MLToday: [Judges Chapter Fifteen]: Are You the Jawbone of an Ass? In this chapter God uses Samson to destroy a great host of Israel’s enemies – with the jawbone of an ass! Many times God will not use those who we think are great and powerful. God chooses foolish things and people who don’t seem to be qualified. Samson was not a perfect man. He had many shortcomings. Yet he was God’s chosen instrument of deliverance even though his kinsmen didn’t understand it and actually sought to betray him into the hands of the Philistines. This speaks to you about betrayal in your own life when God uses you. You can’t fight against your brothers and sisters who don’t support you. Just keep focused on the true enemy and let God do His wonders in your life.

Today: [Judges Chapter Fifteen]: Are You the Jawbone of an Ass? In this chapter God uses Samson to destroy a great host of Israel’s enemies – with the jawbone of an ass! Many times God will not use those who we think are great and powerful. God chooses foolish things and people who don’t seem to be qualified. Samson was not a perfect man. He had many shortcomings. Yet he was God’s chosen instrument of deliverance even though his kinsmen didn’t understand it and actually sought to betray him into the hands of the Philistines. This speaks to you about betrayal in your own life when God uses you. You can’t fight against your brothers and sisters who don’t support you. Just keep focused on the true enemy and let God do His wonders in your life.

[Jdg 15:1-20 KJV] 1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in. 2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: [is] not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her. 3 And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.

Samson returns to his Philistine wife to find that his father-in-law had given her to another man. Samson’s relationship with women is often the backdrop of other things that are happening in his life. He approaches his wife with the offering of a kid or young goat. This was the same thing that Judah did with Tamar in Gen. 38:17 when he thought she was a prostitute. This reveals Samson’s attitude toward this woman and perhaps his attitude toward women in general. Because his wife is now taken from him he purposes to take it out on the Philistines.

4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. 5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let [them] go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards [and] olives. 6 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.

Where did Samson get the idea to set foxes on fire and send them through the enemy’s harvest? There was in Egypt at the time a harvest celebration where the people would go to a public stadium and set foxes on fire and let them run in the circuit until they died. This was done every year at harvest as an act of ritual revenge for an incident in legend where a great harvest was destroyed in a similar manner. It can be compared to the “Rattlesnake Roundup” in Texas held every year.

The number 300 tells us that this doesn’t just speak of the destruction of the harvest. In the bible 300 is associated with God’s delivering power.

  1. Noah’s ark was 300 cubits long (Gen. 6:5)
  2. Gideon’s army was 300 men (Judges 7:7)
  3. Ancient Jewish sources believed that 300 angels guarded the garden of Eden
  4. In Greek legend the number Spartans who held off the Persians numbered 300

The grain was ripe and ready to be harvested. There is an element of timing here. The enemy of your soul is very calculating. He allows your situation to mature so he can get maximum benefit in doing you harm at just the right moment. When Noah built the ark it was at a time that the enemy thought he was about to place all mankind beyond redemption. The Midianites were gathered without number against Israel when God used Gideon’s 300 to destroy them. Some scholars suggest that it was not actually foxes Samson used but actually jackals. Whatever be the case the Hebrew word for fox means “one who is silent, underground and that burrows underneath the ground…” A fox is usually very hard to detect. They don’t announce themselves when they are in the area. God has taught us over the years to be gathers of information and not dispensers of information. When God does great things He many times will not announce what He is about to do. He will act powerfully and if you aren’t paying attention you won’t notice it until after. Discretion is a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare. Notice however that there is also the fire. A fox without fire is a king Herod influence who Jesus called “that old fox”. But when you combine the stealth of the fox and the fire of God the enemy’s timing is foiled and his harvest in your life is destroyed.

7 And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease. 8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam. 9 Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10 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. 11 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.

This is not one of the moments of distinction for the tribe of Judah. They basically are hired by the Philistines to deal with Samson. They are so intimidated by Samson that they send 3000 men against him to deliver him over to the Philistines. Samson was of the tribe of Dan but these men were still his kinsmen. When you make an impact on the work of the enemy the first thing he will do is send your kinsmen against you. This may be natural family or your brothers and sisters in Christ. The men of Judah were men of distinction from whom Jesus would eventually spring. They no doubt thought they were doing God’s work. However they are submitting to an illegitimate authority. They accepted the fact that the Philistines were their rulers whereas Gideon had pronounced that GOD was their ruler. In other words they were dealing with Samson because he was upsetting the status quo or as they say “rocking the boat…” As a prophet told us once – “don’t be naïve”. Remember that the last nation to be destroyed in the promised land was the Jebusites. Their name means “discouragement”. When friends, and family and brothers and sisters in Christ come against you – effectively doing the devil’s work for them it is very discouraging.

12 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. 13 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. 14 [And] when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that [were] upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

Notice the false integrity of the men of Judah. They promise not to harm Samson but to turn him over to the Philistines. In other words they won’t do the dirty work themselves but leave it to others to do. What a questionable kindness this is. The inquisition in the middle ages worked this way. Religious authorities would apprehend heretics and demand they repent. Upon refusal the religious officials wouldn’t get their hands dirty with torture but would turn the accused over to the secular authorities for torture, torment and death at the stake.

In 1 Cor. 5:5 Paul did something like this when he turned someone over to the devil for the destruction of the flesh that their soul might be saved. This is a favorite scripture of many Christians. They resort to this tactic when they can’t accomplish their goal any other way. I want you to notice however that Paul did this once and never did it again. It is also true that in the biblical record no one else ever followed Paul in this practice. The apostle that said “follow me as I follow Christ…” was never emulated in this instance of turning people over to the devil. If you read carefully in 2 Cor. 2:7 you will find that Paul tries to correct the problem he created and as much as admits he went over board in doing what he did. It is also true that after doing this we find Paul contending with a messenger from Satan himself 2 Cor. 12:7 that he admitted was because of pride in his own life. Occasionally Kitty and I run into this when people particularly insecure leaders who have a high opinion of themselves and a low opinion of everyone else will try this with us. We tell them “don’t turn us over to the devil – turn us over to God. He is BIGGER and we trust Him!” On more than one instance we have seen people that have done this be visited with death in their own lives shortly thereafter.

16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. 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 Ramathlehi. 18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? 19 But God clave an hollow place that [was] in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which [is] in Lehi unto this day. 20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

Samson comes to deliver his people from the Philistines and they turn him over to the enemy. This is exactly what the Jews did with Jesus centuries later. Samson slaughters a great host of Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. This speaks of the foolishness of preaching. Paul said in Corinthians:

[1Co 1:27 KJV] 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Jesus is our Samson. Put your jawbone in the hand of Jesus and He will bring a great victory for God’s people. Don’t try to be impressive or be someone other than you are. Many times people will criticize and pressure you to be like other preachers or leaders or believers. Don’t have anything to do with this. Just make yourself available to God and let Him use you as He pleases. When you try to make yourself into what others want you are touching the anointing on your own life and will not be blessed for doing so.

This is the water and the refreshing that came miraculously out of the jawbone when Samson was thirsty. Water represents the word of God and the Spirit of God. If you are looking for refreshing and strength and truth go find the jawbone of the ass that God is using. God chooses the foolish. God uses those things that are base and insignificant. If we seek out the well known and highly regarded we may be sorely disappointed. Let God refresh you with the man or woman of God of His own choosing and you will see victory in your life you have always prayed for.

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