Prequel to Saviors that fail: When: Israel was in slavery for 400 years. Then Moses led the Exodus into the desert. His successor, Joshua, let them into the promised land. The 12 tribes of Israel came from Jacob’s (aka Israel) 12 sons. The “Judges” didn’t judge in a courtroom. They were “deliverers” or “saviors”. The Canaanites were the people living in the promised land when the 12 tribes of Israel got there. The various “-ites” (like Perizzites or Midianites) can be thought of as sub-tribes of Canaanites. Last week on Saviors that fail: We met Samson’s parents, who had some knowledge of God but were quickly becoming just like the Philistines who were oppressing them. Assimilation, not invasion, is the greatest threat to a people. Samson (“Sunny”) grew up with the blessing of the Lord. This week on Saviors that fail: God picks a fight. Samson breaks almost all the rules. It’s cool, though, cause like, he’s a strong poet. Application →Impulsive, proud, compromising, a loner, unteachable→ don’t be like Samson. .... And will someone finally tell Spain about the Light of the world??? Judges 12:8-13:25 Christian Standard Bible (CSB) Judges 14 (CSB) Samson’s Riddle 14 Samson went down to Timnah and saw a young Philistine woman there. 2 He went back and told his father and his mother: “I have seen a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Now get her for me as a wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Can’t you find a young woman among your relatives or among any of our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines for a wife?” But Samson told his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” 4 Now his father and mother did not know this was from the LORD, who wanted the Philistines to provide an opportunity for a confrontation. At that time, the Philistines were ruling Israel. 5 Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Suddenly a young lion came roaring at him, 6 the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully The Philistine Menace: buccaneers, beer, bacon, & barbarism Despite our modern pejorative use of “Philistine”, the Philistines invaded from the Mediterranean Sea, probably from Crete and other islands, and settled on the western coast of the Promised Land. They used iron weapons, battle formations, and two-story houses when Israel was basically hanging out with sheep. They were known for beer (seriously) and pork, which was unclean. They were cruel and they tortured whole cities. Legit bad guys with weird hair. on him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. 7 Then he went and spoke to the woman, because she seemed right to Samson. 8 After some time, when he returned to marry her, he left the road to see the lion’s carcass, and there was a swarm of bees with honey in the carcass. 9 He scooped some honey into his hands and ate it as he went along. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it. But he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey from the lion’s carcass. 10 His father went to visit the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do. 11 When the Philistines saw him, they brought thirty men to accompany him. 12 “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can explain it to me during the seven days of the feast and figure it out, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes. 13 But if you can’t explain it to me, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” “Tell us your riddle,” they replied. “Let’s hear it.” 14 So he said to them: Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet. After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle. 15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Persuade your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father’s family to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?” 16 So Samson’s wife came to him, weeping, and said, “You hate me and don’t love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven’t explained it to me.” “Look,” he said, “I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother, so why should I explain it to you?” 17 She wept the whole seven days of the feast, and at last, on the seventh day, he explained it to her, because she had nagged him so much. Then she explained it to her people. 18 On the seventh day, before sunset, the men of the city said to him: What is sweeter than honey?love What is stronger than a lion?Samson So he said to them: If you hadn’t plowed with my young cow, you wouldn’t know my riddle now! 19 The Spirit of the LORD came powerfully on him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men. He stripped them and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. In a rage, Samson returned to his father’s house, 20 and his wife was given to one of the men who had accompanied him. Samson’s Revenge 15 Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a gift and visited his wife. “I want to go to my wife in her room,” he said. But her father would not let him enter. 2 “I was sure you hated her,” her father said, “so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she is? Why not take her instead?” Samson said to them, “This time I will be blameless when I harm the Philistines.” 4 So he went out and caught three hundred foxes. He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned the piles of grain and the standing 3 grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves. 6 Then the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” They were told, “It was Samson, the Timnite’s son-inlaw, because he took Samson’s wife and gave her to his companion.” So the Philistines went to her and her father and burned them to death. 7 Then Samson told them, “Because you did this, I swear that I won’t rest until I have taken vengeance on you.” 8 He tore them limb from limb and then went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam. 9 The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi. 10 So the men of Judah said, “Why have you attacked us?” They replied, “We have come to tie Samson up and pay him back for what he did to us.” Then three thousand men of Judah went to the cave 11 at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines rule us? What have you done to us?” “I have done to them what they did to me,” he answered. They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.” 12 Then Samson told them, “Swear to me that you yourselves won’t kill me.” “No,” they said, “we won’t kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away from the 13 rock. When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came powerfully on him, and the ropes that were on his arms and wrists became like burnt flax I made a donkey out of them! and fell off. 15 He found a 14 fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed a thousand men with it. 16 Then Samson said: Unlike other Israelites who praise God after a battle (Moses, Miriam, Deborah, David), Samson sings about himself. The song is a lyrical pun. The word “donkey” is spelled the same as the word for “heap”. The joke is that he made them into a heap of asses. lol With the jawbone of a donkey I have piled them in heaps. With the jawbone of a donkey I have killed a thousand men. When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone and named that place Ramath-lehi. 18 He became very thirsty and called out to the LORD: “You have accomplished this great victory through your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 So God split a hollow place in 17 the ground at Lehi, and water came out of it. After Samson drank, his strength returned, and he revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore, which is still in Lehi today. 20 And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines. Questions for application • • • • Would you consider Samson “homeless”? Why or why not? It is said, “remorse without repentance turns into bitterness.” Does this apply to Samson? Has it happened to you? How does Samson’s great feats of killing lions and Philistines compare to Jesus’ great feats of calming storms and raising the dead? Are there any similarities? Samson is a one-man show . . . and it catches up with him! What steps are you taking to stay connected, teachable, and accountable to other Christians?