“But his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD—that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel” (Judges 14:4).
Do you know the LORD is seeking an occasion to move against the enemy? What would you say if I told you the LORD was looking for an occasion to move against the enemy in the midst of the land? Would it shock and surprise you if I told you the LORD was seeking an occasion to move against the enemies and adversaries which have tormented, afflicted and oppressed men and women in this nation? What if I told you that the LORD wanted to use you as an instrument to bring about the occasion to move against the enemy? What if I told you the LORD wanted to use you as an instrument to wreak havoc against the enemy and adversary in the midst of the land? Would you believe me if I told you I the LORD was and is seeking an occasion to move against the enemy and desires to use you to inflict damage and calamity on the enemy? Not only this but what if I told you the LORD desired to use you as an instrument to bring the fight directly to the camp, the territory and the gates of the enemy?
If you turn back to the opening verse of the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges you will find the children of Israel doing evil in the sight of the LORD once more. In direct response to them doing evil in the sight of the LORD the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. This is important for us to recognize and understand for it is in this context—the context of the oppression of the enemy—the LORD would not only begin to deliver His people from this oppression and harassment but would also raise up a deliverer. What’s more is that it would be in the midst of barrenness the LORD would cause a woman of the family of the Danites to conceive and bring forth a son. In addition to this—when the Angel of the LORD appeared to the wife of Manoah—he would promise and proclaim that the child which would be born to her would “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5).
It was in the tenth chapter where we first begin learning of the oppression and harassment of the Philistines against the children of Israel. In the sixth verse of the tenth chapter the author of this book writes of the children of Israel again doing evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals and Ashotreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines. The children of Israel also forsook the LORD and did not serve Him and it was in response to this the anger of the LORD was aroused and was hot against Israel. So hot was the anger of the LORD against Israel that He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the people of Ammon. “From that year they harassed and oppressed the children of Israel for eighteen years” (Judges 10:8). As a direct result of this harassment and oppression of the Philistines and the people of Ammon the children of Israel “was severely distressed” (Judges 10:9).
There is a great need for us to recognize and understand this for we first learn of the harassment and oppression of the Philistines in the tenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges. In this chapter we learn that as a direct result of this they were severely distressed and would cry out to the LORD. At the end of the chapter we find the leaders of GIlead—together with the people of Israel—asking a very pointed and powerful question. The question they would ask was simply: “Who is the man who will begin the fight against the people of Ammon?” (Judges 10:18). In chapters eleven and twelve of the book of Judges we find Jephthah being used of the LORD to defeat the people of Ammon and deliver the children of Israel out of their hand and out of their harassment and oppression. It would be Jephthah who would indeed deliver the children of Israel out of the hand of their enemies—the people of Ammon—and would judge Israel for six years. After eighteen years of harassment and oppression the children of Israel would experience six years of deliverance, rest freedom and reprieve—at least from the people of Ammon.
If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when reading this passage of Scripture it’s that Jephthah was used of the LORD to deliver the children of Israel out of the hands of the people of Ammon but there is no mention of the fight against the Philistines. There is absolutely no mention within chapters eleven and twelve of the fight of Jephthah against the Philistines who also harassed and oppressed the children of Israel for eighteen years—and so much so that they were severely distressed. It is when we come to the thirteenth chapter of this Old Testament book we find the LORD delivering the children of Israel into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. I can’t help but think about these forty years coupled together with the previous eighteen years mentioned in the tenth chapter and see almost sixty years of harassment and oppression. Pause and think about this reality—that for nearly six decades the children of Israel were oppressed and harassed by the Philistines.
Into this harassment and oppression Samson would be born unto a woman who was barren, and it was Samson who would be dedicated and consecrated to God from the womb of his mother. No razor was to come upon the head of Samson for he was to be a Nazarite to God from the womb. This Samson would be brought into the earth that he might “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). It’s in the final two verses of the thirteenth chapter we find the following words: “So the woman bore 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 upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zerah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:24-25). It would be in the midst of these forty years a deliverer would be born who was born to begin to deliver the people of God from the hand of the Philistines. Moreover it would be during these forty years of oppression and harassment the LORD would bless this deliverer and the Spirit of the LORD would begin to move upon him.
