Sermon Notes 4/18/21 “An Eye For An Eye”

The Book of Judges Series – Revival in the Land 4/18/21 “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did
what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6; 21:25 (NASB)
Introduction-“Who will go up for us…” (1:1-3)
I. Background of the period of the judges-The reason for Israel’s apostasy (1:4-3:6)
A. The political background-Hostilities between Israel and the Canaanites (1:4-36)
B. The spiritual background – Israel’s conduct and God’s response (2:1-3:6)
II. History of the period of the judges-The record of Israel’s apostasy (3:7-16:31)
A. 1st apostasy-Mesopotamian oppression-Othniel’s deliverance (3:7-14) B. 2nd apostasy-Moabite oppression-Ehud’s deliverance (3:12-30)
C. 3rd apostasy-Canaanite oppression-Deborah/Barak (4:1-5:31)
D. 4th Apostasy-Midianite oppression-Gideon’s deliverance (6:1-8:35)
Addendum: This “cycle” is different – “The Enemy Within” – Conspiracy (9:1-10:5) E. 5th apostasy-Ammonite oppression-Jephthah’s deliverance (10:6-12:7)
Addendum: Less well-known judges served between cycles of decline (12:8-15)
F. 6th apostasy-Philistine oppression-Samson’s partial deliverance (13:1-16:31)
Part 1: Samson’s early life – possibly most flawed of all the judges (13:1-14:20) 1. The birth of Samson – A Nazarite “from the womb” (13:1-25)

  1. Marriage of Samson- Samson “begins” (13:5) to deliver Israel (14:1-20)
    Part 2: Samson’s later life—His exploits, failure, & untimely death (15:1-16:31) 1. Exploits of Samson-His vengeance on the Philistines (15:1-20)
    a. Samson’s attempt at reconciliation with his wife rejected (vv.1-3)
    b. Samson’s angry response (vv.4-5; “of the LORD”? cf. Judges 14:2-4)
    c. Philistines’ response– Burned Samson’s wife and father to death (v.6) d. Samson’s revenge on Philistines –He thought that would end it (vv.7-8) e. Conflict escalates – Personal vendetta to national confrontation (v.9-13 f. Samson, with God’s Spirit, able to defeat the Philistines again (vv.6-17) g. God provided for Samson’s physical needs – water for thirst (vv.18-20)
    Conclusion- This destructive dynamic is why God says “vengeance is mine”
  2. Samson’s failure and death – The story of Samson and Delilah (15:1-31)
    Key Verse(s) *God’s deliverance begins with Samson’s cycle of vengeance
    Judges 15: 1-3 (excerpts NASB) *The consequences of being “unequally yoked” (ch. 14) “Samson visited his wife…and said, ‘I will go in to my wife in her room.’ But her father did not let him enter. Her father said, ‘I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I gave her to your companion…’ Samson then said to them, ‘This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.’”
    “…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
    Judges 15:1-20 “An Eye for an Eye”
    “Now the angel of the LORD…said…’I will never break My covenant…’”
    Judges 2:1 (NASB)
    Key Verses – The destructive cycle of uncontrolled vengeance
    *Judges 15:7 (NASB) *Samson pledges to exact vengeance on the Phiilistines “Samson said to them, ‘Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit.’” [What made him think the Philistines would just “quit” also?]
    Judges 15:10-12 (excerpts NASB) *Samson seems to believe in the Law of Retribution “The men of Judah said, ‘Why have you come up against us?’ And they said, ‘We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us.’ Then 3,000 men of Judah went down…and said to Samson, ‘Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?’ And he said to them, ‘As they did to me, so I have done to them…’”
    Judges 15:18 (NASB) *Samson acknowledged God as the source of his strength “Then he became very thirsty, and he called 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 hands of the uncircumcised?”
    Key x-References – Lex Talionis: The Law of Retributive Justice -“an eye for an eye” Exodus 21:22-25 (NASB) *Involves judges and a deliberative process – not individually “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth…”
    Deuteronomy 32:35-39 (NASB) *Ultimately true justice is from the LORD “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them. For the LORD will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, and there is none remaining, bond or free…”
    Romans 12:17-21 (NASB) *Reliance on God’s justice is a key NT principle also
    “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
    Hebrews 10:28-31 (NAS) *It’s also important to remember that God judges us first! “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.’ And again, ‘THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” [God’s judgment of believers is for temporal rewards, not for eternity]
    “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
    2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB)

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