Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?” “We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?” He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”

They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.” Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.” “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.”

So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.
– Judges 15:9-15


One of the themes in this passage is vengeance. The Philistines wanted revenge against Samson because he had gotten revenge on them for murdering his wife.

Vengeance never produces a happy ending. That is why Scripture says,

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

The bigger lesson is found in verse eleven. The men of Judah acknowledged, “The Philistines are rulers over us.”

They acknowledged their bondage without recognizing that it was their own rebellious hearts that lead them into this spiritual captivity.

The Big Question

Are you holding on to some deep hurt or pain waiting to exact revenge on those who caused this pain?

Are you unable to forgive those who have hurt you deeply?

Are you in spiritual bondage to your sinful nature and not recognizing your part in your current predicament?

Pray and ask God to help you answer these questions and find resolution through forgiveness and surrender.

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.