Judges 14:19 – And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.
Romans 8:12 – Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Romans 8:13 – For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Hey all, new blog today, and hopefully one that will help to free you and me. I hope this blog is helpful and doesn’t sound too rambling, but there’s no looking back as I type! I hope this blog is a blessing to you as much as it has been to me seeing what this story is teaching us today. Often in life, we live as though we were in debt to the flesh. Samson got in debt to a bunch of Philistines in Judges. But we don’t have to be in debt, and God doesn’t want us to be in debt either. When we were created we were created perfect… but that was Adam… when we are born into this world, thousands and years from Adam we still have his fallen image. We have the flesh… the flesh is our nature. You don’t get taught to sin, you just do. Turns out though, the flesh likes to be self sufficient, the flesh likes to be in control, the flesh is proud, and the flesh also does religion.
Christians battle the flesh, and unsaved people, all they have is the flesh. A Christian has the Spirit of God. Throughout Samson’s life we see the Spirit of the Lord come upon him, and that’s when his victories were won. It is through the Spirit of God that we are saved and live the Christian life. Or that is how God intends it to be. But after you get saved, your flesh will keep trying. Samson’s life is one of power and might. After all, he is the STRONG man. God wants you strong like Sasmon, but not just “at times” as he was, but all the time. But Satan, this world, and your flesh wants you weak, it wants you “like any other man”, someone powerless to resist when “the Philistines be upon thee Samson”.
We owe our flesh before we get saved. We get urges, and we have to follow them. Why do people fall into adultery against their better judgement? Why do people become wife beating, child abusing, home wrecking alcoholics which they never set out to be? Why do drug users take drugs, get addicted, overdose and die against the knowledge that it is bad for them? Because these people are debtors to the flesh. They have no power to resist it. But today is a message of hope, and that’s what Samson’s life is, although slightly bleak, as he succumbed greatly to his flesh throughout his life. He did have faith, and when we have faith, that’s when the Spirit of the Lord takes over. It’s why we see such a duality to his life, because a believer has a real struggle… the flesh wants control, but God wants us to walk in the Spirit… if we have been made alive in the Spirit this is of course not possible… ie. if you have not been saved, trying to live as a Christian in the flesh will be very exhausting… and ill fated.
Samson lost his power in the lap of Delilah. He gave his heart to her… but the Bible says to give our hearts to God. Notice how it wasn’t the Philistines that got him, but it was Delilah that got him, and because of her the Philistines were able to beat him. That’s a necessary distinction, because your flesh has no answer to someone who is saved and walking in the Spirit… just as the Philistines didn’t. But Delilah is an ace of the enemy.. and her method is enticement. We are warned against enticement… because when someone or something entices us away from truth, away from God, that’s when our flesh will take over. When your flesh has taken over your life, your eyes are put out, your spiritual eyesight is destroyed… you’re just blindly grinding in it’s mill. You’re a trophy for the enemies of God.
The exchagne between Samson and his Philistine friends at the feast is a picture of the flesh vs the Spirit. Samson was an exception, everyeone else in Israel was under Philistine dominon, but every now and again Samson got in the Spirit… and wasn’t. You can’t walk in the Spirit if you aren’t saved. if you’ve been saved you have the Spirit of God, he has paid your debt and broken the bands of the flesh. Interesting that the Philistines tried binding Samson up, and even his brethren did (warning… fellow so called Christians want you all bound up too)… but the cords couldn’t hold him. You see, you don’t HAVE to sin anymore. You don’t have to obey Satan anymore. You don’t have to yield to sin anymore. It’s a glorious truth. If you want to be set free from sin you can be. Problem is we can be like Samson, and like that sin, and go back to it, and build what God has destroyed as Samson did. The Bible says to give no occasion to the flesh, Samson’s eyes got him in trouble… he saw women… and he couldn’t get victory there.
God has delivered us from the power of our flesh. Our flesh is very deceitful, it’ll fool you. Notice how your biggest enemy is often yourself. The Bible says to instruct those that oppose themselves. Obviously Satan is your enemy, but often we don’t have him to blame, but as James said, we are drawn away of our own lust and enticed. Our problem is US. WE are sinners. We have a sinful nature… the flesh. Jesus came to save his people from their sins. That’s what is missing in the gospel today. Jesus came to save you from your sins… it’s penalty, it’s power and it’s presence. The flesh sins.. they are the works of the flesh. Notice how Samson destroyed the works of the Philistines, he torched their fields. He slew a lion, Satan has no power on a believer. He slew a thousand Philistines… we can get such great victories with a jawbone of an ass, picking up God’s word and having it as our authroity and obeying it through the power of the Spirit of God.