With all of this in mind I would like to call your attention to the underlying reality of the text which I previously presented. It is in the fourth verse of the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book of Judges the author writes how Samson’s father and mother did not know that what Samson was experiencing was of the LORD for the LORD was seeking an occasion to move again as the Philistines. In addition to this bit of information the author also goes on to write that at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly captivating and powerful about what is contained here. Despite the harassment and oppression of the enemy and adversary, despite the enemy having dominion over the nation and people of Israel the LORD not only raised up a deliverer who would begin to deliver them out of the hand of those who oppressed them but the LORD was also seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines.
At this point I am compelled to emphatically declare and proclaim these words to you. The enemy and adversary might have dominion over you, over your life, over your marriage, over you family, over your finances, over your health, over your job, over your house, over your children and any other area within your life. The enemy may have dominion over your mind, over your heart and over your soul. The enemy may have dominion over your thoughts, over your emotions, over your feelings, over your words, over your actions and over your deeds. The enemy may have had dominion in and over your life for an extended period of time. Maybe it’s eighteen years as was mentioned in the tenth chapter. Maybe it’s forty years as mentioned in the thirtieth chapter. Maybe it’s only been six months, or a year, or a different time. Permit me to ask you whether or not the enemy has or has had dominion over you in your life. Has the enemy had dominion over you within your life? Has the enemy had dominion over you and within your life for far too long now? Are you sick and tired of the dominion of the enemy within your life? Are you sick and tired of the harassment and oppression of the enemy within your life? Are you ready to experience deliverance? Are you ready to experience victory? Are you read to experience breakthrough? I believe with all my heart the Spirit of the living God desires to bring victory and deliverance and breakthrough and freedom within your life—even more so than you yourself desire and are longing for it.
In the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book we find it written that the LORD was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. What makes this even more captivating is when you think about the fact that before the occasion to move against the enemy came the LORD already brought the deliverer into the earth. Before the occasion came to move against the enemy that one who would begin to deliver the enemy was already in the earth being moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Before the occasion to move against the enemy came the blessing of the LORD and the movement of the Spirit were in full operation. This is something we must needs understand for the LORD might indeed be seeking an occasion to move against the enemy within your life and yet right now the blessing of the LORD and the movement of the Spirit are in operation. This is worth noting for although the harassment and oppression of the enemy was still in full operation against the people of God the Spirit of the LORD was moving and the blessing of the LORD was being manifested. Oh I am convinced this describes countless men and women among us within this generation for although the harassment and oppression of the enemy might still be manifested within your life the Spirit of the LORD is moving and the blessing of the LORD is being manifested. There is a great joy in recognizing and understanding that the Spirit of the LORD is moving and that the blessing of the LORD is being manifested in the midst of our lives as the LORD is preparing to begging the deliverance. Deliverance will come, however, that which is going to bring about the deliverance needs to grow, needs to receive the blessing of the LORD and needs the movement of the Holy Spirit within and upon it.
The LORD was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines and the LORD is seeking an occasion to move against the enemy and adversary within your life. What you must realize, however, is that there will be smaller conflicts and struggles you will face while this is being materialized in the earth. The LORD was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines and when Samson was going down to Timnath a young lion came roaring against him. Oh I know there are men and women right now who are in this very same position—deliverance is on the horizon and deliverance is on the way—however while you’re waiting for that you must confront the young lion. Much like Goliath would need to be confronted by young David there would be a lion he would need to slay before he could stand before and slay Goliath. How incredibly interesting it is that two men who would be used mightily of the LORD to deliver the people of God out of the hand of the Philistines would have to confront—and not only confront but defeat and overcome lions who would come against them. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—there will be young lions and lions who will come against you. While you are preparing for the deliverance of the LORD to be manifested there will be lions you will need to confront and overcome as that deliverance is being prepared by the LORD.
Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the account of Samson is that the occasion the LORD sought to move against the Philistines would be matched with the movement ent of the Spirit. On more than one occasion we read of the Spirit of the LORD coming mightily upon Samson. The Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon Samson and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat though he had nothing in his hand. Oh please don’t miss this for there will be times when you can and will confront a lion within your life and you will have nothing in your hand. The only thing you will have is your consecration and separation to God and the movement and activity of the Spirit. Oh this is sufficient for the task before you for the Spirit of the LORD does not need you to have anything in your hand to tear apart the lion you face. The Spirit of the LORD can and will endow you with supernatural strength and so much so that you can and will tear apart the lion that roars against you as you slaughter it fully and completely.
