Back

Copyr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 10 - The Ungolden Rule

INTRODUCTION: APPRECIATE RICHARD BYRD TEACHING FOR
ME LAST WEEK.  LETS REVIEW FOR JUST A MINUTE THE
THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT SAMPSON THAT
YOU LEARNED LAST WEEK.  

     1. JESUS ANNOUNCED THAT SAMPSON WOULD BE BORN.  
     2. HE WAS BORN TO PARENTS WHO WERE VERY
     CONCERNED ABOUT RAISING HIM CORRECTLY. 
     3. AND HE WAS SET APART TO GOD AS A NAZIRITE.

     LETS PICK UP BY TURNING TO JUDGES 13:24. READ. ALL
IS WELL!

I. THE WIFE

     A. LETS READ ON JUDGES 14:1-3. NOW HOW ARE THINGS 
     PROGRESSING?
           1. DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANY PARENTS?

     B. IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE
     CHOICE OF A SPOUSE?

     C. ON WHAT DID SAMPSON BASE HIS CHOICE OF A MATE?
     (HER LOOKS. HE SAYS HE SAW HER!)

     D. ON WHAT BASIS DID HIS PARENTS THINK HE
     SHOULD BE MAKING HIS CHOICE? (MARRY AN ISRAELITE.)

           1. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF REFERRING TO THE
                PHILISTINES AS UNCIRCUMCISED? (THAT THEY
                HAVE NOT ENTERED INTO THE COVENANT WITH
                GOD THAT HE WILL BE THEIR GOD AND THEY
                WILL BE HIS PEOPLE. GEN 17:2-8)

     E. ARE THE PARENTS RIGHT? (YES. DEUT.7:1-4. DON'T
     INTERMARRY OR THEY WILL TURN YOUR SONS AND
     DAUGHTERS AWAY FROM GOD.)

     F. WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT SAMPSON?

     G. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS CHOICE SINCE HE
     HAS BEEN SET APART FOR GOD? (THIS IS A DISASTER)

     H. READ 14:4.  SO NOW WE KNOW THE BOY WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!
     PICK YOUR SPOUSE BASED ON LOOKS ALONE. 
     GO FOR A PHILISTINE!

           1. RIGHT? (WRONG. I THINK THIS IS SIMPLY SAYING THAT
           GOD WORKS WITH OUR LOUSY
           DECISIONS.  THE PARENTS, WHO WERE
           SURE THAT THIS WAS A DISASTER,
           AND A COMPLETE SCREW UP IN
           THEIR OBLIGATION TO RAISE
           SAMPSON CORRECTLY,  DID NOT HAVE
           TO FEEL SO BAD BECAUSE GOD WAS
           GOING TO USE THIS FOR GOOD.)

     I. IS THIS TRUE FOR US TODAY? 
           1. WILL GOD TURN THE WRONG DECISIONS THAT WE MAKE INTO
                  GOOD?  
           2. WILL HE TURN THE WRONG DECISIONS OF OUR CHILDREN
                  INTO GOOD? (HE CAN. BUT I THINK
                  THAT OFTEN PEOPLE SUFFER BECAUSE
                  OF THE WRONG DECISIONS THAT THEY
                  MAKE, EVEN THOUGH GOD
                  ULTIMATELY CAN TURN IT
                  AROUND.)(HOSEA 8:7 SPEAKS OF
                  SOWING THE WIND AND REAPING
                  THE WHIRLWIND.)

II. THE LION

     A. READ JUDGES 14:5-9. (VERSE 7 MAKES CLEAR THAT SAMPSON DID
                      NOT KNOW THE WOMAN THAT HE
                      PLANNED TO MARRY.  WE SEEM TO HAVE
                      HIM SPEAKING TO HER FOR THE FIRST
                      TIME.)

     B. LETS TURN TO THE EXCITING PART.  VERSE 6 SAYS THAT THE
                SPIRIT OF THE LORD CAME UPON SAMPSON
                AND HE TORE THE LION IN TWO.  I DOUBT THE
                WILDLIFE FEDERATION OF PHILISTIA WOULD
                HAVE APPROVED OF HIM TEARING AN
                ENDANGERED SPECIES IN TWO.

