Judges part 6 Chap. 13 - 16

 

Tonight as we continue in our study in the book of Judges we will be examining a very interesting Judge who doesnít seems to have great luck with the women he chooses. Of course this judge is Samson. Lets begin our study in.

 

Judges 13:1 Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

 

This is the 7th and final time that we will read this phrase in this book that the children of Israel didevil in the site of the lord. I really believe that the main reason why the children of Israel continued to fall away from God and would entangle themselves with false Godís is because they decided to live side by side with the Canaanites and they married them and allowed their ways to influence them. We should take note of this brethren because the same thing can and does happen to Christians today. This is why Paul tells us in,

 

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."

 

These are words to live by. You see the more we become lax in our commitment to Gods truth the easier it becomes for us to start adapting society or to the denominational world. How many churches of Christ do you know of right now that used to be sound congregations but now they have started adopting false ways. You see they have allowed society and denominations to influence them and instead of staying away from these false ways they have embraced them and now they are using musical instruments in their worship assemblies and sharing their pulpits with denominational preachers. I pray that we never let this happen here at Lone Grove.

 

Judges 13:2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.3 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.4 "Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.5 "For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."

 

Here we see that this women could not bare a child but God had plans for this women to have a son whom he would raise up to be the new judge for the children of Israel. Now his parents didnít have a choice in matter they had to raise him as Nazirite and she was told 3 specific things that must be done. 1. She couldnít drink wine. 2 She couldnít eat anything unclean 3 He was to never have his hair cut. It interesting to note that only these 3 things are mentioned yet Number 6:1-8 states a forth one that a Nasserite is not to come near to a dead body. It may be the case that this particular requirement did not apply to Samson.††

 

Judges 13:6 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.7 "And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.' "8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, "O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born."

 

So his wife explains to him what happens and then he prays to God that he might know what he is suppose todo for the child. I really like this concept of how is praying for wisdom on how to properly raise this child the right way. I think every parent should pray to God for wisdom on how best raise their child up in the Lord.

 

Judges 13:9 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her.10 Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, "Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!"11 So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, "Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?" And He said, "I am."12 Manoah said, "Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy's rule of life, and his work?"13 So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful.14 "She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe."

 

So basically Manoah has now witnessed with his own eyes and ears the same message that was told to his wife.

 

Judges 13:15 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, "Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You."16 And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD." (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, "What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?"18 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, "Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?" 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on --20 it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar -- the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.21 When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.22 And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"

 

As I have stated many times before I believe that the angle of the Lord found many times in the OT was non-other then Jesus Christ in pre-incarnate state. Notice Manoah thought they would die because they had seen God. But whatever view you take on who this angel of the Lord was we can just imagine how scared this must of made them. But as wives do many times we will see that she offers some comforting words.

 

Judges 13:23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol. <esh'-ta-ol>

 

Now in chapter 14 we learn about Sampson first wife. I think many times we forget about her because we always here the story of Sampson and Delilah. Lets begin in verse 1.

 

Judges 14:1 Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.2 So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife."3 Then his father and mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well."

 

Samson parents wanted him to marry a Jew which was the law of God but instead he choose to marry this Philistine woman which brings us to a very difficult verse.

 

Judges 14:4 But his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD -- that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

 

This verse indicates that God wanted Sampson to marry this women in order to make a move against the Philistines. Now there are 2 views to this verse some teach that Sampson had to marry this women by the will of God others say that Sampson choose to marry this woman even though it was against Gods law and the God would simply use this wrongful marriage to begin the attack on the Philistines. While this may be a challenge verse I think we can all agree that whatever the meaning God was going to use this situation to begin his move against the philistines.

In verses 5-9 Samson goes to see this new women and on his way he is attacked by a lion and the spirit of God comes on him and he kills the lion. This is Samson first taste of the power he has with the spirit of God being on him. This would give him the confidence he needed to start defeating the Philistines latter on, after all if he could easily kill a lion with his bare hands how much harder would it be to kill a man. Well he goes and finds his women and he likes what he sees and on hisway back to his parents he sees the lion he killed know had some bees and honey in it and then eats some of the honey and gives some to his parents but he doesnít tell them where it came from.

 

Judges 14:10 So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so.11 And it happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

 

Here we read about the first bachelor party in the Bible except their party lasted for 7 days. That was the typical amount time they spent in celebration of a marriage.

 

12 Then Samson said to them, "Let me pose a riddle to you. If you can correctly solve and explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing.13 "But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing." And they said to him, "Pose your riddle, that we may hear it."14 So he said to them: "Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet." Now for three days they could not explain the riddle.

