VENGEANCE OF SAMSON ON THE PHILISTINES
In the previous chapter, we saw Samson carrying out his mission without regard to the commandments of the God of Israel on separation from the heathen nations, especially on marriage, as expressly commanded in Deuteronomy 7:3. We see Samson going into unequal yoke in marriage to a daughter of the Philistines.
Today’s text shows the return of Samson to his wife with a kid, or perhaps a fawn, as a present with the intention of making reconciliation. But much to his vexation, his wife had been given to his friend. Disgruntled by this betrayal, he vowed to “do them displeasure” (verse 3).
- DISTRESS OF AND REVENGE ON THE PHILISTINES
Judges 15:1-13; Romans 12:18-21; Matthew 5:13-16, 38-48; 1 Corinthians 6:1-7
Samson’s visit to his wife after a while was perhaps to reconcile with her. His effort at making peace was however futile as his father-in-law denied him access and announced that he had given her out to his companion. This action infuriated Samson and he set the corn field of the Philistines ablaze (Judges 15:1, 4 & 5). When they reacted by killing his wife and father-in-law, he ruthlessly slaughtered many of them. Consequently, the army of the Philistines went up and camped against Judah. The sight of the Philistines triggered fear in the hearts of the people of Judah. “Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson . . . what is this that thou hast done unto us? (Judges 15: 11). To save the people of Judah from the wrath of the Philistines, Samson surrendered himself to the people of Judah to bind him (Judges 15:13, 14). In the same way, our Lord Jesus Christ surrendered Himself by the will of God to be arrested, bound and crucified on behalf of mankind (John 3:16). As believers, we should be willing to render selfless service to God and humanity by sacrificing all for the salvation of the souls of sinners and backsliders.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We must desist from any deed or attitude that could expose other people to danger. If we truly claim to be God’s children, we should be careful to maintain good works as our lifestyles could affect other people.
Believers are not to seek revenge for ills done to them by fellow believers or unbelievers; neither are they to engage in legal battle against fellow pilgrims. Rather, they should (i) yield themselves to God who declares: “…vengeance is mine; I will repay…” (Romans 12:19); (ii) Love their enemies (Mat.5:44); (iii) take wrong and allow themselves to be defrauded (1Cor. 6:7); and (iv) take the steps prescribed by the Lord Jesus Christ to reconcile with such a brother or a sister (Matthew 18:15-17).
- DEFEAT AND ROUTE OF ISRAEL’S FOES
Judges15:14-17; Exodus 14:23-28; 1 Samuel 17:45-50; 2 Chronicles 20:20-23; Romans 16:20; Acts 4:31
The Philistines had oppressed Israel for forty years before Samson was born. He was born – (Judges 13: 5). The empowerment of Samson is not an endorsement of his wayward lifestyle. God had in the past spoken through a donkey to fulfill His purpose (Num. 22:28-33). Only salvation, holiness and obedience to God’s word can guarantee a believer a place in heaven, not wonderful works in the name of the Lord (Mat.7:21 – 23). God is always in the business of fighting for His people. When God was to defeat Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea, only the stretching of the rod of Moses was required (Ex.14:16, 26). A sling and a stone in the hand of David defeated Goliath of Gath (1 Sam.17: 50).
Under the new dispensation, sin is the greatest enemy of man. Sinners and backsliders must acknowledge and confess their sins (Rom. 3:23; Psa. 51:5, 3), repent and forsake them (Acts 3:19), accept Christ as personal Lord and Saviour (Rom.10:9, 10), and continue to follow Jesus (John 8:31,32).
It is instructive that the Holy Spirit came upon the Old Testament saints only each time there was a divine task to accomplish (Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14; 1 Samuel 10:10; 16:13; 2 Chronicles 15:1; 20:14). But under the new dispensation, there is Holy Ghost baptism whereby the sanctified believer is endued with power and is continually filled to live and serve the Lord. The importance of the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the life of a believer cannot be over stressed. Among other things, the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian (Acts 1:8); emboldens him before the enemies (Act 4:31); comforts him in trying times (John 14:18); teaches and reminds him of God’s words (John 14:26); guides him into all truth (John 16:13), and helps him in prayer (Romans 8:26). The initial evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism is speaking in an unknown tongue (Acts 2:1-4).
- DESPERATE REQUEST OF THIRSTY SAMSON
Judges 15:18-20; Matthew 7:7; Philippians 4:6, 19; 1Peter 5:7; Jeremiah 33:3
Shortly after he had recorded a great victory through the help of the Spirit of God, Samson was thirsty and needed water desperately (Judges 15:18). All he did was to call upon God. In his prayer, Samson attributed the victory over the Philistines to God before making request for the present need. Our prayer life shows the level of our dependence on God.
Rather than grumble and complain, needy brethren ought to call upon the name of the Lord in prayer (Jeremiah 33:3). Prayer opens the gate of heaven, moves the hand of God and supplies every need. Prayer is powerful enough to tear down the strongholds of Satan against our peace, progress and prosperity. Believers in need of basic necessities of life should take advantage of the privilege that prayer offers and pray (Mat. 6:26-28, Ex. 15:26; 1 Pet. 2:24, Psa. 91:7, 8).
God responded to the prayer of Samson (Jud.15:19). He knows how to meet the needs of His trusting servants. Samson drank the water which was exclusively meant for him. But the water that Jesus gives satisfies the soul and gives everlasting life. This water is for whosoever is willing to drink. Sinners can come to Christ, drink of this water and be saved. Backsliders can drink and be restored and believers can drink of this water and be strengthened (John 4:13, 14).