When the Lion Roars: What Is Roaring & Raging Against You Right Now?

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Judges, which was written to describe a period of time in the history and narrative of the children of Israel from the time of the death of Joshua until the time of Samuel the prophet who emerged prior to the days of the kings. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters fourteen through eighteen of this Old Testament book. In order to understand that which is written and that which is found within this passage of Scripture it is not only necessary to consider the chapter which immediately precedes it, but it is also necessary to think about and consider the words which are found in the tenth chapter of this Old Testament book. It is in the tenth chapter of this Old Testament book we encounter and come face to face with the backdrop of the narrative of Samson whom the Lord would raise up as judge in the land of Israel, and as one who would provoke the Philistines. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the narrative of Samson, it’s that Samson would continually and repeatedly provoke the Philistines, and would bring the fight directly to their doorstep. It’s one thing for us to wait for the enemy and adversary to bring the fight straight to our doorstep and to rise up against us in battle, but it’s another thing altogether to bring the conflict and battle directly to the enemy. Before I even get into this writing I feel it absolutely necessary to emphatically declare unto you who might be reading these words that there are countless men and women among us in the house of God who simply wait for the enemy to bring the fight to them. Please not that this isn’t stating that these men and women look for and expect the enemy to bring the fight and battle to their doorstep, but merely that their only activity in conflict and battle is when the enemy and adversary brings the fight directly to their doorstep. There are men and women who merely live their lives and only deal with the enemy when he directly confronts them in battle and conflict. Such men and women have never and rarely ever take the fight directly to the doorstep and gate of the enemy. In the New Testament gospel of Matthew Jesus—when speaking directly unto Simon whom He would call Peter—would emphatically declare that upon the rock of the profession of his faith He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. What I find to be so absolutely astonishing about these words is that there are countless Christians who merely wait until and wait for the gates of hell to come against them within and upon their lives. There are countless churches which can, and will, and do in fact wait for the gates of hell to rise up against them, and for the gates of hell to mount an assault and attack against them.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about the fact that there are countless churches and countless Christians like who know and understand that the gates of hell cannot and will not prevail against the church, however, they fail to recognize and understand the fact that that doesn’t mean the gates of hell cannot and will not seek to make an advance and an assault against the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus emphatically stated and declared that the gates of hell cannot and will not prevail against the church, however, He never declared that the gates of hell would not try and would not seek to prevail against the church of Jesus Christ. It’s a similar reality to the words which the Old Testament prophet Isaiah prophesied when he declared that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, for the prophet never declared that weapons cannot and will not be formed against us, but that when they are formed against us, and when they are brought against us, they cannot and will not prevail. Even with that being said, there are countless men and women among us who live their lives essentially waiting to be shocked and surprised by the assault and attack of the enemy4. Again, please note that what I am suggesting and speaking is not that they sit back expecting and waiting for the attacks of the enemy, but that rather than be proactive in terms of spiritual warfare and conflict, they are reactive and responsive. REACTIVE AND RESPONSIVE CHRISTIANS! I would dare say that in the house of the living God there are more reactive Christians than there are proactive Christians—those who simply react to the assaults and attacks against them rather than being proactive and taking the fight to the doorstep of the enemy. I would dare say there are more responsive Christians in the house of the LORD who respond to the assaults and attacks which the enemy raises up against them. There are countless men and women within the house of the living God who go about their daily lives and their daily routines, and their only activity in conflict and battle is when the enemy rises up against them to afflict, oppress and oppose them. There are countless Christians who can never and will never take the fight directly to the gates of the enemy, and to the very gates of hell, but will instead live their lives until something rises up against them within this life. Such men and women are never proactive and never go on the offensive, but are always on the defensive when it comes to spiritual warfare, battle and conflict.