We don’t owe the flesh a thing anymore. If you’ve been saved you don’t owe your flesh. It’s not works anymore, but its by the Spirit of God… but you’ve gotta have him to begin with. He’s no worked up, he’s just there if you are saved. Simple. What spirit are ye of? It’s interesting how Samson gets to the feast and in comes his friends… because this feast was a wedding that although God would use, shouldn’t be happening for Samson’s good. It was always going to end badly… she was a Philistine woman… she lived Philistine, she thought Philistine, she had a Philistine god.
Samson put a riddle to his Philistine friends which they solved by getting his wife to tell them by threatening her. That flesh is underhanded! That flesh is sneaky! It got Samson in debt to them. It was a bad marriage for Samson, because God allowed it so that he would have reason to fight the Philistines. Noone else in Israel wanted to fight, they loved the Philistines. There ain’t too many people following God these days. There aren’t too many people with the Spirit of God these days. We don’t see the Spirit of the Lord coming on anyone else in Israel during this time. In some senses you can give the Holy Spirit to others… you give people God’s word, as Samson’s parents did, and they might believe and receive him for themselves. This isn’t charismatic stuff, this is just, homes that have the Holy Spirit are likely to have children who have the Holy Spirit… if they obey God and stick to his word… as Samson’s parents did.
It was through the Spirit of the Lord coming upon him that Samson paid this debt off. This verse isn’t teaching that we can sin and God will pay off our debts. But its teaching a spiritual truth… we aren’t debtors to the flesh anymore. Those Philistine companions tried solving the riddle… but they couldn’t you know why? Because the flesh can’t do it. The flesh doesn’t know deliverance like Samson experienced when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. If you are unsaved, you don’t know of the kingdom of God, you haven’t seen it, much less enter it. You don’t know the life of God. Samson slew thirty men and the thirty men he owed were paid… the debt was satisfied. And it helped to deliver Israel from the Philistines. Your life is going to make forward progress in the Spirit of God… through the Spirit of the Lord what was bad, God can turn for good. In the flesh Samson lost, through the Spirit of the Lord Samson won.
Samson had the power whenever he wanted it. It’s just he didn’t want it that much. Most people just don’t want the Spirit of God. They don’t want to be led by him, to walk in him, to abide in Jesus Christ. We can stand up to sin in our lives… Samson stood up against overwhelming odds and had great victory after great victory. He did things no normal man could do. The Philistines were so overwhelmed with his strength. They didn’t know where he got it from. Are you like that today? Is the Holy Spirit of God a mystery to you? They wanted Samson to be like any other man… why, oh why, did Samson want to be like any other man in the lap of Delilah? Because you get in false religion, you get enticed away from truth… you won’t want the Spirit of God at all. So many Christians get lost down rabbit holes of error, seduced by lies, enticed away from the truth… and in so doing they lose the Spirit of the Lord. God departed from Samson, hopefully you’re not someone who has lost the power of the Holy Spirit because you’ve departed from truth, you’ve fallen for the enticements and seductions of the enemy… in whose lap you are sleeping a sleep of death.
We can go on and on. Samson posed a riddle at this feast which his companions attempted to answer but could not! Why couldn’t they? Because your flesh doesn’t have the answers. The riddle was about a time the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson.Your flesh knows nothing of this at all… and never can. So why would you walk in the flesh who has no lion victory experiences? Instead your flesh just undermines your life as his friends did. Instead your flesh pretends to be your friend… which it is not. It is sad that the end of Judges 14 says Samson’s wife was given to his companion. You see… some people fall to the flesh.. and will never get out. Are you given over to your flesh. God gives many people over who refuse and reject him and disobey him willfully. In this riddle we see the wisdom of God versus the wisdom of this world. We see how irreconcilable the things of the Spirit of God are to the world… to the flesh. You tell people the gospel… who don’t have the Spirit of God.. you might as well be talking to them in an unsolvable riddle. It’s not a riddle, but without the Spirit of God it is. Because unless the Spirit of God ministers truth to your heart, it will mean nothing to you. The Spirit of God is so vital to the life of a believer… why do we ever try living the Christian life without him. We can’t do it in the flesh… we just can’t.
