Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

2019.09.18 Hopewell @Home ▫ Judges 15

Read Judges 15
Questions from the Scripture text: What time was it in Judges 15:1? Whom did Samson visit with what? Who wouldn’t let him see her? What excuse does he give (Judges 15:2)? What compensation does he offer? What does Samson say in Judges 15:3? What does he catch and how many (Judges 15:4)? What does he do with them (Judges 15:4-5)? With what result? What question do the Philistines ask (Judges 15:6)? What do they do when they find out that it was Samson? Now, to this, how does Samson respond (Judges 15:7-8)? And how do the Philistines as a whole respond in Judges 15:9? What do the men of Judah ask in Judges 15:10? And what do the Philistines answer? How many men of Judah does it take to ask Samson a question (Judges 15:11)? How does Samson answer? But what had they come down to do (Judges 15:12)? What is Samson’s one request of them? What do they do in Judges 15:13? Who comes upon him in Judges 15:14? How easily do the ropes break? What does he use to kill how many men in Judges 15:15? How does he commemorate the slaughter in Judges 15:16 and in Judges 15:17? What turns him into a whiney grumbler against God in Judges 15:18? What does he say? What does God do for him in Judges 15:19? What does Samson do for 20 years (Judges 15:20)?
Everyone keeps trying to control Samson, and it keeps on backfiring on them. His father-in-law puts his foot down, and ends up not only with the obliteration of the Philistine crops but ultimately burned to ashes by his own people.

The Philistines who thought they were teaching Samson a lesson by exterminating the wife he seemed to love so much end up being slaughtered with a great slaughter.

The men of Judah send three thousand men to apprehend him and extradite him. The Lord spares them, but the outcome is exactly opposite their intentions. The Philistines who receive him, on the other hand, end up memorialized by the jawbone song that christened jawbone hill.

Truly, the Philistines are not in control, despite Judah’s view that it is so (Judges 15:11). But, in case we haven’t noticed it in his own actions, the “thirsty” incident reminds us that Samson is not in control either. To be sure, this is a hero story. It’s just that Samson is not the hero of the story. We find the heart of it on his own lips, “You [Yahweh] have given this great deliverance.”

For his part, Samson is the consummate Israelite—giving us an historical reenactment of the people in the wilderness, who have been the objects of a great salvation, crying out that the Lord has only done so in order to kill them by thirst.

But it is the Lord who is truly reenacting. Once again delivering a sinful people and a sinful man by great displays of power and greater displays of patience and mercy. For, He is bringing into the world a Man who will finally be the hero of the story. The man Jesus Christ. A man who will be thirsty. But a man who will never sin even once in heart and mind, and who will always be in complete control.

Judges 15 calls unto us: hope in the God who is in complete control! Hope in the man who is also that God—and who has given His life as a ransom for many!
In what situation do you need to remember that God, who is in complete control, is saving you?
Suggested Songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

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