OFFENSIVE CHRISTIANS VERSUS DEFENSIVE CHRISTIANS! The more I think about and consider the narrative of Samson whom the living God raised up in the midst of the nation and land of Israel, the more I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that Samson was a man whom the LORD raised up—not merely to engage the enemy and adversary when they rose up against the people of God, but to actually take the fight to the doorstep of the enemy. The narrative of Samson as it is written and recorded within the book of Judges is one that is truly unique and truly astonishing when you take the time to think about it, for the more you read the words which are found in this chapter, the more you are brought face to face with the fact that Samson was perhaps one of—if not the only judge in Israel who went on the offensive, and who took the fight directly to the gates and doorstep of the enemy and adversary. It is true that the judges which we read about in this Old Testament book were raised up by the Spirit of the Lord to deliver the children of Israel out of the affliction and oppression of the enemies and adversaries in the midst of the land. When and as we come to the narrative and account of Samson we find him being provoked on a personal level, and it was as a result of that direct provocation that set him on a path of sheer and utter destruction against and in the midst of the territory of the Philistines. What is so absolutely remarkable about the narrative of Samson is that once he had been provoked by the Philistines, he would take that as an opportunity to unleash a fury of vengeance upon those who had spited and wronged him. I absolutely love the narrative of Samson, for here was this Nazareth who was consecrated and set apart as holy unto the LORD from the time of his birth who would rise up against the Philistines, and would not wait for the Philistines to bring the fight and battle to the doorstep of the children of Israel, but would rise up against them and take the fight directly unto them. It would be during the days of Jephthah that the LORD would raise up the Philistines to afflict and oppress the children of Israel, however, it would be during the days of Samson that the LORD would raise up one from among them who would not only deliver the children of Israel out of the hands of the Philistines, but would also provoke them in conflict and battle. In all reality, I would dare say that Samson was used as a scourge and a thorn in the side of the Philistines, as they would experience one who wasn’t merely willing to sit back and wait for the fight to be brought unto them. As you read the narrative and account of Samson in the Old Testament book of Judges you will find it written concerning him that he was in fact used by the Spirit of the sovereign LORD to continually provoke the Philistines, and to effectively lay waste to their solders, and even their territory. Samson was not one who would sit back and allow the enemy to bring the fight to the people of God, but would take the fight directly to them.

Perhaps one of the greatest realities I absolutely love concerning and regarding the life of Samson is that he was one who wasn’t willing to allow the enemy to continually provoke him, nor was he willing to sit back and allow the Philistines to have the upper hand. Oh, there are countless men and women who allow the enemy and adversary to have the upper hand and to have the advantage in their lives, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not and cannot be the case for any child of the living God. If there is one thing we must learn and understand from the narrative of the life of Samson, it’s that he was one who would be used by the living God to take the fight directly to the doorstep of the Philistines, and that despite the fact that the Philistines would provoke the children of Israel to battle during the days of Jephthah, it wouldn’t be until Samson that the fight and battle would actually be brought unto them. BRINGING THE BATTLE UNTO THE DOORSTEP OF THE ENEMY! BRINGING THE BATTLE UNTO THE DOORSTEP OF THE ENEMY! I find the narrative of Samson so absolutely remarkable, and so absolutely wonderful, for within it we find one who was willing to rise up in the power and might of the Spirit of the Lord who had and would come upon him in order that he might take the fight directly unto them. OH I find myself continually being drawn to the narrative that Samson was one who was separated and consecrated as holy unto the LORD from the time of his birth, and the secret of his strength was in that separation which was before and unto the LORD. As a prelude to what is found and written in the narrative of Samson it’s important for us to recognize and understand that the secret of his strength was not in his hair itself, but rather in what the hair represented, and what the hair symbolized within and upon his life. From the time he was born no razor had come upon his head, and his hair was permitted to grow within and throughout his life according to the word and command of the living God. What we must understand and consider concerning the life of Samson is that he was one whom the LORD had raised up mightily in the midst of the land of Israel—and not only in the land of Israel, but also in the land of the Philistines, as Samson would be absolutely unafraid to enter into their territory and provoke them time and time again. We must not forget, nor lose sight of the fact that Samson was neither intimidated by, nor was he afraid of the Philistines, nor was he afraid to take the fight directly unto them, and into their territory. I can’t help but wonder how many men and women among us are gripped and seized with fear, and are not only unwilling to engage the enemy in conflict and battle, but are also unwilling to take the fight directly to their doorstep and unto the gate(s) of the enemy. Oh, we know the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church of the living God, but what would happen if the people of God began taking the fight directly to those gates rather than waiting for the gates themselves to rise up in array and battle against the people of God? What would happen if the people of God rose up against the gates of hell and took the fight to the gates of hell where the devices and schemes against us are formulated and fashioned?