The Bible says we are to mortify the deeds of the flesh. Samson did some mortifying in this chapter… he killed thirty Philistines. You’ve got to crucify your flesh… its all easy talking about all this stuff, but this isn’t just words on paper. There is no substitute for being born again, for having the Spirit of God, this isn’t all stuff to “work up”, it only makes sense if it if a reality in your life. Do you want victory? Samson only wanted it at times. He only wanted it when it cost him… and then he didn’t want victory in certain areas of his life… we all have giants that need slaying, but that can be slain! Look how remarkable his feats were… how impossible the odds were… all it takes is some faith and obedience to God and letting him supply the power… HE PROMISES TO! He is always faithful. What does that mean? He always honors his word. He is God. He can perform his word in your life today. If you are in Christ you can have the victory.
In this story Samson gets manipulated, that’s what you get for messing with your Philistines. He may have thought he was superior to the Philistines… and that’s why he posed his riddle. After all riddles were about “I’m smarter than you”. But they got him. Because they were more crafty, more smart, there was no line they wouldn’t cross, they had no conscience. Your flesh remember, is not just crafty, but HATES God. Your flesh is deceitful, it deceives you about itself, about its intentions, about its goodness. But it is in bondage, sold under sin. In the flesh, you cannot but sin. Your flesh is fallen, your flesh is an enemy, and it is great in number upon you. But all you need is the Spirit of God. To raise up a standard against the enemy when it comes in like a flood. Let God stir you into action. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson and he did these amazing things, he is a hero of the faith. Because it was by faith he did what he did. He was a sinner like you and I, but he had faith in the Lord God.
These Philistines were brought to be his companions. You have a companion for life… it may be your companion, but it is not your friend. Note how the Bible says he used them for friends. Because they aren’t really friends. This is true of the world today. People use each other as friends but aren’t really friends. They didn’t care about Samson. Your flesh will sin, but it won’t care when you have a burnt life, a broken home, an no relationship or fellowship with God. It’s sorry when it gets caught, there is no depth it doesn’t know… but for the grace of God. The Bible says our heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things… who can know it? Samson’s wife was given to his companion, and the fact is, many people are given to the flesh… even people you care about so much. It is a lonely life, the life of a believer who wants to follow God. Your flesh however doesn’t have the answer to the riddle, it has no solution, it has it’s ways and means and it has power… but not power over the Spirit of God. If you are struggling with your flesh… the Spirit is greater… that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Through the Spirit of the Lord Samson paid his debt… because God has paid our debts… and after that his anger was kindled. So will yours be when you realize you can have the victory, when you see how the flesh has robbed your life and carved it up and what you’ve done before you came to truth. He then went up to his father’s house. You can have fellowship with God.. you can eat at your father’s table… you can be in right relationship with him.
The Philistines got paid off… but what did they get? Dead men’s clothes. Their change of garments were just dead Philistine garments… probably with blood on them. Your flesh is not guiltless… your flesh will not get the clothes of Jesus Christ righteousness. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Your flesh won’t make it. So many people have their own righteousness, their own standards, their own ways… but it won’t get you there. You can’t make it there yourself, on your own, in your ways, by your efforts. Your flesh will tell you it can, just as they told Samson the riddle, but it can’t. Those Philistines never had that experience of deliverance from the lion. Hopefully you are delivered from the lion one day… hopefully one day those fields… the works of the devil in your life are set on fire… those works which cost you all the corn, the wine, the olives… hopefully one day you take up that jawbone that’s lying there as your sword of victory… the word of God will put those Philistines to flight. What a message of deliverance! The true deliverance we need is from our flesh, from our sin. You don’t have to be in debt to your nasty, filthy, Philistine flesh today. They only came into Israel because of Israel’s disobedience. That’s what disobedience and rebellion will do to your life.
I love Samson’s life because despite all his flaws and sin, God used him in such mighty amazing ways… such power and strength, his story stands apart… and even with his downfall… in death he got the victory over the Philistines. We stuff our lives up, we don’t learn, and we don’t have to follow the path he did to the Philistine temple, we don’t have to be a trophy to a false god… but it was in death ultimately that he won his greatest victory. If we die with Christ then he will raise us up with Christ. Those Philistines will all die and stay dead. The true deliverance we need is from those eyes that see and lust, from that heart that wickedness flows from, poisoning our thoughts and mind and soul and blessing and future. We can get deliverance though, through the Spirit of God we don’t have to owe our flesh anything, anymore. Samson got himself into a position where he owed his Philistine friends… hey, they weren’t even meant to be in the country. But God has satisfied our debt to our flesh… he has set us free. It ended up costing Samson nothing to pay off his debt, and in fact the enemies of God were dead.
