1 Samson went down to Timnath and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 And he came up and told his father and his mother and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now get her for me as a wife. 3 Then his father and mother said to him, Is there not a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said to his father, get her for me; she is right in my eyes. 4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
- In Judges 13 the Israelites had done evil again against the Lord and He delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for correction.
- Hebrews 12:6 whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and scourges every son he receives.
The Spirit of the LORD came mightily on Samson and he ripped a lion in two
5 Then went Samson down to Timnath with his father and his mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and behold, a young lion roared against him. 6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a kid with no weapon in his hand: but he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
- Psalm 22:19 Do not be far from me, O LORD: O my strength, hurry to help me.
7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she was right in his eyes.
8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion. 9 And he took of it in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother and he gave them, and they ate: but he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion. 10 So his father went down to the woman: and Samson made a feast there; for that is what the young men used to do. 11 And it happened that when they saw him that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
God doesn’t bless gambling
12 And Samson said to them, Now, I will tell you a riddle: if you can solve it within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: 13 But if you cannot declare it me, then you will give me thirty linen wraps and thirty change of clothing. And they said to him, put forth your riddle, that we may hear it.
- A change of clothing was very valuable in ancient times because fabric was spun and woven by hand.
14 And he said to them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweet. They could not expound the riddle in three days. 15 And on the seventh day, that they said to Samson’s wife, Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father’s house with fire: have you called us to take that we have? Is it not so?
- If these men lost the wager to Samson they would lose their clothes. ‘Is that why you called us here, they asked?‘
16 So Samson’s wife wept before him and said, You hate me, and do not love me: you have put forth a riddle to the children of my people, and have not told it to me. And he said to her, Behold, I have not told it to my father or my mother, and will I tell it you? 17 And she wept before him the seven days while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her because she pressed him so hard: and she told the riddle to the children of her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, what is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? And he said to them, if you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle. 19 And the Spirit of the LORD came on him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, and took their spoil/armor, and gave changes of garments to those that expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house. 20 But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.
- God is sovereign over life and death.
- Verse 4 said that God sought an occasion against the Philistines.
- They worshipped idols instead of their Maker.
- Their ways lead their people to eternal death.
- Remember that God made man in His own image.
- Man chose to fall into sin.
- God knows every thought of every person.
- These were not random killings.
- God was in charge.
- These people had rejected the only true God and by that chose death.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
1 But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a kid of the goats; he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not allow him to go in. 2 And her father said, I definitely thought that you completely hated her; so I gave her to your companion: isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she? Let her be yours. 3 Then Samson said concerning them, Now, I will be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them harm. 4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, took firebrands, turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand between two tails. 5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he released them into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks, and also the standing grain, with the vineyards and olive groves.
- Foxes with tails tied together cannot roll to put out the fire.
- They ran frantically trying to get rid of the pain.
6 Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he took his wife, and gave her to his companion. And the Philistines went up, and burned her and her father with fire.
- The Philistines threatened to burn the wife and her father if they didn’t find out Samson’s riddle (Chapter 14).
- They very thing they tried to avoid is what happened to them anyway.
7 And Samson said to them, though you have done this, yet I will be avenged of you, and after that I will stop. 8 And he struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam. 9 Then the Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, why have you come up against us? And they answered, We have come to bind Samson, to do to him as he has done to us. 11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam and said to Samson, Don’t you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us? And he said to them, I did to them as they did to me.
12 And they said to him, We have come down to bind you that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said to them, Swear to me, that you will not fall on me yourselves. 13 And they spoke to him saying, No; but we will tie you tight, and deliver you into their hand: but will not kill you. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.
The Spirit of the LORD came mightily on Samson
14 And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on him, and the cords that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire; his bands melted off his hands. 15 Then he found a new jawbone of an ass, put out his hand, took it, and killed a thousand men with it. 16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I killed a thousand men. 17 And when he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.
- Notice how Samson began to take credit for this victory over their enemies. But the power came from the Spirit of the LORD, the Holy Spirit.
- What happens next humbles him and he gives the credit to God.
18 And he became very thirsty, and called on the LORD and said, You have given this great deliverance into the hand of your servant: now will I die of thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? 19 But God split a hollow place that was in the jaw, and water came out there; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: so he called the name of it En-hakkore/fountain of One calling, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he judged Israel twenty yearsi n the days of the Philistines.
