When Samson Went Down To Ashkelon

Judges 14:17 – And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.

Judges 14:18 – And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

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 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:15 – What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Romans 6:16 – Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:17 – But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Romans 6:18 – Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

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.

Hello readers, thanks for reading today, and hope this blog is a blessing to you! Today I will be looking at Judges 14, the story of Samson. And in it, the Bible furnishes us with a wonderful picture from which we can better understand some of thing things that are taught in Romans 6 and Romans 8. You see, the Bible is a picture book, it gives us all the examples we need, God’s view on things, so we can grow, understand and live the Christian life.

Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins. That is why he came. Lots of people don’t have that essential need though, they are happy with who and what they are. But if Jesus hasn’t come to give you salvation from your sins, then you really don’t grasp who he is, why he came and you’ve come to him for the wrong reason. Salvation of sin isn’t just “not going to hell”. Going to hell is the penalty for sin, it is the place unbelievers go who never were forgiven of their sins because they never believed on Jesus Christ. However that’s far from all of it. Jesus also came to save us from the power of sin in our day to day life. He came to give us life and life more abundantly. And in the future he will save us from the presence of sin, when we die and are set free from this sin cursed body.

People today preach a “grace” that isn’t Biblical. Yes, we are warned repeatedly in the Bible that that exact thing would happen, such as in 2 Peter and Jude… and so we expect that. Remember, most people believe lies because that’s what they are looking for. If there wasn’t a market for lies, then they wouldn’t be so popular as they are today. Truth is fallen in the street as the Bible says.

When the Bible says we are no longer under the law but under grace, it doesn’t mean we are now lawless, free to go out and do whatever we want with a license to sin. Indeed getting saved is just a higher law, for in Romans 8:2 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. However the false doctrines of grace appeal to someone who wants to “get out of going to hell” while retaining the perks of living how they want to here… and even with some Biblical justification for it. You know… those people that brandish Bible verses they think are their excuse clause and eternal justification for their actions. However, if you read the context and indeed just read the Bible with an honest heart, God promises to lead you into truth.

It’s best to read Judges 14 and understand his story, and will proceed ahead assuming so… Samson made some friends. They were bad friends. They were Philistines, they were the bad guys. Sin is a bad friend. It promises so much doesn’t it? It promises pleasure, fulfillment or whatever… it can seem that without that sin you will be incomplete till you do it. Sin is a master, just as God said to Cain, it rules over unsaved people, and it can rule over Christians. John 8:34 – Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. You see sin makes demands on you, it has a hold on you, and if you are unsaved you have no answer to it. Romans 6:20 – For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. The whole point of Jesus coming was so that sin would no longer have dominion over us. Why do people citing the grace of God live under the dominion of sin?

Remember in Samson’s life, he was born into a time where the Philistines had dominion over Israel. God didn’t create us for sin to rule us, for death to reign over us… yet so it is… because of disobedience to God. Wasn’t Israel so disobedient… weren’t the Philistines a consequence of their long time rebellion to God? And so entrenched in their sin, they accepted the Philistines as their masters, they didn’t even cry out for deliverance… are you, sinner, like that? You love your sin so much you don’t seek deliverance. You love your life, your ways, who you are… so much… you don’t need the salvation that Jesus came to offer, that he purchased with his own blood?

Samson is a picture of a born again believer. He had the victory all along, but as we will see, he would up in debt, owing to the Philistines. We can be the same, we can be saved, yet somehow live in defeat, controlled, enslaved, run by sin. Samson was born to be separate, getting born again will separate you from this evil world… we no longer have to be a slave to this body of sin. Sin exerts its demands on you and you yield. Why do people do all these horrible things? Why do men cheat on their wives when they know it will destroy their life? Why do people get hooked on drugs knowing that the outcome will be dependency, ill health and overdose? It’s why we should never feed our flesh, because give it an inch and it will take a mile. We are to crucify it, mortify it, keep it under subjection for that reason, not give it crumbs here and there. Did not Samson just keep that flicker of sin alive? He never could quite shake his weakness for Philistine women… it got him in the end. He won a great victory here and there, in Judges 14 he went to Ashkelon and killed thirty men… but despite the victories we may have… the sin that we do not destroy is that one that will undo us.

Just like Pharaoh cracked the whip on Israel slaves in Egypt, Satan wants to keep you a slave, to pile your burdens up, to keep you so occupied you don’t even think about freedom. He made them so occupied and busy the couldn’t even think about going and serving God. Sin is a bad friend because it betrays you. Take adultery. It promises excitement, pleasure but the end is a burnt marriage, a burnt testimony. It fools you, because what it seems like at the time sways you into doing it… even though the outcome is not even nearly worth it beyond the brief passing moments of excitement and pleasure. Take drinking… it promises fun, but can so often end in violence or sexual sin or jail or even death.

It is worth noting that Samson’s friends had the answers.He had posed a riddle to them, and they came up with the answer (by dubious means). But that’s sin… it will outsmart you. It will trick you. It will do you the dirty. You think you are controlling it, but it really controls you. Samson thought he was greater than them… but they were more than he bargained on. It is amazing how people make room for their sin, they excuse it, justify it, defend it, they have a discussion with that which they know is on because they aren’t willing to put it on the table before the Lord, much less leave it nailed to the cross. But if you start rationalizing with your sin, and trying to find a compromise or agreement with it, and you’ll end up owing it, and it owning you. What concord is there to be had with Belial as the Bible says?

