A daily devotional walking through God's word together using The Bible Reading Plan at http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.
How bad do you have to be for your own to turn you over to the enemy?
Today we’ll look at what happens to Samson after he killed 30 Philistines to pay his debt to his bachelor party companions after they gave him the answer to his riddle. Last week we so how Samson let his emotions get out of control even though it was really his fault all these things were happening to him in the first place. We talked about his anger at everyone but himself, the real culprit in his string of failures.
Today we see the consequences of his actions in Judges 15.
Later on, Samson went to visit his wife. He took a young goat with him. He went at the time the wheat was being gathered. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father wouldn’t let him go in.
Her father said, “I was sure you really lated her. So I gave her to your friend. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful? Take her instead.”
Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines. I’m going to hurt them badly.”
So he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied them in pairs by their tails. Then he tied a torch to each pair of tails. He lit the torches. He let the foxes loose in the fields of grain that belonged to the Philistines. He burned up the grain that had been cut and stacked. He burned up the grain that was still growing. He also burned up the vineyards and olive trees.
The Philistines asked, “Who did this?” They were told, “Samson did. He’s the son-in-law of the man from Timnah. Samson did it because his wife was given to his friend.”
So the Philistines went up and burned the woman and her father to death.
Samson said to them, “Is that how you act? Then I won’t stop until I pay you back.” He struck them down with heavy blows. He killed many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave. It was in the rock of Etam.
The Philistines went up and camped in Judah. They spread out near Lehi. The men of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight against us?”
“We’ve come to take Samson as our prisoner,” they answered. “We want to do to him what he did to us.”
Then 3,000 men from Judah went to get Samson. They went down to the cave that was in the rock of Etam. They said to Samson, “Don’t you realize the Philistines are ruling over us? What have you done to us?”
Samson answered, “I only did to them what they did to me.”
The men of Judah said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up. We’re going to hand you over to the Philistines.”
There it is. Once again Samson goes where he isn’t supposed to go. He does what he isn’t supposed to do. Then wonders why the Philistines want to take him prisoner. Of course the reason is Samson is a criminal. Sure the Philistines did bad stuff, too, but Samson was one of God’s chosen people and a Nazarite to boot. He was to live better a more noble life. He was to keep higher moral standards that the pagans God displaced when he told Joshua to possess the land. He didn’t. Little that Samson did portrayed the kind of behavior God wanted his people to share with the rest of the world.
Samson strayed so far from the moral compass God set for his people, though, that 3,000 men from Judah came to turn him over to the Philistines. Can you imagine that number arriving at your doorstep to tell you that you’re no longer welcome in your own country. You’ve done so much to alienate yourself from your family and friends that 3,000 of your neighbors come to tie you up and make you disappear.
Samson moved further and further from God and didn’t even know it. How could he think it was right to destroy the Philistine crops? How could he think it was right to kill those 30 innocent men to take their clothes from them? How could he think it right to abandon his wife and then go back to reclaim her and expect her father to have done nothing about it in that culture? How could Samson live the way he lived and not expect consequences?
How about you and me? Do we do the same? Do we live apart from God’s will and expect his blessings? Do we live however we choose and expect no retaliation from those we leave in our wake of destruction? Do we think we can act with no consequences?
I’m afraid too often that’s exactly what we do. We buy into the mantra that God is love without also understanding that God is just. He set in place these rules that govern the universe. We understand them in physics and chemistry and math. For instance, we believe that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We believe that 2 + 2 will always equal 4. But we have a hard time believing that our actions have consequences, whether good or bad, there are consequences.
Learn from Samson’s mistakes. Understand that life is full of cause and effect rules. When you do something, good or bad, something else will happen that affects you and others around you. Don’t be like Samson.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.
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