Bible Study Lesson — Judges 15:1-20
It seems that Samson continues to work and live in self-centered behavior. This lesson from Judges shows how Samson gets revenge on the Philistines and how the Golden Rule can be twisted for personal vengeance.
He conveniently leaves God out of the picture and, in his dealings with the Philistines he acts mostly from a revenge motive.
We all know that revenge is a dangerous motivation tool.
Samson’s Revenge on the Philistines
But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat, and said, “I will go in to my wife in her room.” But her father did not let him enter.
Her father said, “I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I gave her to your companion.
Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please let her be yours instead.”
Samson then said to them, “This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.”
Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned the foxes tail to tail and put one torch in the middle between two tails.
When he had set fire to the torches, he released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, thus burning up both the shocks and the standing grain, along with the vineyards and groves.
Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion.”
So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.
Samson said to them, “Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit.”
He struck them ruthlessly with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.. – Judges 15:1-8 NASB
Do to Others as They Did to You?
The continuing story of Samson’s rule over Israel shows us that he is motivated by greed, anger and revenge.
Today’s psychologists would most likely call Samson self-centered and egotistical in his behavior.
“Victory” Over the Philistines
If you only read the headline of the day, I guess Samson would appear to be a hero, saving Israel from the dreaded Philistines.
As TV’s Gomer Pyle would say; “Selfish! Selfish! Selfish!”. This is how Samson used the great power God had given him.
In verse 18, he took all the credit for killing the Philistines with the donkey bone and then said;
“You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst..“. NASB
Just another example of a “me” personality.
Don’t Do It!
In Samson’s twisted way of thinking, he only repaid the Philistines in kind for something they did to him. The Philistines did the same, and so on.
When we take the revenge approach, we leave the door open for revenge against us. Then we have to retaliate – and then they have to “get even”, and the chain continues.
This chain is very difficult to break and before the end many people can be hurt.
“To Forgive is Divine.”
Jesus says many times in the New Testament that we are to forgive others for sins against us.
In fact, He did not just say it; He lived it. When suffering on the cross He forgave those who crucified Him.
Can we not at least make an effort to forgive those who wrong us?
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.
Read Today’s Passage Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version