Before we delve any further into the narrative of Samson and what his story would mean for the children of Israel, I feel it is absolutely necessary to think about and consider the words which are written and recorded in both the tenth chapter, as well as the thirteenth chapter. Beginning with the fourteenth chapter we find the narrative of Samson as he would be a grown man whom the Spirit of the LORD would come upon and move in the midst of Dan. Before we can truly understand what is written in the final verse of the thirteenth chapter, as well as what is written from the fourteenth chapter onward, it’s necessary that we understand the emergence of the Philistines as an adversary of the children of Israel, as well as the birth of Samson in the midst of the children of Israel. Consider if you will—both the words which are written concerning the raising up of the Philistines, as well as the birth of Samson after an angel of the LORD would initially appear unto Manoah’s wife before appearing a second time and allowing Manoah to directly interact with him. Beginning with the sixth verse of the tenth chapter you will find the following words, which are going to be immediately followed by those words which are written and found within the eleventh chapter of this Old Testament book:

“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not Him. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed. And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. And the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh. And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead” (Judges 10:6-18).

“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: for, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazareth unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: but he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazareth to God from the womb to the day of his death. Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my LORD, let the man of God which thou didst sent come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the m an that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded let her observe. And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Thou thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these. And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to move at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:1-25).

When the angel of the LORD appeared unto the wife of Manoah the Philistines had oppressed the children of Israel forty years, and it would be unto this woman the angel of the LORD would declare that she would give birth to and bear a son who would begin to deliver the people of God out of the hands of the Philistines. By the time the thirteenth chapter of this book of Judges concludes it does so with Samson having been born in the territory of Dan—and not only being born, but growing up with and in the blessing of the LORD. What’s more, is that we read at the conclusion of the thirteenth chapter that the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon Samson in the midst of Dan, although we aren’t yet given any indication as to what that looked like. The only thing we learn and understand when coming to the conclusion of the thirteenth chapter of the book of Judges is that the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon Samson in the territory of Dan, and we would have to wait until the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book to begin to see just what that would look like. When we think about and consider the words which are written concerning the life of Samson this judge in Israel, it’s that he would be born “for such a time as this,” as he would be born to begin to deliver the people of God out of the hands of the Philistines. It’s actually quite interesting and astonishing to think about the language that is used, for in the opening verses of this chapter we find that the Philistines oppressed the children of Israel for forty years, and when the angel spoke unto the wife of Manoah and declared unto her who and what her son would become, he would declare unto her that Samson would “begin to deliver the children of Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.” Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely remarkable and astonishing reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the overwhelming reality concerning the narrative and account of Samson. As you think about and consider the life of Samson it is necessary to consider the fact that he would be born unto Manoah and his wife in order that he might begin to deliver the people of God out of the hands of the Philistines. I am convinced this is incredibly significant, for although Samson would wreak havoc upon the Philistines, he would not completely and utterly deliver the people of God out of their oppression and affliction. In fact, Scripture is unclear as to what point during this forty year period of affliction Samson would be born, for we learn and discover that the Philistines afflicted and oppressed the children of Israel for forty years. The more I think about and consider the life of Samson the more I can’t help but come face to face with the reality that Samson would be used by the LORD to begin a work in the midst of the land—a work of delivering the children of Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.

What we must understand when reading and considering the narrative and life of Samson is that although he would unleash havoc and terror upon the Philistines, he would not completely and utterly deliver the children of Israel and the people of God out of their affliction and oppression. In fact, I would dare say that the work which began during the days and generation of Samson would continue during the days of Saul, and would finally and ultimately reach an end during the days of David king of Israel. It would be David king of Israel who would finally and once and for all conquer and subdue the Philistines, and would bring rest and peace to that border of the inheritance and land of the people of Israel. It’s worth noting that the work which began during Samson’s day would be carried out during the days of Saul king of Israel, and would continue, and finally reach their culmination during the days of David king of Israel. Oh it was true that Samson would indeed wreak havoc upon and unleash terror in the midst of the land of the Philistines, however, the affliction and oppression of the Philistines would continue during the days of Saul king of Israel—and even during the days of David king of Israel. In fact, Goliath would be a Philistine giant that would provoke and taunt the armies of Israel in the Valley of Elah, and would challenge them to send a man into the valley to engage him in conflict in battle. In and during the days of Samson we don’t read of any giants being in the midst of the territory of the Philistines, however, by the time we come to the days of David and Saul we find Goliath being the champion of the Philistines as he was a giant which was born among them. I am convinced that it would be the slaughter of Goliath in the valley of Elah that would begin to shift and transition the oppression and affliction of the Philistines against the children of Israel, as the slaughter of Goliath would set David on a collision course with the Philistines as he would undertake the tremendous responsibility and assignment of conquering and subduing them. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle which was written unto the Philippian congregation, for in the opening chapter the apostle spoke of his confidence that he who began a good work in them would be faithful to complete it. This reality is expressly manifested in the narrative of the Philistines and their oppression and affliction of the children of Israel, for the work which the LORD would begin during the days of Samson would continue through and during the days of Saul, and would continue and come to an end during the days of David king of Israel. It’s absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this truly wonderful and astonishing reality, for when Samson emerged on to the scene, he wouldn’t be born to completely and utterly deliver the people of God out of the oppression and affliction of the Philippines, but rather to begin to deliver them out of such oppression and affliction.