Samson ended up in debt to his friends. You see, he actually was meant to have victory over the Philistines. God gave him it without fail. They couldn’t beat him or bind him or capture him or anything. Likewise, Christian, God has given you victory over sin. Yet we live in defeat, yet we live owing to our flesh.Sin makes its demand on our life, and we step in line with it. It orders us, and we obey. But if you get saved, you actually don’t have to be a slave of sin anymore. It sounds impossible, but you don’t. If you get saved, Jesus has set you free. That’s what grace is. Grace to escape bondage and having to answer to and yield to your sinful desires. When you were saved, you were free from righteousness… but no longer. But people don’t want salvation from sin, they want salvation from heaven while living how they want to. That was Samson’s sort of attitude.

Samson had the victory when he wanted to. He ended up in debt to his friends… but he got a victory. He paid his debt not through his strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. You see a great debt has been paid at the cross, Jesus paid it. He purchased our freedom with his own blood. Through Jesus’ sacrifice and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we no longer have to owe our flesh a thing. Samson went to Ashkelon and slew thirty Philistines. Jesus has paid that debt to sin you owe and through the Spirit of the Lord he got his victory, and you and I require that same deliverance today. It was only thirty Philistines… but small victories are better than none. His victory matched what he owed, but no greater, and maybe he could’ve killed even more, but he stopped at that. That is a reality though, that people will often only go so far with God, they will only go so far with purging sin out their life. He won victories, but he only ever “began” to deliver Israel from the Philistines.  What got in the way? Although he always had the victory, he often surrendered it and lived like he didn’t get it. Because he ended up warring with something he loved. And unless God takes that heart for sin out of us to love righteousness and sin not… that will be our undoing. He loved the choice women of the people he was to deliver from… that compromised him didn’t it?

It was an ongoing battle for Samson. We can criticize him, but isn’t our life the same? An ongoing battle. He, like us, go back to what was destroyed at the cross. The Bible warns not to build that again which was destroyed. If God has delivered you from something, don’t build a bridge back to it. When Elisha was called by God, he burnt his work tools, it was significant because he was not leaving them in the shed in case he came back to his old life… no… he severed the connection he had to his past occupation. That’s commitment. Daniel committed, Joseph committed, that’s why they stand as such great examples of men of faith who purposed to and followed God through thick and thin. Samson got angry, and this isn’t necessarily bad, because if we really look back through our life, we should get a little angry at how we’ve devoted so much of the best of ourselves not to God, but to things that don’t matter, to things that were a waste… to sin.

When Samson wanted his wife… his parents couldn’t believe the woman he had chosen… and said to him “Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?”… it’s a good question. He was so drawn to something he didn’t need, where there were abundant options of Israel women. Is God’s way that evil to you? Do you read God’s word and it is grievous to you? maybe you are not saved, maybe you have completely the wrong idea of who God is and what God requires. You see, why people really get messed up on God’s grace is because God’s way, God’s word actually does seem evil to them. They like part of it, but not all of it… not nearly. Maybe there is a favorite sin, a pet sin… maybe that is what will trip you into hell.

The Bible says in Romans 8:12 – Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. You see, when you are saved, you don’t have to be in debt to the flesh anymore. Your flesh doesn’t need to control you. Sin doesn’t have to be your master. The devil doesn’t have you in his prison anymore. Yet we don’t live in this reality! Samson was born separate and victorious… yet he ended up in debt to them. Fool around with sin, and sin will make a fool of you. He wasn’t greater than it, and you won’t be. Why do we always think we are the exception to the rule? Samson’s affair with the Philistines is like our battle with our sin, we get victory, but it keeps coming back. It doesn’t go away. You may have a good day, but next day it’s right back competing for your soul, demanding to be fed. It lies at the door. It was through the Spirit of God he got the victory.

But how do we apply that practically today? It starts with salvation, acknowledging your sin before God, believing on Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and walking in that reality. He will give you victory if you look to him for it. He has paid your debt, Satan has no jurisdiction on you anymore… he only has the ground you let him take. Remember how they couldn’t stop Samson… they couldn’t figure him out, no matter the number they could not beat him in battle. When sin comes calling, look to Jesus Christ, look to the cross, hide behind him who did no sin. Remember in the wilderness the Bible says the rock that followed them was Christ. He’s got your back. Samson got himself into an awful mess mucking around with sin, even as cute and harmless and bewitching as they were. If you, Christian, are messing around in worldly living, attempting to thread the eye of the needle between God’s word and worldly living, trying to be godly but popular, trying to be committed but having fun… you’re just like Samson getting himself into a big old mess. He tried doing the juggling act, and it wasn’t worth it.

You can live your whole life in debt to sin, your flesh in the driver’s seat… but you’ll end up defeated, and in Samson’s case… just like any other man. Samson woke up one day with the Philistines upon him, and he was just like any other man… weak and defeated and powerless. Maybe you’ve lived a life of sin, but today, getting saved is a complete deliverance… remember Samson was born a deliverer. He had the strength, he had the victory, but he didn’t want it because of a beautiful woman… and he surrendered it. You can get saved and God will pay your sin debt you owe, he died in your place, he gave his Son and poured out the wrath coming to you on him… so you could go free, so that you have a life and a future and blessing… it’s a pretty good deal. God’s grace is what gives a man power to call upon him, and what gives a man the ability to live the Christian life… power to live a beyond the natural life, a power in us, the life of Christ in us, that did not sin and that rose from the dead and is alive forever more… it takes God’s grace to forgive like Joseph did, to endure like Job did, to be faithful like Daniel was. God’s grace is the Spirit of God. In the flesh we live defeated and in debt, but through the Spirit of God the debt is paid and deliverance had. Through Samson’s life we can understand God’s grace a bit better, and understand that we have the victory, we don’t owe our old sin master a thing, and we can live in the deliverance and newness of life that Christ purchased for us today.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)

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