Monday, June 22, 2015

Reconcilitaion or Retaliation

O. T. #542  "Reconciliation or Retaliation?
June 22, 2015
Judges 15
Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. (verse 1)
I won't stop until I get revenge on you. (verse 7)


Have you ever attempted to reconcile a broken relationship only to be refused? How insulting and hurtful it can be for us. The same thing happened to Samson, the one chosen to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.

As a review, Samson went back to Daddy's house after he married a Philistine gal who turned his head, killed 30 Philistines in order to pay his debt because he was so angry that some guys found out the answer to his riddle by threatening her. While he was there, Samson's father in law gave his wife to his best man.

So during the time of wheat harvest, when the men would be in the fields, Samson tactfully made his move, returning to his father in law's house. He even brought a token of reconciliation, a young goat, showing this family that there was nothing for them to fear. He wanted his wife. Perhaps this dad feared the Philistines if he turned on the new husband, but he also feared Samson because he offered a second daughter to him. (This was insulting and unlawful in Leviticus 18:18.)

It takes humility for one to say they are sorry and sincerely mean it. Sometimes our attempt at reconciling a relationship is accepted and other times it is refused. What we do next is vitally important. Do we try again? Do we get angry and think, "If that's how you feel, forget it" ? Do we retaliate and try to hurt them? Or do we lovingly and prayerfully turn to the Lord for wisdom?


Ole Sammy didn't try again nor did he seek the Lord for wisdom in the situation he got himself into. No sir, he was going to make those Philistines pay for their hurting him. They certainly did pay.

Samson, insulted and provoked to fleshly resentment, took vengeance on the Philistines. It must have taken a while to catch so many foxes or jackals and keep them penned and fed until the number reached 300. Apparently, he tied them in pairs with a slow-burning torch, sending the pairs down the hills into fields thrashing with fire, igniting all the standing grain so dry at harvest. This was a loss of great proportion to Philistine farmers. The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

What happened next?
  • Not only did Samson burn the wheat fields, but also  corn, vineyards, and olive groves. When the Philistines found out it was Sammy who was responsible for all of this destruction, they retaliated by burning Samson's wife and her father. 
  • Because of this act of cruelty, Samson killed those responsible and fled to a cave.
  • Then 3,000 men from Judah visited Samson, asking him what he had done. They had come to hand him over to the Philistines, and did so tying him with 2 new ropes.
  • As the Philistines approached Samson, the Lord gave him strength and  he slew 1,000 with the jawbone of a donkey.
  • Samson led Israel for 20 years in the days of the Philistines.
God gave miraculous power to Samson for destruction, but also to show fearful Israelites that He was with them, in spite of their lack of trust. (MacArthur)

Finally, Samson is accomplishing victory over the Philistines, which was God's purpose for his life all along. However, it took anger in Samson to do it.

Do we seek the Lord to loosen the chords of sin that has us bound? Are we allowing God to use us for His kingdom work? What does it take for God to get us to the point where we submit to do His will?


Submit to God's Word and ways.

Obey the Spirit's leading.

Follow Jesus.

Look for His miracles.

Reconcile when possible; live in peace.

Let God take the revenge on others who wrong me.

The disastrous events of his (Samson's) attempted marriage to one of their women turned his attitude against them in such a way that Yahweh could now use him to begin to deliver (13:5) Israel from the Philistines. (Falwell)

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