SDA Sabbath School Lessons
June 8, 1996

#10 The Ungolden Rule

Read for this week's study: Judges 14 and 15.

Memory text: Heb.11:32, 33 KJV

Key thought:

Even though Samson's life was far from exemplary, God overruled human attitudes and circumstances in order to carry out His will, the deliverance of His people.
Second Strike. "He hit me first!" "No! He hit me first--purposely!" Sound familiar? The underlying assumption is that hitting is justifiable if it is done in retaliation. This logic is appealing not only to children but to adults and entire nations, as well. A military strike or war is "just" if it responds to provocation by the other side. Of course, the other side is sure that it was also provoked. Resulting cycles of aggression can go on for years, or even centuries, causing untold suffering.

Jesus said: "Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also" (Matt. 5:39; compare verse 44). Love and forgiveness break cycles of aggression caused by hatred.

Why did Samson not turn the other cheek to the Philistines? The situation was special in that the Lord had commissioned Samson to carry out His judgments upon the enemies of His people. Because these enemies had filled up the cup of their iniquity, the Lord brought retribution upon them.