Battleground Earth 19: Samson 3 - David Mitts


"Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in 
Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol."  Jdg 13:24-25 (NASB)

 

Click here to listen to "Samson 3"


Samson, the twelfth judge of Israel in the book of Judges demonstrates the tension of government in the Kingdom of God. Samson, as we learned last week was born with a holy purpose to deliver Israel from the oppression of their bitter enemy, the Philistines.

 

Modern-day “Palestinians” derive their name from this same ancient people who have been a thorn in the side of Israel since the earliest times. The rocky relationship begins with a covenant between Abraham and Abimelech in Genesis 21. Isaac also makes a covenant with the Philistines in Genesis 26. God honors these ancient agreements and the Philistines are left off the list of nations that Israel is to displace when they enter into the Land of Promise.

 

We see Samson specifically assigned to defeat the Philistine oppression. 

""For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.""  Jdg 13:5 (NASB)

 

Yet, you would think that if your job was to defeat an enemy, then you would have in your heart and animosity towards them. At the beginning of Judges 14, we see a different story.

 

"Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. So he came back and told his father and mother, "I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.""  Jdg 14:1-2 (NASB)

 

Samson looks at the Philistines, his mortal enemy and his response is love. He wants to marry a Philistine daughter. This is a bizarre turn of events. If we take a step back and look at the big picture, then maybe we can get a little insight into what is happening with Samson and what that might speak to us today.

 

The Holy Spirit stirs up Samson at the end of chapter 13.

 

"Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol."  Jdg 13:24-25 (NASB)

 

The very next thing recorded in Samson’s life is him wanting to marry a Philistine wife. This is the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Remember also that Samson is the 12th Judge of Israel. He is the one selected to reveal something about the government of God’s kingdom. What is the foundation stone of God’s Kingdom? Love.

 

Samson is the anointed deliverer. Similar to today’s world we look for deliverance to come through conquering our enemies by force.  There is a cry for justice in our hearts and we keep looking for someone to make the evildoers pay. We want a Samson to come and quash the evil. 

 

Samson is anointed for this very thing but like Yeshua, he suspects that ultimately it is about the heart.  Prophets can rail about the evil and injustice, march the streets, and shout from the parapets.  There is a season for that, the John the Baptist period. But true deliverance comes through a change of heart.

 

We see Samson, the deliverer beginning his deliverance career by falling in love with the daughter of his enemy. Like Romeo and Juliette, the parents are in a feud, Israel against the Philistines which continues to this day with the Palestinians. 

 

Samson’s parents respond in a predictable tribal way.

 

"Then his father and his mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she looks good to me." However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel."  Jdg 14:3-4 (NASB)

 

This looks to them as a violation of covenant. Look with me at Deuteronomy 7:1-4

 

""When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. "Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. "For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you."  Deu 7:1-4 (NASB)

 


First, notice that the Philistines are not on this list. It’s not that they were not in the Land because we know Abraham and Isaac made covenants with them. No! I believe it’s because Abraham and Isaac made the covenants that they are excluded. God honors the vows we make even when those vows produce an enemy to us.  There is an intricacy to the plan of God that is often obscure to us with our current perspective but is honoring agreements and covenants that precede us in our family line, both good and bad.

 

Second, God is using love here as a weapon of the Spirit. Samson’s parents are looking at Israel as the people of God.  There is no question that God favors Israel for the sake of His kingdom authority. Yet He has a purpose for the Philistines as well, like the descendants of Ishmael. It is important that we remember that from God’s perspective each person is His child and their destiny is from Him. Samson as the 12th judge of Israel is also revealing the love-centered government of God.

 

Next Samson goes down with his parents to the Philistine village to arrange the marriage but on the way, he has an important encounter:

 

"Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. So he went down and talked to the woman; and she looked good to Samson. When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. So he scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. 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 scraped the honey out of the body of the lion."  Jdg 14:5-9 (NASB)

 

This is a very strange encounter. He is traveling with his parents. The image I get is of a middle eastern caravan.  You don’t approach the wine vineyards of your future bride without some kind of commanding presence. Then, suddenly a lion appears and is attacking yet the parents see nothing. People have speculated that maybe Samson was running on ahead in his excitement which is certainly possible. I think there may be another perspective. We can ask ourselves why a lion would suddenly appear and attack when Samson is on a love mission to the enemies of Israel?

