OceanSide church of Christ

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Lesson #10


The First Conflict with the Philistines (3)

Judges 14:1-20

Victor M. Eskew


I.             THE REQUEST FOR A WIFE (Judg. 14:1-4)


II.           THE RENDING OF A LION (Judg. 14:5-9)


A.   The Slaying of the Lion (Judg. 14:5-7)

1.    The trip to Timnath (Judg. 14:5a).

2.    The tearing of the lion (Judg. 14:5b-6a)

a.    The location (Judg. 14:5b)


…and came to the vineyards of Timnath…


1)    It is interesting that Samson is in the vicinity of “the vineyards.”

2)    Anything having to do with partaking of grapes was prohibited to the Nazarite (Num. 6:3-4).


He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried.  All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.


3)    The text does not say that he partook of the grapes, but why was he there in their first place?

a)    Why do men put themselves into questionable circumstances that might tempt themto sin. 

b)    Many commentators believe that he did eat of the grapes while there.  He had ignored God’s law about marriage.  Why would the prohibition to eat grapes matter to him?  “Strong men in all walks of life are often inclined to stretch, bend, and even break the rules with little regard for consequences” (Atteberry, 46).

c)    II Timothy 2:22


Flee also youthful lusts…


1)    The word “youthful” is an adjective and describes the lusts.

2)    Flee lusts when they are in a youthful stage.  Do not allow them to mature and become full-grown (See James 1:13-15).

3)    Contrast Joseph and Potipher’s wife with David and Bathsheba.


b.    The lion (Judg. 14:5c-6a)

1)    The shock of danger (Judg. 14:5c)


…and, behold, a young lion roared against him.


a)    When a person is not where he should be, something notable often happens.

-      Examples:

+   Attend a drinking party, and you get sick

+   Go where you should not be, and your car breaks down

+   Go to a concert, and your friend passes out from drugs

-      Samuel Ridout:  “Satan flourishes when the path of obedience is left…There is a lion when you leave God’s path” (as quoted by Butler, 61). 

-      Satan seeks to expose one’s disobedience.  He tries to add shame to transgression.

2)    The strength from God (Judg. 14:6a)


And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand…


a)    Biblical points:

-      The fact:  The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him

-      The act:  rent the lion as he would have rent a kid

-      The lack:  nothing in his hand

b)    Butler’s points about Samson’s escape

-      The miracle of the escape, that is, supernatural power

-      The mercy of the escape

-      The misapplication of the escape

+   Some see the Spirit’s help as justification of Samson’s ways.

+   Example:  One’s hearing the truth of the gospel does not mean that God approved of his sinful ways.

-      The message of the escape

+   This escape should have warned Samson about his evil ways.  The goodness of God is intended to get man to repent.

+   Romans 2:4-5


Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  But, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.


3.    The tranquility of Samson (Judg. 14:6b)


…but he told not his father and his mother what he had done.


a.    Samson could not tell his parents of his actions.

1)    The place of the event forbad him from telling.

a)    It would be like having a religious conversation with someone at a bar and bragging to the preacher about it.

b)    It would be like telling your parents you met your girlfriend on a nude beach.

c)    It would be like  having to conceal a hole-in-one because you did it on a Sunday morning.

2)    Samson would have to admit that he was unclean.

a)    He violated his Nazarite vow (Num. 6:6).


All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body.


b)    This would mean that he would have to renew his vow after one week of purification, including the shaving of his hair.

3)    In addition, it would cause his wedding plans to come to an end for the present time.

b.    LESSON:  Revealing one’s sins has consequences.  Thus, some keep quiet about their transgressions (Prov. 28:13).


He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:  but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


4.    The talk with the woman (Judg. 14:7)


And he went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well.


a.    We have already noted that the text twice before said that Samson “went down.”  He continues that downward slide spiritually as he makes his way to the home of the Philistine woman.

b.    She continues to entice the heart of Samson.

1)    Prior to this, he had only seen the woman, and she pleased him (Judg. 14:3).

2)    He now speaks with the woman, and he continues to be pleased with her. 

3)    Lessons:

a)    Satan not only wants to entice; he also wants to entrap.

b)    What a man finds pleasure in says much about his character.  “Rebellion finds pleasure in forbidden things…” (Butler, 65).