 

Now Samson challenges these men with this riddle. He made this riddle up based upon on his encounter with that lion and the honey that he eat out of it latter. Now the wager was for 30 garmentsyou wear under you normal clothes and 30 outer garments. These men were so hard pressed to win the challenge that they tried to squeeze the information out Samsonís new wife and when he came down to the 7th day they even threatened to burn her and her father if she didnít find out the answer. So she cried and wined to Sampson day after day until he could not stand it anymore and so he tells her the answer and she in turn tells these men the answer.

 

18 So 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 solved my riddle!"19 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father's house.20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

 

Not only was he betrayed by his new wife while he was gone she was giving to his best man as a wife now. Now as we move into chapter 15 we see that Sampson still wanted his wife and he came back to be with her and this is when he finds out that she was given to his best man and then they try to offer him her younger sister and this makes him mad so he takes 300 foxes and ties torches between their tails and lets them go and they burn down the grains, vineyards and orchards and when the Philistines find out the reason why he did this then they burn his wife and her father to death. This makes Sampson mad andso he takes revenge and he slaughter these Philistines.

 

Now more Philistines come to take their revenge and the children of Israel ask them why they have come. When they find out that they want to arrest Sampson they take 3000 of their men to go get him. Itsad that the Children of Israel would turn on their ownJudge. However this happens today as well. Its not that uncommon that Christians will turn on one another even though they should not. Anyways Sampson agrees to let them arrest him as long as they donít kill him. They bind him up and deliver him to the Philistines.

 

Judges 15:14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.16 Then Samson said: "With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!"17 And so it was, when he had finished speaking, that he threw the jawbone from his hand, and called that place Ramath Lehi.

 

You see it was only through power of God that he could pulled off such a feat. What an amazing scene that must have been to see just 1 man armed with a jawbone to lay to rest 1000 men. This made Sampson tired and very thirsty.

 

Judges 15:18 Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the LORD and said, "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?"19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.20 And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

 

So God provides for him and it tells us that he judged for 20 years.

 

Judges 16:1 Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.2 When the Gazites were told, "Samson has come here!" they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, "In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him."3 And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

 

What can I say but that Samson certainly wasnít a saint yet God seemed to still help in his battle against the Philistines. Sometimes God would even use the wicked to bring about a desired result. It hasbeen estimated that Samson carried these items for about 30 miles again showing the great strengththat he possessed.

Judges 16:4 Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

 

Now we see thatSampson finally meetsDelilah. Now many assume that he made her his wife but no where in the text does state that she was his wife. It certainly is possible that she was just another Harlot that he was just staying with at the time and of course it just aspossible that he took her as his wife. But in either case Sampson had finally met his match with this lady. We already know from the past that he didnít have the greatest luckwith women. His first wife betrayed him out of fear but Delilah would betray him for lure of money.

 

The Philistines offered her 1100 pieces of silver to find out what the source of strength was. So she began to press him and work her charm on him to find out what his secret was and so begins the game.

 

1. Judges 16:7 And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man."

 

Wellthis was lie number 1 because as soon as she yelled out the Philistines are upon you he jumped and broke from these bowstrings.

 

2. Judges 16:11 So he said to her, "If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man."

 

Just like before she yelled out the Philistines are upon you and he jumped and freed himself from these new ropes. Now I am sure we have all heard the saying fool me once shame on but fool me twice shame on me. Well you would think that that Samson would start to figure things out but he just couldnít see it. I guess he was blinded by his love.

 

3. Judges 16:13 Delilah said to Samson, "Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom" Ė

 

Once again Sampson lied and once again he was able to break from web of the loom. Then Delilah pulled out one of the oldest tricks in the book and began saying if you really love me you will tell me and she keep on pressing day after day until he finally gave in.

 

Judges 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death,17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall 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 once more, for he has told me all his heart." So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand.19 Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.

 

You see Sampson sold himself out because ofhis weakness when it came to women and now he was nothing more than a blind save.

 

Judges 16:22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice. And they said: "Our god has delivered into our hands Samson our enemy!"24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said: "Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, The destroyer of our land, And the one who multiplied our dead."25 So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson, that he may perform for us." So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars.26 Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them."27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there -- about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.28 Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!"29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left.30 Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.31 And his brothers and all his father's household came down and took him, and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel twenty years.

 

Once again Sampson was able to receive God spirit and once again he used his strength to kill more Philistines than he had in the past. Apparently as he pushed on these pillars itcauses a domino effect and thousands of people died that day including Samson and again we see that he was judge for 20 years. Now when read the story of Sampson you see a lot of the negative things that he did in his life but apparently he also did a lot of good because he is mentioned in passing in Heb. 11.32 with all the other faithful men of the Bible and certainly in the end we see that he God was back on his side as he was able to use his strength to push down this temple. We can learn from Sampson that even though we may have our ups and downs in our Christian walk of faith that if we will remain true in the end that we to can be still be considered as a faithful Christian. What is important forus to remember is that if we fall down in sin donít stay down instead shake it off by repenting and confessing to God and get back and start walking again keeping you eye on the goal of heaven.