Judges chapter 15 begins with Samson returning home to see his wife only to find out that his father in law had given her to his buddy. So, what does he do? What any rational married man would do… proceed to seek revenge on the Philistines by burning their crops down. Right? To settle the score, the Philistines hunt down Samson’s wife and father in law and burn them to death. So, again, being the rational man he was, Samson seeks revenge and kills many of them then goes to stay in cave in the rock of Etam. It doesn’t end here. Three thousand men from Judah came to the cave to tie him up so that they could turn him over to the Philistines. Now we are here at verse 13 and he is bound up and in route then – 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.16 Then Samson said,“With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them.[a]With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.”
Take a second to breathe.
Now on to chapter 16 where we see Samsons interactions with Delilah, his eyes were gouged out, and he seeks revenge on the Philistines for his eyes by bringing down the temple causing many to die, including himself.
Samson was such an interesting character. One who many of us can relate to if we really search ourselves. We can often be people who throw fits because of our temper, we can whine at times, and we may even claim glory for accomplishments in our lives that we should be giving glory to God for. You see Samson was chosen to judge Israel. He was set apart, but he did not live like it. His faith life was sloppy and hypocritical. Samson was given chance after chance to get his act together but he doesn’t seem to come to his senses until it’s too late. We see him at the end of chapter 16, the end of his life, realizing where his strength really comes from and who it was meant to be used for.
I want to offer a couple of quick observations that I draw from these two chapters.
One is this. God used Samson even though he was blatantly flawed. This should give each of us hope in that even if we choose wrong, somehow God is still weaving it into His UNBROKEN plan. Second observation is this. We do not want to wait until the end of our lives to realize where our strength comes from and who we are supposed to be using it for.