- God heard and answered Samson’s callfor help.
- Then Samson led Israel for twenty years, fighting their battles, settling their internal disputes.
- Philippians 4:19 my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- Psalm 18:50 He gives great deliverance to his king; and shows mercy to his anointed.
1 Then went Samson went to Gaza, saw a harlot there, and went in unto her. 2 And it was told the Gazites saying, Samson has come here. So they surrounded him and laid waiting for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all night saying, In the morning, when it is day, we will kill him. 3 But Samson lay until midnight, got up at midnight, took the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all; he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of a hill that is before Hebron.
- God helps His leaders.
- Samson did not deserve God’s help.
- None of us do.
- Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
- Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
4 And after this he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, Entice him; find out what makes him so strong, so we can overpower him, so we can conquer him: and we will give you, every one of us, eleven hundred pieces of silver.
- There were at least five lords of the Philistines. That’s 5,500 pieces of silver.
- Lots of people choose money over right, thinking that money gives them security for life.
- That is making money your God. It is idolatry. God is life, not money.
- 1Timothy 6:10t he love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
6 So Delilah said to Samson, Please tell me what makes you so strong; how can you be overcome and conquered. 7 Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then I will be weak, and be as one man. 8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought her seven green cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now there were men lying in wait, sitting with her in the chamber. And she said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. And he broke the cords, as a thread of tow is broken when it touches the fire. So the source of his strength was not known.
- ‘Tow’ is the fiber left over in making flax.
- God’s promise to obedient Israel was that five men would chase a hundred and a hundred would defeat a thousand (Leviticus 26:8).
10 And Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies: now please tell me how you may be overcome. 11 And he said to her, If they bind me tightly with new ropes that have not been used then I will be weak, and be like any other man. 12 So Delilah took new ropes, bound him with them and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. Ambushers were waiting, sitting in the chamber. And he broke them off his arms like a thread. 13 Then Delilah said to Samson, Up to now you have mocked me, and told me lies: tell me how you might be bound. And he said to her, If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web. 14 So she fastened it with the pin and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. And he woke out of his sleep, left with the pin of the beam, and with the web. 15 And she said to him, How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies. 16 And she pressured him daily with her words, and urged him so that his soul was grieved to death; 17 And he told her all his heart and said to her. A razor has not come upon my head; for I have been a Nazarite to God from my mother’s womb: if I am shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man. 18 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 has showed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hand. 19 She made him sleep on her knees; then she called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head; she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
God departed from Samson when the vow was broken
20 And she said, The Philistines are on you, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. 21 But the Philistines took him, bored out his eyes, brought him down to Gaza, bound him with brass chains; and he was a grinder in the prison house.
- God was Samson’s strength, not his hair.
- Samson’s eyes got him in trouble.
- He ‘saw a daughter of the Philistines’ and told his parents to get her for Him. Later He saw Delilah.
- If our eye is on the Source and not on the stuff then our whole body will be full of light.
- God wants to bless everyone in all things (Genesis 24:1). Our choices often block God’s blessing.
- 1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
- Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye/focus is single, your whole body will be full of light.
- Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.
22 However the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaved. 23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hand. 24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, and the destroyer of our country, who killed many of us. 25 And it happened, when their hearts were merry they said, Call for Samson, that he may amuse us. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he entertained them: and they set him between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the lad that held him by the hand, Allow me to feel the pillars on which the house stands, that I may lean on them. 27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; about three thousand men and women were on the roof, that watched while Samson was amusing them.
God heard and answered Samson’s two requests
28 And Samson called to the LORD and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I beg you, strengthen me, please, only this once, O God, that I may be avenged at once of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house stood, which held it up, the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people that were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those he killed in his life. 31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, took him, brought him up from there, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying place of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years.
- God is so much greater than we are that He can even use our bad decisions for His good purposes.
- Nothing stops His plan. Samson’s life would have been much more blessed and joyful if he had wholly followed God.
- Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
SUMMARY: Judges 14-16
- The Spirit of the LORD came mightily on Samson and he tore a lion in two
- He didn't bless Samson's gambling but used Samson's weakness or error for good to His people.
- Samson's great strength was from the Spirit of the Lord.
- God's leaders are often flawed. We are all flawed.
- God's Spirit departed from Samson when Samson broke his vow
- The LORD heard and answered Samson's two requests