The LORD is seeking an occasion to move against the enemy within your life and the LORD sends His Spirit to come upon you in might and strength that you might begin to inflict havoc and damage against the enemy. Though your enemy lies in wait for you the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in great might that you rise up and take the fight to the very gate(s) of the enemy. The Philistines were lying in wait all night in ambush against Samson and were prepared to come against him in the morning, however, at midnight Samson would awake from his place and would take hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gate posts, would pull them up bar and all, put them on his shoulders and carry them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. Samson would take the fight straight to the Philistines and would take the fight directly to the gates. Oh it was Jesus who emphatically declared that He would build His church upon a rock and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. This is something we must needs understand for the LORD is seeking an occasion to move against the enemy and when He finally begins to manifest that occasion—not only will the Spirit of the LORD come upon you mightily but you will take the fight directly to the enemy. Samson not only took the fight to Ashkelon where he would kill thirty men, Samson would not only take the fight to the Philistines by setting fire to their shocks and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olives groves, but Samson would take the fight to the gate. Not only this but Samson would completely dispossess the gate of the enemy and would remove it altogether.
I am convinced the time has come for the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD to move mightily upon His people as He raises them up to take the fight to the enemy. The Spirit of the LORD needs and wants to move mightily upon men and women that they might engage the young lions and lions that come out roaring against them. The Spirit of the LORD desires to move mightily upon men and women that they might set fire to the harvest of the enemy in the territory of the enemy. The Spirit of the LORD desires to move mightily upon men and women that they might take the fight of the LORD to the gate(s) of the enemy, dispossess the gate and thus taunt, mock and ridicule the enemy. The Spirit of the LORD desires to come mightily upon men and women that they—like Samson—might lay hold of something in their hand which is made available to them as they slaughter a thousand in a single occasion. Oh if one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight then how many can be put to flight with four? Eight? Sixteen? Thirty-two? Sixty four? One-hundred and twenty-eight? How many can a people whom the Spirit of the LORD moves and comes upon put to flight when they take the flight to the enemy? You have a promise that you can put a thousand to flight and just like Samson killed a thousand Philistines in a single occasion with a donkey jawbone so also you can put to flight a thousand enemies and adversaries.
It was the New Testament writer who wrote of our submission to God and from that place of submission to God resisting the devil and he flees from us. I have written it before and I feel compelled to write it again: If you have resisted the devil and he has fled from you it is not the time to sit back and enjoy the rest and respite you might be experience within your life. If you have caused the enemy to flee from you you must needs rise up in the power and might of the Holy Spirit and continue to chase the enemy. You as a child of God must needs chase after and pursue the enemy after he has fled from you for if you fail to do so the enemy can and will return. Not only this but the enemy will return with greater fury, anger, rage and wrath. Oh there is absolutely no place for reactionary men and women in the church—those who sit back and wait for the enemy to come against them. There is absolutely no place for Christians who sit back and remain on defense every day and every night while the enemy prepares and plans attacks and assaults against them. Christians—especially in this generation—must needs be those who stand on offense and who move forward on offense as they take the fight to the enemy. Christians must needs resist the devil knowing that he must flee from them and once you have the enemy on the run the hunted must become the hunter(s). Oh you have been called to be a hunter of the hunted. You have been called to be a pursuer of that which has pursued you. Stand up! Stand strong. Stand tall! Rise up on offense and take the sword of the Spirit to the enemy that the fight might be brought to him. The enemy must never be behind you pursuing you and putting you to flight for you must needs put the enemy to flight within your life. Rise up warrior. Fate whispered to the warrior mocking their strength and boasting of the strength of the storm. The warrior, however, rises up and declares to fate they are the storm. Oh warrior(s) of the storm rise up and take the fight, the fury, the fire and the flood of victory and deliverance straight to the camp of the enemy and adversary. Don’t hold back. Don’t sit back and wait. Take your authority and your stand. Stand in your authority and in the power of the might you have been given thou mighty man of valor, thou mighty woman of valor.