The narrative and account of Samson is one which must be understand—not only in terms of one who would provoke those who afflicted and oppressed the people of God, but also as one who would begin a work and process that would stretch into future generations, and would be manifested during the reign of Israel’s first two kings. The conflict and struggle with the Philistines would begin with and during the days of Samson, and Samson would be born in the midst of the land of Israel that he might begin a process of delivering the people of God out of the oppression and affliction of the Philistines—those who would oppress and afflict the people of Israel for forty years. Please understand this absolutely astonishing and remarkable reality, for it is this reality that helps us understand the undeniable fact that Samson was indeed born “for such a time as this,” and would be born to begin a work that would find its culmination and conclusion during the days of David king of Israel. In all reality, what would begin with a judge of Israel would continue and conclude during the days of the second king of Israel. Pause for a moment and consider just how long that reign of oppression and affliction would be for the people of God, and how the LORD would raise up Samson to begin to turn back the tide of that oppression and affliction. It would be during the days of Samson the LORD would begin to turn back the tide of oppression and affliction of the Philistines in the midst of the land of Israel, and would raise up Samson to actively and proactively engage them in conflict and battle. It would be Samson who wouldn’t merely lead an army against the Philistines, and wouldn’t lead an army of Hebrew soldiers into the midst of Philistine territory, but it would be Samson who would begin to be a scourge and thorn in the side of the Philistines who would provoke the children of Israel. If the deliverance of the people of God were likened unto a spear, Samson would be the base of the spear that would be thrust into the midst of the Philistines by the hand of the living God, while David would be the tip of the spear that would strike the final blow that would effectively cripple the Philistines, thus rendering them unable to afflict and oppress the people of God any more. Oh that we would recognize and understand that Samson would be one whom the LORD would raise up in the midst of the land of Israel that a powerful work of deliverance might take place—namely, beginning the process of delivering the people of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Samson would be raised up of the Lord, and Samson would experience the power and might of the Holy Spirit coming upon him in order that he might be used as a scourge and thorn in the side of the Philistines. It would be Samson who would be raised up by the living God to begin to provoke the Philistines within their own territory, as it would be David who would once and for all deliver the people of God out of the hands of the Philistines and bring peace and rest to that part of the nation and kingdom. We dare not minimize the narrative of Samson, for to do so would be to miss out on the tremendous work which he was raised up to do

BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF DELIVERANCE! THE BEGINNING OF THE TIDE TURNING! THE SCOURGE AT THE BEGINNING OF DELIVERANCE! Perhaps one of the most astonishing and remarkable realities surrounding the narrative of Samson is that when it was declared unto his mother that she who was barren would bring forth a son, it was also declared unto her what type of man her child was to be. The angel of the LORD would declare unto her that concerning herself she could not drink wine, nor any strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing, for she would bear and bring forth a son. That song whom she would bring forth would and was to be a Nazarite before and unto the LORD his God from the womb, and no razor would ever come upon his head. What’s more, is that the angel of the LORD would speak unto this woman and declare unto her that this child which would be born unto her would begin to deliver the children of Israel out of the oppression, out of the affliction, and out of the hand of the Philistines. This is quite interesting and intriguing when you think about and consider this, for if you recall the opening verses of this chapter you will find and discover that the children of Israel once again did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and as a direct result of them doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, they were delivered into the hands of the Philistines. Not only were they delivered into the hand of the Philistines, but that oppression and affliction would last forty years. For forty years the children of Israel would remain in the throes of affliction and oppression, as the Philistines, as the Philistines would unleash a reign of terror upon and against them. When Samson would emerge on to the scene, he would do so in order that the LORD might have one from among the people of Israel who would begin to deliver the people out of the hands of the Philistines. This is absolutely and incredibly important, for as we have already seen and discussed—Samson would not completely and ultimately deliver the children of Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. The Philistines would oppress the children of Israel for forty years, and at some point during that period of time that Sampson would be born, and once he would become fully grown and would enter into adulthood, he would begin to unleash his own reign of terror within and among the territory of the Philistines. The narrative and account of Samson is one that is truly unique when you take the time to think about and consider it, for the narrative of Samson is one that describes one who would emerge and step on to the scene, and one who would indeed bring a measure of deliverance for the people, of God, but one who would not completely and utterly bring deliverance unto and before them.

The thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges concludes with the declaration that Samson grew, and the LORD blessed the him as he grew. What’s more, is that it is written concerning Samson that the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what it was like for Samson when he began to experience the Spirit of the LORD moving upon him as he lived and dwelt in the midst of Dan. I can’t help but wonder what it was like for Samson as the Spirit of the LORD would move him at times, and what those times were like before and in the presence of the living God. The only thing we learn and discover within these words is that Samson would experience the Spirit of the LORD moving upon him at times in the camp of Dan, and that’s it. We aren’t given anything else, nor are we given additional details regarding what it was like for Samson as the Spirit of the LORD would begin to move him, so we have to begin to speculate. It’s not until the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges that we begin to see and understand just what it was like when the Spirit of the LORD would come upon Samson, and for what specific purpose and reason that would be. In the final verse of the thirteenth chapter we learn and discover that the Spirit of the LORD began to move Samson at times, which actually doesn’t indicate the reality that the Spirit of the LORD had come upon him. This actually brings me to quite an interesting and intriguing thought, for there appears to be a distinction drawn within the life of Samson between those times when the Spirit of the LORD moves us, and times when the Spirit of the LORD actually comes upon us. Of course we know and understand that in the Old Testament the Spirit of the LORD would move men and women within and during certain periods of time within their lives, and we know that in the Old Testament the Spirit of the LORD would come upon men and women for a specific purpose in their generation. In the New Testament, however, the Spirit of the LORD no longer comes upon men and women, for in the days of the New Covenant the Spirit of the LORD would actually dwell inside men and women. When Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as He spoke unto His disciples—words which are written and recorded in chapters fourteen through sixteen of the New Testament gospel narrative which John wrote—He spoke of the Holy Spirit as One who would come alongside His people and His disciples, and would be a divine counselor and comforter among them in their midst. What’s more, is that as you read the words found in the New Testament you will find that the Holy Spirit—when He came on the Day of Pentecost fifty days after the death of Jesus the Christ—would in fact come with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and with cloven tongues of fire which would rest upon the one hundred and twenty there in the upper room, however, the Spirit did not come to merely come upon men and women, but to actually dwell in the midst of them.

What we read and what we find in the narrative and account of Samson is that he was a man whom the Spirit of the LORD would move at certain times within his life before the Spirit of the LORD would actually come upon him. If and as you study the narrative concerning the life of Samson you will find that initially the Spirit of the LORD would begin to move him at specific times within his life before the Spirit would actually come upon him in order that he might accomplish that which the LORD would actually have him to do. Oh this brings me to an absolutely and incredibly astonishing reality and thought, for I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that there is a difference between the Spirit moving us, and essentially producing stirrings and longings within our hearts and souls, and those times when the Spirit of the LORD actually raises us up to fulfill and accomplish those things which He has instructed, planned and purposed for us. There were times within and during the life of Samson when the Spirit of the sovereign Lord would move him, and we aren’t given any indication as to what that was like when the Spirit of the LORD would move him. Moreover, I can’t help but wonder if Samson was even aware of what the moving of the Holy Spirit was even for within his life. Was Samson aware of those times within his life when the Spirit of the LORD would move him, and did he know and understand what they would mean? When the Spirit of the LORD would move Samson at certain times within his life, was Samson indeed aware of what that would mean, and did he have any idea what the LORD was calling and asking him to do? I find it absolutely mysterious when the author of the book of Judges wrote concerning Samson that the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times, for we are forced to wonder what that would actually look like within his life. This leads me to an utterly astonishing thought and reality concerning the Spirit of the LORD moving us versus the Spirit of the LORD actually raising us up to do that which the Sovereign Lord has indeed called us to do. Within the narrative and account of Samson we find the Spirit of the sovereign Lord beginning to move him at certain times and seasons within his life, and yet the Spirit of the LORD hadn’t actually, nor had the Spirit officially come upon him. The Spirit of the LORD would move Samson at times within his life, and I can’t help but wonder if the Spirit would produce stirrings, longings and desires within his heart, as Samson would begin to find himself dreaming and longing for things he wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder if the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD would begin to move Samson at times, and as a direct result of Him moving Samson he would begin to look upon the oppression and affliction of the people of God at that time and become agitated, angry and annoyed at how the enemy and adversary was given the upper hand over the people of God. This is perhaps what is so unique about the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, for we aren’t given any clue, nor are we given any idea of inclination as to what it was like when the Spirit of the LORD would move Samson, and what that would be like for Samson to experience the moving and movement of the Holy Spirit within his life.

