If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man. ~ Judges 16:11
Take time to read Judges 14-15, Samson’s marriage and the ensuing chaos. There is a lot of action, but pay attention to the emotions that drive Samson to action!
Dwight Connection: Samson’s lie in 16:11 has already been tried in 15:13!
Our lives do not have sound tracks—music to warn of danger or announce triumph, but it would be wonderful. If the hills were alive with the sound of music. We could remember our favorite things and see beyond sixteen going on seventeen to find our true love. We would know that doe was not just a female deer, but we are one step from a drop of golden sun (ray)… In reality ominous music does not precede danger, for that matter the crucial moments of life pass and we do not even realize the significance. When we choose to watch our sister’s favorite movie who could guess we would still remember the lyrics, but choices leave lasting marks and blaze the way into OUR future. We consider these to be innocent actions. And as one decision, they cause little change. Just as one KFC double down, with fried chicken for buns, does not immediately cause obesity. But eat one everyday for years and you will eventually have to buy one plane ticket for each cheek!
So it was with Samson, who started by noticing a cute Philistine girl…
People of the Sea
The name Philistine points to their origin from across the sea and their arrival into the area of Canaan brought a shift in power. In part because the Philistines arrived with new technology, iron. So they brought the transition from the Bronze Age into the Iron Age.
Their nation was centered in five city states (Ashdod, Gath, Ekron, Ashkelon, Gaza), each ruled by a separate leader and each the home to a separate god (they took on gods of the area, rather than transfer their own). The five kings came together and lead the nation as a council. As we see later in the text, they unite to pay Delilah and defeat Samson.
The Philistines were eventually defeated by David, so their reign was not long, but their influence continues. The name Palestine—used today—derives from the Latin word for Philistine (Palestina).
1. In 14:3, why did Samson not follow his father’s wish to marry a Jewish girl?
2. When confronted what is Samson’s choice? (14:19/15:15) Is this a good reaction? What motivates Samson’s choices: himself or the community?
3. Judges rose up to lead Israel, does Samson lead?