Samson: Anointed Soldier

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Samson: Anointed Soldier Judges 15

  1. Last of the 12 Judges (300 years) military/spiritual/
  2. 4 chapters, 96 verses, most air time of anyone in Judges 
  3. Ruled longest, HS anointed most # times 
  4. One of best known characters in Bible. 
  5. Among least taught. 

Judges 15 After some days, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson went to visit his wife with a young goat. And he said, “I will go in to my wife in the chamber.” But her father would not allow him to go in. 2 And her father said, “I really thought that you utterly hated her, so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her instead.”


  • Abandoned Philistine wife (failed husband) 
  • Goat – you’d have to be a very rural gal to be happy about this 


  • Enemies of God’s people 
  • Warriors, masters in weaponry, seafaring explorers, sexually perverse
  • Most famous Philistine = giant Goliath killed by David 
  • God’s people made peace w/them through marriage & business (sex & $) 

Philistine Father 

  • Corrupt culture (cultures are not in authority, God’s Word is & judges cultures) 

Judges 15:3 And Samson said to them, “This time I shall be innocent in regard to the Philistines, when I do them harm.” 4 So Samson went and caught 300 foxes and took torches. And he turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 And when he had set fire to the torches, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines and set fire to the stacked grain and the standing grain, as well as the olive orchards. 6 Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion.” And the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire. 7 And Samson said to them, “If this is what you do, I swear I will be avenged on you, and after that I will quit.” 8 And he struck them hip and thigh with a great blow, and he went down and stayed in the cleft of the rock of Etam. Then the Philistines came up and encamped in Judah and made a raid on Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” They said, “We have come up to bind Samson, to do to him as he did to us.” 11 Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” And he said to them, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.” 12 And they said to him, “We have come down to bind you, that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not attack me yourselves.” 13 They said to him, “No; we will only bind you and give you into their hands. We will surely not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.

“went down” – 1. Bully parents 2. Marry Philistine “right eyes” 3. Abandoned 4. Remarry 

  • Samson – feels like a “victim” after abandoning wife 
  • Vengeance on whole town 
  • Catching 300 foxes (or jackals travel packs & easier capture?) = hard task 
  • Destroying crops would bring food shortage and financial crisis to the enemies

=He’s a little crazy. Bitterness & Vengeance make you a little crazy 

Life Lessons 

Some people prefer domination to deliverance (3000 hand Samson over 1st army?) 

Some cultures are corrupt 

Philistine father – offers youngest daughter 

Philistine men – murder/arson Samson’s ex-wife & father-in-law 

Bible – not made up, who would make this up? 

Vengeance escalates to a lose-lose – “As they did to me, so have I done to them.”

Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.  

Isaiah 35:4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Judges 15:14-2o When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. 15 And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. And Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have I struck down a thousand men.” 17 As soon as he had finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone out of his hand. And that place was called Ramath-lehi [Jawbone Hill]. 18 And he was very thirsty, and he called upon the LORD and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore; it is at Lehi [Caller’s Spring] to this day. 20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

  1. Jawbone – about 9 inches long, 1lb, new w/teeth in it? (no strategy or team) 
  2. Touching corpse – violation Nazirite vow (Judges 13; Numbers 6) 


  • 15:18 first time in his life mention of speaking to God is mentioned. 
  • Asks for water, only physical never spiritual (water not wisdom) 

=Treats God like waitress 

What we learn about Samson & ourselves 

  1. God’s people will sacrifice their worship for comfort, sex, & $ 
  2. People become used to oppressive gov’t 
  3. A culture can become so corrupt that the only leaders left are a disaster (300 yrs) 
  4. Angry bitter vengeful people live lonely & die brutally 

How to evaluate a persons life, starting w/your own 

Moralism = read Bible looking for heroes & villains, not God & sinners 

  1. We all have a conscience from God = some good days
  2. We are all fallen sinners = some bad days
  • We emphasize our good days, and the good days of our friends
  • We emphasize the bad days of our enemies, and our enemies do the same 

= Bible – total honest showing good days/bad days 


  • Bad – bullies parents, marries Philistine, breaks Nazirite vow, gambles/drinks/fights a lot, hires a prostitute, gets seduced by Delilah 
  • Good – rules 20 yrs, fights Philistines, kinda prays, dies in battle, built for battle

2 Tim. 2:3 “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

2 Cor. 10:5 “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”

What we learn about God 

  1. God sees us all as Samson or the Philistines 
  2. God saves by grace alone. 
  3. God delivers those who seek their destruction. 

Band Up


Judges 16:23-24 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.”

  • Philistines worship “our god” 8X in chapter 16
  • Does not worship like Deborah/Barak (Judges 5:1-31)
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Mark Driscoll

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