OceanSide church of Christ

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Lesson #19


Twenty Years as A Judge (6)

Judges 15:1-20

Victor M. Eskew



I.             OPERATING OUT OF VENGEANCE (Judg. 15:1-8)


II.           OVERTHROWING THE ENEMY (Judg. 15:9-17)


A.     The Invasion of Judah (Judg. 15:9)

B.     The Inquiry by Judah (Judg. 15:10)

C.     The Involvement of Judah (Judg. 15:11-13)

1.       The confrontation of Samson (Judg. 15:11)

2.       The capture of Samson (Judg. 15:12-13)

D.    The Intrusion by Samson (Judg. 15:14-17)

1.       The Shout of the Philistines (Judg. 15:14a)

2.       The Spirit of Power (Judg. 15:14b)

3.       The Strike against Philistia (Judg. 15:15-17)

a.       Samson’s baton (Judg. 15:15a)

b.      Samson’s blow (Judg. 15:15b)


…and slew a thousand men therewith.


1)       During the attack, the Philistines did not just sit still.

2)       The power of God was with Samson:  one man, a jawbone, and 1000 dead.

3)       Where were the 3000 men of Judah?

4)       Lessons:

a)       Do we let others serve alone in the church and withdraw as the men of Judah did?

b)      We may have to serve alone without the encouragement and help of those around us.

c)       “No one will serve well who does not know how to serve alone” (Butler, 115).

c.       Samson’s boast (Judg. 15:16)


And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of an ass I have slain a thousand men.


1)       Samson rejoices after his victory.

2)       The only things he credits for his victory is the jawbone of the ass that he picked up.  God is not mentioned at all.  Again, it reflects the poor spiritual condition of Samson.

3)       Lesson:  It is possible to do the Lord’s work, but fail to be devoted to God.  Individuals seem to be in it for self more than they are in it for their Savior.

d.      Samson’s brand (Judg. 15:17)


And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.


1)       Literally:  the height of a jawbone

2)       The name signifies his casting away the jawbone after he had defeated the Philistines.

3)       Again, there is nothing here that honors God.

4)       Lesson:  It is possible to honor the instruments of our victory (the jawbone) more than the source of our victory (God).




III.         OVERCOMING A DEEP THIRST (Judg. 15:18-20)


A.     Samson’s Desperate Circumstance (Judg. 15:18a)


And he was sore athirst…


1.       Samson had just won a victory over the Philistines.

2.       Two things contributed to his desperate thirst.

a.       His mighty effort

b.      The hot, dry weather in Israel at the time.

c.       Grossman give a third reason for Samson’s thirst.  He writes:  “…perhaps Samson understands that the affliction of thirst is a divine punishment for the arrogance he exhibited in his victory speech by suggesting that it was he alone, he and the jawbone of an ass – without God’s help – who slew the Philistines” (p. 99).

3.       Sore

a.       Strong (3966):  vehemence, vehemently :- exceedingly…mightily

b.      BDB:  exceedingly, much, abundance, greatly, a great degree


B.     Samson’s Desperate Cry (Judg. 15:18b)


…and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given great deliverance into the hand of thy servant:  and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?


1.       This is the first time that we see Samson in prayer to God.

a.       Was this prayer a prayer of genuine faith to God?

1)       “The performance of Samson in this incident is his finest recorded in Scripture” (Butler, 117).

2)       If this is the case, we have a man of God who faced a great struggles in his relationship with God.

b.      Was this a prayer of sheer desperation because Samson thought he was going to die?

1)       He prayed because there was no other alternative.  He could not save himself in this instance.

2)       We do know that Samson’s name is found in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Fame of the Faithful.

2.       There are two elements of this prayer.

a.       Affirmation

1)       God’s power:  Thou hast given great deliverance

2)       Samson’s position:  into the hand of thy servant

3)       Lessons:

a)       In time past, Samson had seen himself as all-sufficient.  It took a trial of great thirst to make him affirm his need for God (See II Cor. 12:7).


And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.


b)      In all our accomplishments, we need to see ourselves as servants whom God uses to carry out His purposes.  Without God, we are nothing.

c)       We, too, should begin our prayers with praise to God for either who He is or what He has done.

b.      Apprehension

1)       Fear of death

2)       Falling into the hands of the enemy

a)       To fall into the hands of the enemy would bring dishonor to God.

-          Later Samson will be brought bound before the enemy, and they will praise their god Dagon (Judg. 16:24).

-          Even if they found him dead, they would humiliate him (i.e., Saul and his sons, I Sam. 31:8-10).

b)      Lesson:  The glory of God should always be our concern.  Far too often we forget the glory of God and are concerned only for our own personal pleasure.


C.     God’s Divine Care (Judg. 15:19)

1.       The Miracle of God (Judg. 15:19a)


But God cleaved a hollow place that was in the jaw, and there cam water thereat…


a.       Cleave

1)       Strong (1234):  to rend, break, rip or open

2)       BDB:  to split, break open, divide, break through, break up, tear

b.      God did for Samson what he could not do for himself.

c.       “That was in the jaw”

1)       Some believe that the jawbone was that from which the water flowed.

2)       The word “Lehi” means “jaw.”  It was the place in Lehi that God opened up and brought forth water.  Note:  the end of verse 19 states:  “…which is in Lehi unto this day.”

d.      Lesson:  God is not limited by circumstances.  He can cleave a well in the midst of a rock if necessary.  He can supply our needs when we cannot see any means of supply.

2.       The Mending of Samson (Judg. 15:19b)


…and when he had drunk, he spirit came again, and he revived…


a.       God did not put the water directly into Samson’s mouth.  He had to drink the water.

b.      When he drank his spirit came again, and he was revived.

1)       His body was strengthened.

2)       He felt life come back into his body.  H was refreshed and quickened.

c.       Lesson:  Many today are like Samson spiritually.  They are dying from thirst.  God has placed a fountain of living water near them.  It is found in the Word of God.  They, however, will not drink.  Thus, they continue to thirst and will die (Ps. 119:107).


I am afflicted every much:  quicken me, O Lord, according to thy word.