In all reality, you don’t have to go very far to see the contrast between the Spirit of the LORD moving Samson at times within his life, and the Spirit of the LORD actually coming upon him. If you read the first seven verses of the fourteenth chapter you will find a certain and specific event taking place within the life of Samson, and how the Spirit of the LORD would come upon him in order that he might begin to be a scourge and a splinter within and among the Philistines which had oppressed and afflicted the people of God. Upon coming to the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book you will encounter the narrative and account of Samson looking upon a woman in Timnath which was of the daughters of the Philistines, and how he came up and told his parents about this woman. It would be that Samson would tell his parents that he saw a woman in TImnath of the daughters of the Philistines and asked them to get her unto him as a wife. Samson’s parents would balk at his request to get this woman as a wife unto him, and asked if he would not instead and rather choose one of the women from among the daughters of Israel. Samson would hear and listen to the words which his parents spoke, however, he would and could not be swayed from his desire for this woman. If you continue reading the words which are found within this passage you will find that his parents did not know that Samson’s desire for this woman was ordained and appointed by the LORD, as He sought an occasion against the Philistines. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within the first seven verses of the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book:

“And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in TImnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto 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? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that He sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel. Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done. And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well” (Judges 14:1-7).

When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find it written how as Samson and his parents were journeying down unto the territory and land of the Philistines a young lion would roar mightily upon him in the way. Staring down the young lion which was before him roaring against him, however, the Spirit the Spirit of the LORD would come mightily upon Samson, and Samson would rend the lion as he would a young kid. It’s actually quite interesting and intriguing to think about and consider the fact that when the Spirit of the LORD would come upon Samson for the very first time, He would give him the strength to contend with a lion—and not only contend with a lion, but also to rend this lion to pieces as he would a kid. This is even more intriguing to think about and consider for before Samson would even begin to engage the Philistines as a scourge and splinter among them, he would first contend with a young lion that would roar against him. Please don’t miss the incredible significance and importance of this, for there would be another individual in the history of the Jewish people who would experience a giant that would roar and rage against the people of God in the valley of Elah. If you read and study the narrative and account of David the son of Jesse you will find that as David prepared to go out against Goliath who was this uncircumcised Philistine, he would declare unto Saul that while he was tending his father’s flock a lion came out against both he and his father’s flock, but how he struck the lion down and killed him. Of course we know that David also declared unto Saul that there would be a bear that would come out against both he and his father’s flock, and how he struck down and killed the bear. What I would like to focus on, however, is that account of David striking down and killing the lion which would come out against him, for the preparation for David to stand before Goliath in the valley of Elah was encountering and striking down a lion which undoubtedly would roar against him, and perhaps even seek to destroy one, most or all of the flock which he was responsible for. Before David would ever engage Goliath in the valley of Elah, and before David would ever engage the Philistines themselves in battle in the land and nation of Israel, he would first encounter, slaughter and destroy a lion that would roar and rage against him. Oh please don’t miss this, for we see a wonderful and powerful similarity between these two men, for both men would be spears and swords in the hand of the LORD, which He would use to not only seek occasion against the Philistines, but also to deliver His people out from under their oppression and affliction. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in the seventeenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel which describes David’s interaction with Saul king of Israel in the valley of Elah:

“And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. And also the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And the man of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? Surely to defy Israel he is come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be don to the man that killeth this Philistines, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living GOD? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. And Elian his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? And with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? IS there not a cause? And he turned form him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner. And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his bear, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, the LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head: also he armed him with a. Coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a. Youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: But I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that the LORD save the not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew night to meet David, that David hasted, and toward the warmly to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head there with. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Enron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaarim, even unto Gath, and unto Enron. And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents. And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent” (1 Samuel 17:23-54).

