These small group studies of Judges contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.
Judges 15 Inductive Bible Study
The in-laws treachery (1-2)
Cycle of Samson’s personal revenge begins (3-5)
The in-laws are punished by the Philistines (6)
Samson gets revenge for this as well (7-8)
The people of Judah turn Samson over to the Philistines (9-13)
Samson kills 1000 of them (14-16)
God provides for Samson’s thirst (17-20)
I. Verses 1-2
Why would the father give Samson’s wife to someone else?
Was the legal?
What was his solution?
Was this an acceptable solution?
What is Samson’s first mistake he committed that led to all of these subsequent problems (not seen in this chapter)?
Proverbs 6:34 – Jealousy arouses a husband’s fury and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 31:10- An excellent wife who can find?
Deuteronomy 7:3 – Command from God not to intermarry with the people around them.
II. Verses 3-5
How did Samson respond to this? Was he right to be angry?
How would you describe his motivation for destroying the Philistines crops?
Was this just a flaring temper and a quick decision on Samson’s part? How do you know? (No, catching, keeping, and feeding 300 foxes would take a long time. This was premeditated and planned meticulously.)
Was Samson right to do this? Why or why not? If Samson was your friend considering to do this, what verses would you share with him?
How does Samson’s fleshly motivations and God’s sovereign plan mesh? Or do they? Can you think of any other story in Judges that is a bit similar (God stirring up the people of Shechem against Abimilech.)
How then can we understand how God accomplishes His righteous plans in a sinful world using sinful people (A master chess player completely controlling the game even though the other player is making his own decisions, albeit decisions influenced by his environment, knowledge of the game and other factors)? Can you give any other examples from the Bible of God doing this?
So what can we learn from this (Have complete faith in God even when the world around us is dark and seemingly in the control of wicked people bent on thwarting God)? What can we NOT learn from this (To take matters into our own hands. That taking personal vengeance is acceptable. That God will use us to judge wicked people. That we need to pay people back for what they have done.)?
What should our response be to this?
Leviticus 19:18, Romans 12:19 – Do not take revenge on others. Let God deal with it as the final judge.
Judges 9:23 – God sent an evil spirit between Abimilech and the people of Shechem.
Ephesians 4:26 – Be angry, but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
Proverbs 29:22 – An angry person commits many sins.
Other Scriptural references to foxes:
Galatians 6:7 – Principle of reap what you sow.
That foxes, or the creature called shual, abounded in Judea, is evident from their frequent mention in Scripture, and from several places bearing their name. It appears they were so numerous that even their cubs ruined the vineyards; see Song 2:15: Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil our vines. Jeremiah complains that the foxes had occupied the mountains of Judea, Lam 5:18. They are mentioned as making incursions into enclosures, etc., Neh 4:3. Ezekiel compares the numerous false prophets to these animals, Ezek 13:4. In Josh 15:28 we find a place called Hazar Shual, “the court of the foxes:” and in Judg. 19:42 a place called Shaal-abbin, “the foxes;” no doubt from the number of those animals in that district. And mention is made of the land of Shual, or of the fox, 1 Sam 13:17.
(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright ?1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
III-IV. Verse 6-8
Why did Samson attack the Philistines the second time?
If he just attacked them BECAUSE of the in-laws treachery, why would he attack them when the in-laws were punished? Isn’t that what he would have wanted?
V. Verses 9-13
Why would the people of Judah turn over their country “folk hero”? Why send 3000 people to fetch Samson?
What principle does Samson bring to light in verse 11? Because you reap what you sow is a biblical principle, does this mean we should be the ones to carry this out? What then does this principle mean? Should Samson have followed the principle in Matthew 5:44? When is this principle not in effect?
Why was Samson willing to let them bind him and turn him over?
What aspect of his character does this show? (Great faith, see Hebrews 11)
Galatians 6:7 – Principle of reap what you sow.
Matthew 5:44 – Love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you.
1 Peter 3:8-9 – Do not return evil for evil, but give a blessing instead.
VI. Verses 14-16
What does the fact that the “Spirit of the Lord” came upon Samson show about God’s involvement in all of this?
What happens to flax that is burned with fire?
How is this even possible for one man to defeat so many again and again? Isn’t God a merciful God? Why would he allow so many to die?
Psalms 45:6, Isaiah 5:16, 30:18, Romans 3:25 – God is a just and righteous God, which is proven to be true without a doubt upon Jesus’ final sacrifice for sin.
VII. Verses 17-20
Does Samson ever show any awareness that God is using him to deliver Israel or is he too focused on personal revenge (18)?
What lesson can we learn from God’s answer to his prayer in verse 19?
Almost dying of thirst shows that Samson himself needed to exert himself. Although God had gifted him with marvelous physical strength, he still had to use it. He couldn’t just sit back and win the victory no matter how strong he was.