Sunday, we saw how giving into sin gives us false comfort. Today, let’s look at another part of Samson’s life, which can give us more insight into our daily battle with sin. Notice in the following verses the actions of Samson’s fellow Israelites:
"Then the philistines said, who hath done this? And they answered Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire. And Samson said unto them, though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease. And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam. Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us. Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them. And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves. And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock." [Judges 15:6-13]
The Israelites would have rather be in bondage than freed! This is the same attitude they had in the wilderness with Moses. From the book of Numbers,
"And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." [Num 14:3-4]
Nehemiah comments on this as well,
"But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not." [Neh 9:16-17]
And Stephen shows us that this was in their heart prior,
"To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust [Moses] from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." [Acts 7:39-40]
We see that truly, “there is no new thing under the sun.” The Israelites, again and again, seek bondage instead of freedom. Here in Judges, they bound up their very deliverer! It’s easy for us to look at this in hindsight and see their error, but we can do the same thing today. We can bind up Christ and His words, not letting them have their freeing effect in our lives.
Instead, let us be free of sin! As The Holy Spirit promises us, “for sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” And Jesus promises in John,
"...If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free...Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the son abideth for ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." [Jn 8:31-32; 34-36]
Samson was really changing things up in Israel. He was killing Philistines and creating an avenue for freedom. But with all that change comes discomfort. The Israelites didn’t like it, and so they tried to bind the very deliverer that The Father had provided. Likewise, if we desire freedom from sin and victory in our lives, there is going to be some bloodshed as it were. Jesus is going to cut some things out, kill some bad habits or attitudes: there is going to be discomfort and change. But don’t ask Jesus to leave; don’t cast off His word: let Jesus work and press on!
See also that the Israelites were willing to accept peace at the expense of bondage, rather than freedom at the expense of strife. They wanted to be at peace with their enemy, but God wanted them free. Likewise, God wants us completely free from sin, and Jesus provides that avenue, but we cannot have both: you cannot have peace with the enemy and victory over sin; we must choose, and choose correctly. Don’t run away from spiritual warfare but charge in, in the power and might of Jesus Christ and the weapons He provides.
Wage war against sin and absolutely refuse to let it bind you! We have an explicit promise from God that sin will not have dominion over us, and only through Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit is this possible. We must put on the whole armor of God and fight a good fight! And do not look outside Jesus or outside The Bible: Jesus Christ and His word are sufficient and all-encompassing — nothing else is needed.
Some interesting things I think The Lord showed me.
Compare Samson and his bondage here with the Pharisees taking and binding Jesus. Samson typifies Christ in some ways, and this is one of them. Just like Samson breaks the Philistine bindings through his physical strength, Jesus breaks the bondage of sin in our lives through resurrection. Consider the following:
- Samson breaks the chains. So does Jesus.
- Samson then kills the enemy. So has Jesus.
- Samson slays the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Jesus slays sin and death with the blood of Himself.
- After Samson conquers, water is given through His instrument of victory: the jawbone. After Jesus conquers sin and death, The Holy Spirit is given through His instrument of victory: Himself.
- Out of the jawbone came water. Out of Jesus, The Rock, comes The Holy Spirit.