Thursday after the Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Judges 15:1-20 (NKJV)
15:1 After a while, in the time of wheat harvest, it happened that Samson visited his wife with a young goat. And he said, “Let me go in to my wife, into her room.” But her father would not permit him to go in.
2 Her father said, “I really thought that you thoroughly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister better than she? Please, take her instead.”
3 And Samson said to them, “This time I shall be blameless regarding the Philistines if I harm them!” 4 Then Samson went and caught three hundred foxes; and he took torches, turned the foxes tail to tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 When he had set the torches on fire, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6 Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?”
And they answered, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion.” So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.
7 Samson said to them, “Since you would do a thing like this, I will surely take revenge on you, and after that I will cease.” 8 So he attacked them hip and thigh with a great slaughter; then he went down and dwelt in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
9 Now the Philistines went up, encamped in Judah, and deployed themselves against Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?”
So they answered, “We have come up to arrest Samson, to do to him as he has done to us.”
11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? What is this you have done to us?”
And he said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.”
12 But they said to him, “We have come down to arrest you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines.”
Then Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves.”
13 So they spoke to him, saying, “No, but we will tie you securely and deliver you into their hand; but we will surely not kill you.” And they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it. 16 Then Samson said:
“With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!”
17 And so it was, when he had finished speaking, that he threw the jawbone from his hand, and called that place Ramath Lehi.
18 Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” 19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
King Solomon writes, “Jealousy is a husband’s fury; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (Prov. 6:34). The hottest outbreak of Samson’s wrath comes when his wife is given away to another man. He had chosen her out of the unbelieving Philistines and offered her a place in the Israelite faith, yet the Philistines acted unfaithfully and his wife was taken away. Therefore, Samson burns their crops, slaughters their men, and, when they come to arrest him, kills another thousand of them with a donkey’s jawbone.
Jealousy for one’s wife is a terrifying force, but, if directed in accordance with God’s Word, a very righteous force. God calls Himself jealous, saying, “You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34:14). God has called His Church out of the unbelieving world, united her to Himself, sanctified her through Baptism, and feeds her with His own body and blood. Therefore, He protects her with a husband’s jealousy. Anyone who threatens the well-being of God’s Church—whether individuals, nations, or the devil himself—will face the jealous wrath of God with which He protects those who are His own.
Those who are baptized need not fear anything in this life. God protects His saints, and heaven and earth will pass away before He allows His Church to be taken away from Him.
We pray: O Lord, who never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love, make us to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.