           1. WHY NOT LEAVE THE LION ALONE? 
           2. WHY WOULD THE LORD BE INVOLVED IN
                      SOMETHING LIKE THIS? (THE LION WAS ATTACKING
                      HIM.)
           3. ANY GUESSES ON WHY THE LION ATTACKED? (SATAN HAD
                      NOTICED SAMPSON. HE WOULD LIKE TO
                      HAVE DESTROYED HIM AS HE WAS
                      PURSUING AN OBVIOUSLY WRONG COURSE.
                      (SATAN KNEW WHAT GOD HAD
                      COMMANDED ABOUT INTERMARRIAGE.)

     C. SAMPSON INTERACTS WITH THIS LION TWICE. HE KILLS HIM AND
                THEN HE EATS HONEY THAT THE BEES
                MADE IN HIS CARCASS.  IN BOTH
                INSTANCES IT SAYS THAT SAMPSON DID
                NOT TELL HIS PARENTS. 
           1. WAS HE JUST MODEST? 
           2. WAS THERE SOMETHING THEY WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW?
                      (PART OF THE NAZARITE VOW WAS NOT TO
                      TOUCH A DEAD CARCASS. (NUMBERS 6:6) HE
                      IS EATING HONEY FROM THE CARCASS OF
                      THE LION THAT HE KILLED. HE SHOULD
                      NOT HAVE BEEN DOING THAT. THE MOSAIC
                      LAWS PROHIBITED ISRAELITES FROM
                      EATING AN ANIMAL FOUND DEAD (DEUT
                      14:21) AND IF YOU TOUCHED A DEAD BODY
                      (REFERENCE APPEARS TO BE TO A PERSON)
                      YOU WERE UNCLEAN FOR SEVEN DAYS
                      (NUM 19:11). WHETHER THIS WOULD KEEP
                      THE PARENTS FROM EATING HONEY
                      FOUND IN THE BODY OF A DEAD LION I
                      DO NOT KNOW.)

III. THE WEDDING

     A. READ JUDGES 14:10-13.

           1. WHY WAS HE GIVEN 30 COMPANIONS? WHO NEEDS SO MANY
                      NEW FRIENDS? (THE PHILISTINES WERE
                      CONCERNED ABOUT HIM RUNNING LOOSE.)

           2. WHAT DOES SAMPSON'S RIDDLE "BET" AND ITS ACCEPTANCE
                      TELL US ABOUT SAMPSON AND HIS NEW
                      "FRIENDS?" (THEY WERE ALL GAMBLERS,
                      LOOKING FOR SOMETHING WITHOUT
                      EARNING IT.)
     B. READ JUDGES 14:14-17.

           1. OBVIOUSLY REFINED WEDDING GUESTS!
           2. THE NEW BRIDE AND HER FAMILY WERE THREATENED WITH
                                 DEATH BY BURNING. WHAT
                                 COULD SHE DO OTHER THAN CRY
                                 AND TRY TO WEASEL THE
                                 ANSWER OUT OF SAMPSON? (SHE
                                 COULD HAVE TURNED TO
                                 SAMPSON FOR HELP.)

                a. WHY DIDN'T SHE DO THE RIGHT THING?(THIS GOES
                           TO THE ROOT OF THE WEDDING
                           PROBLEM: SHE DID NOT KNOW HIM
                           WELL ENOUGH. AND SHE WAS A
                           PHILISTINE AND HE WAS AN
                           ISRAELITE. SHE PREFERRED HER OWN
                           KIND AND HER OWN FAMILY OVER
                           HER NEW HUSBAND.)

     C. THE BIBLE GOES ON TO TELL US IN THE REST OF THIS CHAPTER
                THAT SHE BLABBED THE ANSWER TO THE 30
                COMPANIONS, AND HE LOST THE BET. TO PAY
                HIS BETTING DEBTS, HE WENT TO ASHKELON
                AND KILLED 30 PHILISTINES FOR THEIR
                CLOTHES.