 

What motivated the lion? Who is Samson? What is about to happen? How does it play out?

 

Let’s say perhaps that the lion is an agent of the upcoming battle with the forces of darkness. There is a reason the Spirit of the Lord comes on Samson in the battle and victory. There is a demand on the anointing on Samson’s life.  He is the anointed deliverer by the Spirit for Israel. In this way, Samson is called to battle the issues of the heart that brought the Philistine ruling on the children of Israel. So this lion cannot only be a physical threat to him but a messenger of the existential threat to Israel of the kingdoms of the world. It is more than a random lion.

 

In fact, I believe it is probable that he fought a spiritual battle, not just a physical one. As Peter tells us, Satan is a roaring lion.

8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)


Some may argue that the image of Satan as a roaring lion is a metaphor and not literal, yet I think then that we would also say that Samson’s lion is a metaphor. But I think there is more central truth. I think that they are both true. The lion is the king of beasts. Satan is the one who has the authority of a beast. The beast is a description of the carnal man. Samson is contending with his own carnality and the carnality of Israel. Look with me at Revelation 13:1


[1] And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. [2] And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. [3] I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; [4] they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” Revelation 13:1-4 (NASB)


Samson the 12th judge was warring with the true enemy of God’s love and goodness. It is carnality that wars against the love and goodness of God. We are seeing this today. We see a huge battle between trusting in the goodness of God and the selfish godless drives of carnal man. The carnal man, the beast, wants to rule like a lion. Satan, the dragon gives the beast his power.

The anointing comes upon Samson and defeats the roaring lion. Then after speaking with his bride to be, Samson returns to the site of the dead lion and bees have made their hive there. Samson takes some honey from the dead lion. In the natural, this doesn’t happen. Bees don’t usually build hives in dead animalsSo, we have to assume this was a supernatural occurrence. Ok, see the anointing comes upon him and defeats the roaring lion.


Honey has been a symbol of fruitful Israel.

""It shall be when the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month."  Exo 13:5 (NASB)


Sampson returns to the defeated lion and from its death he takes honey. This is the picture of redemption. He then feeds the honey to his parents, representing natural Israel. He doesn’t tell them the story of the lion. I believe he is disguising the true power of his mission to represent the true deliverance of Israel, which will come through Yeshua.


Like Yeshua, Samson will now face betrayal. Reading the rest of the chapter:

"Then his father went down to the woman; and Samson made a feast there, for the young men customarily did this. When they saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. Then Samson said to them, "Let me now propound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes. "But if you are unable to tell me, then you shall give me thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes." And they said to him, "Propound your riddle, that we may hear it." So he said to them, "Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet." But they could not tell the riddle in three days."  Jdg 14:10-14 (NASB)


During the wedding feast, Samson proposes a riddle to expose the true heart of love that has come among the PhilistinesThe 30 wedding companions are challenged to answer the question that reveals the nature of the deliverance from the world system. Out of the strong comes something sweet.  This was so contrary to the ways of the world where out of the strong comes the bitterness of oppression. The Philistines were the strong in this time and they had nothing sweet for Israel.  The riddle was impossible to solve for them because they couldn’t see themselves as bringing forth anything sweet. So they had to rely on treachery and betrayal to get the answer.


"Then it came about on the fourth day that they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us to impoverish us? Is this not so?" Samson's wife wept before him and said, "You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people and have not told it to me." And he said to her, "Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so, should I tell you?" However, she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people. So, the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, "What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?" And he said to them, "If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle." Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father's house. But Samson's wife was given to his companion who had been his friend."  Jdg14:15-20 (NASB)


We finish today with the betrayal of Samson’s bride. Betrayal is at the heart of deliverance.  Why is that? Because it all began with a betrayal of trust in the garden and it has produced only betrayal and broken trust since. Samson as the 12th judge has to experience the foundation stone of the Kingdom. The kingdom is built on trust, what we call faith.  Betrayal is anti-trust or the spirit of the antichrist. It is the Beast, the carnal man.

 

Activation: Betrayal. Who have you betrayed to get what you want? Time to repent and make it right.

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