It seems that Samson continues to work and live self-centeredly. In Judges 15:1-20, Samson seeks revenge on the Philistines for their wrongs done to him. Through his strength and cunning, Samson gets revenge by striking the Philistines. This lesson explores the consequences of Samson’s self-centered behavior and how it led him to seek revenge. This lesson from Judges shows how Samson gets revenge on the Philistines and how the Golden Rule can be twisted for personal vengeance.
His dealings with the Philistines are mostly based on revenge, and he conveniently ignores God. And, we all know revenge is dangerous motivation.
Samson’s Revenge on the Philistines
But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat, and said, “I will go in to my wife in her room.” But her father did not let him enter.
Her father said, “I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I gave her to your companion.
Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please let her be yours instead.”
Samson then said to them, “This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.”
Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned the foxes tail to tail and put one torch in the middle between two tails.
When he had set fire to the torches, he released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, thus burning up both the shocks and the standing grain, along with the vineyards and groves.
Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion.”
So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.
Samson said to them, “Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit.”
He struck them ruthlessly with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.. – Judges 15:1-8 NASB
Do to Others as They Did to You?
The continuing story of Samson’s rule over Israel shows us that he is motivated by greed, anger and revenge. His actions were driven by his need for personal gain, his anger at injustice, and a hunger for revenge.
Today’s psychologists would call Samson self-centered and egotistical in his behavior. Samson’s revenge on the Philistines was motivated by his need for instant gratification, his need for power, and his need for revenge. His lack of empathy and his inability to see the bigger picture made him a destructive force, and ultimately, his own undoing.
“Victory” Over the Philistines – Selfish Revenge
If you only read the headline of the day, I guess Samson would appear to be a hero, saving Israel from the dreaded Philistines.
As TV’s Gomer Pyle would say; “Selfish! Selfish! Selfish!”. This is how Samson used the great power God had given him.
In verse 18, he took all the credit for killing the Philistines with the donkey bone and then said;
“You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst..“. NASB
Just another example of a “me” personality.
Don’t Do It!
In Samson’s twisted way of thinking, he only repaid the Philistines in kind for something they did to him. The Philistines did the same, and so on.
When we take the revenge approach, we leave the door open for revenge against us. Then we have to retaliate – and then they have to “get even”, and the chain continues.
This chain is very difficult to break and before the end many people can be hurt.
“To Forgive is Divine.”
Jesus says many times in the New Testament that we must forgive others for sins against us. In fact, the word “forgive” appears 127 times in the Bible.
But Jesus did not just say it; He lived it. When He suffered on the cross, Christ forgave those who crucified Him. Through agonizing pain, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). His example of forgiveness challenges us to do the same, even when it is the hardest to do.
Jesus’ unlimited forgiveness is like a beacon of light in a dark world, guiding us to a better path, no matter the cost. Can we not at least try to forgive those who wronged us?
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.