Judges 15: 14-17, Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 10:4, Luke 6:28, Ephesians 6:17

Mark Scholtz reflects on the life of Samson and what we can learn from how he overcame the enemy.

Mark Scholtz
Mark Scholtz

'As Samson arrived at Lehi, the Philistines came shouting in triumph. But the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flax, and they fell from his wrists. Then he found the jawbone of a recently killed donkey. He picked it up and killed 1,000 Philistines with it. Then Samson said,
"With the jawbone of a donkey,
I've piled them in heaps!
With the jawbone of a donkey,
I've killed a thousand men!"
When he finished his boasting, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was named Jawbone Hill.'
(Judges 15: 14-17)

Samson is unfortunately remembered primarily for his episode with Delilah. This all happens at the end of his life and it's recorded in Chapter 16 of Judges, but chapters 13 to 15 are often overlooked. Samson led Israel for 20 years and delivered them from 40 years of Philistine oppression. Samson was born to pick a fight with the enemy. The text we've just read came at a point when Samson was fed up with the Philistines and he channelled all his frustration into wiping them out.

The Bible is clear in Ephesians 6:12 that now our battle is no longer against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 1 Peter 5:8 says: 'Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.' When the enemy comes roaring with lies and temptations (and he will), what should our response be? When people say things that hurt us and unforgiveness is knocking on our door, how do we overcome? I believe this is where we can learn from Samson and have our own Jawbone Hill moment.

A Jawbone Hill moment means that when, like Samson, the enemy is causing you trouble, then instead of giving in to temptation or fear or anger or frustration, you break the ropes trying to entangle you and you pick up your spiritual weapons and channel your energy into some warfare. Anger and frustration are emotions God gave us, but we channel them in the wrong way.

We have been given spiritual weapons to defeat the devil. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, 'For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.'

What are these weapons? We also have jawbones. So often we use our jawbones to retaliate against people with hurtful words, but we should be using them to defeat the devil. Luke 6:28 says, 'Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.' The devil would like nothing more than to make you bitter and twisted when someone hurts you, but there's a powerful weapon against that: every time you think about that person and you get angry or frustrated - pray for them!! This is channelling your frustration the right way.

Ephesians 6:17 says, 'Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.' When Jesus was being tempted by the devil in the desert, He overcame every temptation by declaring, 'It is written.' Jesus fought back with scripture. Samson grabbed the jawbone of a recently killed donkey. It was a fresh donkey and this is important, because if it was an old skeleton of a donkey the bone could have been brittle. But, fresh bone is tough and strong. When the devil has a go at us by speaking lies, we need to be fighting with fresh revelation from a recent time we've spent in the word of God.

Pick up your weapons and fight, child of God. Turn the tables on the devil and fight the good fight of faith! CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.