Judges 15:9-20 (JDV)
Judges 15:9 The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi.
Judges 15:10 The men of Judah said, “Why have you attacked us?” They replied, “We have come to take Samson prisoner and pay him back for what he did to us.”
Judges 15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines govern us? What have you done to us?” “I have done to them what they did to me,” he answered.
Judges 15:12 They said to him, “We’ve come to take you prisoner and hand you over to the Philistines.” Then Samson told them, “Swear to me that you yourselves won’t kill me.”
Judges 15:13 “No,” they said, “we won’t kill you, but we will tie you securely and hand you over to them.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away from the rock.
Judges 15:14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Breath of Yahveh came powerfully on him, and the ropes that were on his arms and wrists became like burnt flax and fell off.
Judges 15:15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and struck down a thousand men with it.
Judges 15:16 Then Samson said: With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps. With the jawbone of a donkey I have struck down a thousand men.
Judges 15:17 When he finished saying that, he threw away the jawbone and named that place Ramath-lehi.
Judges 15:18 He became very thirsty and called out to Yahveh: “You have accomplished this great victory through your servant. Do I now have to die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
Judges 15:19 So God split a hollow place in the ground at Lehi, and water came out of it. After Samson drank, his breath returned, and he revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore, which is still in Lehi today.
Judges 15:20 And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
Samson had avenged himself on the Philistines, and his countrymen just could not get it. They came to take him prisoner and hand him over to them, to protect themselves. So, after losing his wife, he now loses the respect of his fellow Israelites.
Samson does not let these losses discourage him. Instead, he trusts God to use this event to his advantage. Sure enough, when the Philistines come shouting, Samson is once again empowered by God’s Breath, and is victorious over them. But killing a thousand men with an animal bone made him thirsty. He was exhausted.
God provides water to revive him.
God wants stable servants. We will probably endure many losses in our service of the LORD, just like Samson did. They will test our commitment. The victories and revival will come as God supplies them. We just need to make sure that the losses do not stop us from declaring that commitment.
LORD, make us stable servants.