It is interesting that they got the answer to the riddle off an unfaithful wife. Sounds like the church today. A Philistine woman. Many churches today are Philistine strongholds… my people… well her people were Philistines. But neither her nor the companions actually had the experience of deliverance… so while they had the claim of the answer, like churches and people today claim they have the Spirit of God… yet they have not the deliverance, nor the power, nor the first hand knowledge. She was given to Samson’s companion… and many churches today are given over to the flesh, even while claiming the Spirit of God. Someone with the Spirit of God obeys God, is delivered from sin, is holy… because he is the HOLY Spirit… after all. Has truth.. because he IS the Spirit of TRUTH… after all
Do you have liberty? Do you have victory? Or are you a debtor to your flesh.. a slave to it? Are you undelivered from sin… from it’s power and it’s penalty? Do you have no answer for it’s presence? We can have the real victory… and we have the victory over sin in our life… and when Samson got in the Spirit of God, Philistines started dying, power was shown, victories were won… there was liberty. God wanted Israel in liberty. You may think you are free… Israel did when Jesus showed up… but they didn’t see they were slaves. To sin and to the Romans… how deluded we can be about the state of ourselves. True liberty is begin set free from sin to do right, to live holy. You are no longer a debtor to the flesh. Israel couldn’t resist the Philistines, but Samson had complete authority and victory over them. We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works… he doesn’t just forgive us and save us, but he changes us, he sets us free, he gives us a new, abundant, eternal life. We don’t have to be slaves under our Philistine flesh no more. Don’t get in debt to the flesh, because you don’t need to be. Samson’s flesh wasn’t his friend, but when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, God showed himself strong on his behalf. The power is the Lord’s, we don’t have the power, we can just trust in his power and strength and get the victory and be set free. Even if little by little, make steps to your freedom today! God did let Samson hit lows, but it was for his good, those eyes that were gouged out solved his lust issue. And a beautiful woman brought him very low… she got him, but she didn’t quite get him… his hair began to grow again… and he prayed to God… and won his biggest victory yet in his death. When our flesh dies and we live in the power of the Spirit of God… by faith… we will experience victory and liberty and true freedom and true life. You don’t have to owe your flesh a thing. Your flesh wants you in debt, but the Spirit of the Lord is your deliverance and power… and through the Spirit of the Lord you can live for God and have a forgiven, full, blessed, victorious life.
Samson tried fulfilling his calling in his own strength. It was his riddle… his wisdom, his smartness… but he failed. He ended up in debt, outsmarted, outwitted, outdone. Imagine owing a debt to people that you were meant to be delivered from. That’s where your flesh will get you. You’ll end up in debt to sin, you’ll be robbed, outsmarted by it’s guile, deceived. Further from victory than we you started. Samson in the flesh owed the flesh… but God doesn’t want us owing the flesh, he doesn’t want us living a life in debt to it. Owned by sin, owing sin… useless for his glory, powerless. The Philistines were relentless, and your flesh is relentless… it is not your friend… and Samson’s friends were not friends at all. But when the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson … the debt was paid. Through the Spirit of the Lord you don’t owe your flesh anything! You don’t have to yield to it, you don’t have to be a sucker for lies, you don’t have to be moved by sinful desires when you can be moved by the Spirit of the Lord. You don’t have to work him up, hes there all the time for the believer. The Spirit of the Lord enables you to serve God… you see, when the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson, Philistines were slain, the purpose for his life. You can’t do that in your flesh, but you can do this life in the Spirit of God. Get in his word today, pray to him, seek him, you can have deliverance if you want it. Don’t live a life in debt, owing the flesh! The flesh can’t do it, those Philistines got dead men’s clothes… do you want dead men’s clothes for your flesh… or the clothing of Jesus Christ by the Spirit of God? God has paid our debt, we are free! The children of God, the children of liberty, the children of light… it’s high time to awake to righteousness in our lives and start letting the Spirit of the Lord lead us in to victory!