there is more to this account but this stuck out to me. Because after this moment Samson gets very thirsty and then we read in Scripture that Samson called upon the Lord and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” Hmmm…
Now of course the Lord split open the open the hollow place and Samson drank and his spirit returned and this chapter ends with the announcement of Samson becoming Judge. But I wonder…with all the chaos up to this point how many times had Samson forgotten his favor with God? Better yet how many times have we forgotten our favor with God? How much grace does He give us and how thankful are we for the mercy of the living waters? I see the same battle of salvation in my own life through this story of the donkey’s jawbone. God has given me the tools to win the everyday battles and all He wants is obedience and praise. I believe that like me, Samson had his moments where he forgot just who was bringing the jawbone into his hand. Have you forgotten who gave you your tool to win the battle? I sure hope not. Stay tuned…Samson and Delilah is still yet to be covered. Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and blogs weekly. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “Let’s take another desire-why does a man long for a battle to fight? Because when we enter the story in Genesis, we step into a world war. The lines have already been drawn. Evil is waiting to make its next move. Somewhere back before Eden, in the mystery of eternity past, there was a coup, a rebellion, an assassination attempt. Lucifer, the prince of angels, the captain of the guard, rebelled against the Trinity. He tried to take the throne by force, assisted by a third of the angelic army, in whom he instilled his own malice. They failed, and were hurled from the presence of the Trinity. But they were not destroyed, and the battle is not over. God now has an enemy…and so do we.” Wild at Heart John Eldredge
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27