Judges 15 – Part 2QUESTION: Heat and Mahi Mahi - 2ANSWER:Judges 15 – Part 2
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
“In Judges 15, Samson’s anger has obviously cooled down toward his young bride. He comes to visit her house bringing a gift of a young goat. It’s clear that Samson thinks he’ll be welcomed back with a party – he even brought the main course! He knocks on the front door and says, ‘Let me go in to my wife, into her room.’ Call this what you will, but it sounds like lust to me. Remember the first thing that is said about Samson in Judges 14? Samson went down… and saw a woman. Sam has an eye for the ladies. But, it says in the text, ‘her father would not permit him to go in.’
“The girl’s father tells Samson that he gave her to be another man’s wife and he offers Sam his younger daughter. As you can imagine, Samson blows under. Watch what he does in the heat of his anger. . .
“He catches 300 foxes. He ties them together by the tails in pairs. Then he puts a torch in the knots of the two tails. 150 crazed, terrified pairs of foxes. Verse 5 says, ‘When he had set the torches on fire, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.’ That’s destructive fire number one.
“When the Philistines found out who had burned all of their crops to the ground, they asked around and found out it was Samson – the son-in-law of Timnite. At that, they came and burned Samson’s wife and her father with fire.
“Now let’s stop there. That’s the second destructive fire. There’s some really cool stuff in the remainder of chapter 15 about the Philistine coming up to war against the Israelites because they want Samson. Then the Israelites capture Samson, tie him up, and turn him over to the Philistines.
“The Philistines start to attack Samson, but the Spirit of the LORD comes upon him and he slays 1,000 men with the jawbone of a donkey. You’ve probably heard that story.
“Right now, though, I want to talk about the fiery marriage of Samson and the Timnite’s daughter. We continually stumble across the theme in Scripture regarding how important marriage is to God. In my opinion, we don’t need to look any farther than that to see how un-Godly America has become: marriage is hugely important to God and it is clearly not important to most of America.
“From chapters 14 and 15 of Judges, it looks like Samson – a Nazirite from birth – set up a marriage to a pagan woman because he lusted after her. He was arrogant and dishonest toward his bride. He didn’t protect her and cherish her. She betrayed him in the face of a death threat. He had a hissy fit and abandoned her. When he felt lust for the forsaken wife of his youth, he went back and tried to bribe his way into sleeping with her. When her father rightly refused, Sam went crazy and for revenge burned all of the crops in Timnah. The Philistines, to exact their own revenge, burned Samson’s wife and father-in-law to death.
“All of this over a stupid riddle? The scriptural riddle is: Why does a leader, newly wed to the wife of his youth – supposedly a gift from God - act like a selfish, spoiled brat, rock star?
“So, was Samson a ‘Bramble Leader’? Did everything he did come from an empowering by the Spirit of the LORD? The answer to the first question is that we’ve got another week of studying the man, so we’ll reserve judgment. As far as the empowering question, I don’t believe scripture tells us that. It may be that Samson can get away with some of the things he does because the superstitious Philistines have seen what he can do by the power of the Spirit and they give him a wide berth.
“Ultimately, Samson is a picture of every believer. He epitomizes the example of the people used by the LORD in the book of Judges. The lesson to be learned is that God can use any of us - boneheads, morons, spoiled brats, egotists, liars or fraidy cats – to powerfully carry out His plans. We would be best advised to remember that when we see no logic, no sense, no symmetry in the people God is using today. The best we can do is pray for them, pray for the Kingdom, and believe in the Spirit of the LORD.”Judges 16 – Go!