     D. SAMPSON WAS ANGRY WITH HIS NEW WIFE, SO HE WENT BACK TO
                      HIS FOLKS HOME AND HIS NEW FATHER
                      IN LAW GAVE HIS NEW WIFE TO ANOTHER
                      MAN. I DOUBT THAT MANY MARRIAGES
                      STARTED OFF ON SUCH A BAD FOOT!

IV. REVENGE

     A. READ JUDGES 15:1-3. LETS CHECK SAMPSON'S LOGIC FOR A
           MINUTE. WHY DOES HE HAVE A COMPLAINT
           AGAINST THE PHILISTINES AS A WHOLE?

           1. WHY NOT JUST HIS EX-FATHER IN LAW?
           2. WHY NOT JUST HIS BEST MAN? (YOU CAN SEE THAT HE
                      BLAMES HIS MARRIAGE PROBLEMS ON
                      THE TROUBLE CREATED BY THE 30
                      "COMPANIONS" THAT THE PHILISTINES
                      PROVIDED.)

     B. READ v.4-6. IS THIS A "FAIR TRADE?" BURNING SAMPSON'S
                FATHER IN LAW AND FORMER BRIDE BECAUSE
                HE BURNED THE GRAIN FIELDS? (NO. THIS
                SHOWS HOW REVENGE CAN JUST BECOME
                UNCONTROLLABLE. IF YOU ENGAGE IN IT YOU
                SHOULD CONSIDER THIS ASPECT OF IT.)
     
           1. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT A GUY THAT CAN BOTH RIP A
                      LION APART AND CATCH 300 FOXES?

     C. IN THE NEXT FEW VERSES WE FIND THAT IN FURTHER REVENGE
                SAMPSON KILLS MANY PHILISTINES AND
                THEN GOES INTO HIDING. BECAUSE THE
                PHILISTINES APPARENTLY THOUGHT THEY
                MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT SAMPSON, IT
                APPEARS THEY ASSEMBLE THE ARMY AND
                CAMP IN JUDAH. 

           1. LETS READ ON. JUDGES 15:10-13.

           2. DO YOU THINK THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS
                      PICTURE?
                a. FIRST, WHY 3,000 MEN OF JUDAH? (THEY FEARED
                             SAMPSON TOO.)

                b. AREN'T THE GUNS POINTED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION?
                             (YES!)

                c. WHY DON'T THEY JOIN SAMPSON AND BEAT THE
                             PHILISTINES?

                      (1) IS IT BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THAT THIS IS
                           PETTY REVENGE? (NO. IN v.11 THEY
                           MENTION ONLY THAT THE
                           PHILISTINES ARE THE RULERS AND
                           THIS "TROUBLEMAKING" WILL HURT
                           THEM. IT APPEARS THAT IF THE
                           PHILISTINES WERE NOT THEIR
                           RULERS THEY WOULD NOT HAVE
                           CARED. SO THEY DID NOT CARE
                           ABOUT THE MERITS OF THE DISPUTE.)

           3. AT LEAST HIS FELLOW ISRAELITES AGREE NOT TO KILL
                HIM. LETS READ vv. 14-17.

     D. SO GOD GIVES SAMPSON THE VICTORY. READ v.20.

           1. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STATEMENT THAT
                SAMPSON LEAD ISRAEL FOR 20 YEARS IN THE
                DAYS OF THE PHILISTINES? (IT SEEMS THAT
                THIS "BATTLE" GAVE AT LEAST SOME OF THE
                ISRAELITES AT LEAST SOME DEGREE OF
                INDEPENDENCE FROM THE PHILISTINES, BUT
                THE FACT THAT IT IS CALLED THE "DAYS OF
                THE PHILISTINES," SHOWS THEIR ASCENDANCY.)

     E. WAS SAMPSON WORTHY OF GOD'S HELP?
           1. WAS ISRAEL WORTH OF GOD'S HELP? (NEITHER ARE
                PARTICULARLY SYMPATHETIC OR WORTHY.
                THE GOOD NEWS FOR US TODAY IS THAT GOD
                SHOWS GREAT CONCERN FOR US EVEN WHEN WE
                ARE UNWORTHY.)

V. NEXT WEEK: JUDGES 15 AND 16. STUDY.