The words which we find and read within this passage of Scripture are absolutely and utterly astounding and remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider them, for within this passage we find David the son of Jesse speaking unto and declaring to Saul king of Israel that while he was tending his father’s sheep, a lion came out against him and took one of the sheep in his mouth. Now we aren’t given any clue or indication that the Spirit of the LORD came upon David as He did Samson, but we do know that David rose up after the lion and snatched the lamb out of the mouth of the lion. When the lion proceeded to roar and rage against David, David grabbed him by his beard, and smote and slew him. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this tremendous reality, for the narrative is the same as that which we find in the case of Samson—the difference being that a young lion would roar against Samson, and there would be no flock which he was leading. A young lion roared against Samson, and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon Samson, and he would rend the lion to pieces as he would have a young kid. A lion would come against David and the flocks of his father, and would even catch one of the sheep in his mouth, and David would rise up and smite the lion when he would turn and rage against him. It’s worth noting that both David and Samson would be mightily used of the living God to be a scourge unto and among the Philistines, and before each man would begin engaging the Philistines in conflict and battle, they would encounter a lion that would roar and rage against them. In the case of Samson a young lion would roar and rage against him, and in the case of David a lion would actually snatch one of his father’s sheep in his mouth as a meal. In both cases these men would rise up against the lion which was before them, and would utterly slay and slaughter the lion. Oh please don’t miss this, for before Samson and David would be used mightily by the living God to deliver the people of Israel out of the oppression and affliction of the Philistines, they would each encounter a lion which they would each slaughter in their own unique way. It would be the lion which Samson faced that would prepare him to begin to engage the Philistines and unleash a reign of terror upon them within their territory, and it would be the lion which David faced that would not only prepare him to face Goliath, but also to rise up against Goliath and not only fell him with a stone from his sling, but also strike off his head with his own sword. Moreover, it would be David whom the LORD would mightily use to once and for all deliver the people of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines who had oppressed them during the days of Samson, during the days of Eli, during the days of Samuel, during the days of Saul, and also during the days when he reigned in Israel.

It’s necessary for us to understand and recognize this absolutely wonderful and powerful reality, for both David and Samson would be used mightily of the LORD—one to begin to deliver the children of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and the other to finally and actually deliver the children of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. What we find in the case of both men is that they would both face their own lion, and they would both be faced with the tremendous task of striking down the lion which was before them—the one which would experience the lion roaring against him, and the other that would experience a lion taking one of the sheep of his father’s flock. It would be the lion which each of these men would face and slaughter that would prepare them to engage the Philistines in battle, and I can’t help but wonder and consider the fact that it might not be necessary before we begin to engage the Philistines, and the Goliath’s in our own lives, we must first rise up against the lions which attempt to rage and roar against us. Oh, as you look back over you life, can you point to those moments, or perhaps that moment when you faced a lion which roared against you? Scripture declares that our enemy and adversary, Satan and the devil, roars and rages against us a lion, and seeks whom he might devour, and it is necessary that we recognize and and understand this absolutely astonishing reality. We must recognize that giant slayers and giant killers are first lion slayers and lion killers. What’s more, is that we must understand that Philistine slayers and Philistine scourges are those who first rise up against and slaughter lions which roar and rage against them. The Spirit of the LORD would begin to move Samson at certain times, and the very first time the Spirit of the LORD would come upon Samson, He would come upon him when a lion roared against him. Oh the question I can’t help but ask and wonder as I bring this writing to a close is what is roaring and what is raging against you? Do you perhaps have a lion that is roaring and raging against you right now in your life? Do you have a Goliath that is roaring and raging against you right now in your life? Oh, what is roaring and raging against you in your life right now? I feel absolutely compelled to declare unto you that regardless of whether it is a lion that is raging against you, or whether it is a giant that is roaring and raging against you, the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD wants to raise you up that you might completely and utterly destroy that which roars and rages against you. For Samson, the lion which roared against him would be preparation for him as he would begin to unleash a reign of terror in the camp of the enemy. For David, the lion which roared and raged against him would be preparation for the giant he would face in the valley of Elah, as well as the Philistines whom he would engage in conflict and battle throughout the days and years of his reign as king over Israel. Oh that would we would recognize and understand those lions and those giants which rage and roar against us in order that we might rise up against them and utterly strike them down as the Spirit of the Lord prepares us to unleash terror in the camp of the enemy.

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