14. As Samson arrived at Lehi, the Philistines came shouting in triumph. But the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flax, and they fell from his wrists.

15. Then he found the jawbone of a recently killed donkey. He picked it up and killed 1,000 Philistines with it.

16. Then Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, I’ve piled them in heaps! With the jawbone of a donkey, I’ve killed a thousand men!”

17. When he finished his boasting, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was named Jawbone Hill.

Judges 15: 14–17 NLT

Today’s Passage continues the Story of Sampson, retelling his famous “jawbone of an ass” episode. If you are at all familiar with this Story, then you know this portion. Sampson has recently killed a large number of Philistines after they’d murdered his wife and her family.

When he finished his vengeance against them, Sampson apparently understood that there would be reprisals, and he hid in the mountains just over the border in Israel. But the Philistines had violently subjugated the Israelites for years; this is part of why God Commissioned Sampson as a Judge in the first place.

When the Philistines occupied the land, demanding Sampson be brought to them, the Israelites sent out 3000 men to apprehend him, hoping that with their superior numbers, they would intimidate Sampson into surrendering himself.

All Sampson asked was that if he complied, they would not kill him themselves, and when they agreed, he allowed them to bind him with two new cords, restraints that would have held any man fast.

But you have to remember that God has Called and Positioned Sampson as a goad against the Philistines, enemies of God’s people, and God has forged a Covenant with them. He told them that if they observed and followed His Law, He would Protect and Cover them with His Wings. It was a Promise He would not break, but it came with a caveat: Obedience.

Sampson was not only not a good judge or follower of God’s Law, but he wasn’t even a good man! But even given those glaring and unsatisfactory distinctions, God still offered Sampson His Strength to enact his obligations.

Verse 14 of Today’s Passage says, “The Spirit of The Lord came mightly upon” Sampson the moment he was brought into the presence of the Philistines, who were there for no other reason than to claim Sampson’s life. There would be no other rationale for them to be there than recompense, and after what he’d done, death was the only penance.

As soon as God’s Spirit manifested, Sampson took on God’s own Power lent to Him for his moment of need. Had God not intervened, given the Philistine’s brutal method of murdering Sampson’s wife and her family, there is no doubt they would have brutalized him in ways we can only imagine.

But what happened instead? God lent Sampson His Power, and with it, he made poetry! As messed up and self-centered as this guy is, he still has an artist’s heart. Just look at what he’s done up till now. Sampson saw a beautiful woman and just had to have her. Artist.

He killed a lion with his bare hands and ate honey out of its carcass, but that was only the beginning. Once the wedding party began, Sampson made up a poem which was also a riddle and bet the party-goers they couldn’t solve it! Only an egotistical artist would even think to do something like that, let alone be pompous enough to try and pull it off.

But Sampson was something else as well. He was a warrior! So, given what we know gleaned from The Story of Sampson, we can surmise that God had Chosen a Warrior Poet for His Pronouncement against His enemies. Now THAT sounds like something God would do! And that brings us to Today’s Lesson.

When God calls you to do a thing, do not worry about qualifications; that’s God’s job. But we are responsible for preparing as best we can for what we know to do. However, here’s the thing; God will not always get the best out of His chosen because He’s given us free will.

We can do whatever we want to do, but in doing so, we can also screw up God’s Perfect Will. The job will still get done, but you may well lose your Blessing in the process. As we follow The Story of Sampson, we’ll see how it all ends for him, but remember, this is a cautionary tale.

The Story of Sampson illustrates what it looks like when we squander God’s Gifts for our own benefit, ignoring His Plan for our own. We can absolutely be Called by God and still end up lost. Whether we comply and obey or act on our own lusts and defy God’s Authority, the choice is ours. But there are consequences to contravening God’s Will, and as we continue through this Story, you’ll begin to see why it is always a bad idea.

Until then, remember that even though God Blesses us, we still have a responsibility to steward His Gifts in a manner becoming their magnitude. If we choose to squander them, we are not only doing ourselves a disservice; we are potentially destroying God’s Rescue Plan for his people, and trust me, you do not want to stand in God’s way!

Have a Terrific Tuesday And Never Forget That Free Will Is As Much A Gift As Salvation And Should Be Treated With As Much Regard!




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Chris Reid

A lifelong poet and lyricist, and aspiring novelist, who’s taken to heart the old adage, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”