We continue on with the self-imposed leaders of Israel with Jephthah next in line. We know that he was a mighty warrior, but we also know that he was kicked out of his father’s tribe because he was born to a prostitute. But now Israel needs him back because they need a strong warrior. He does pray to the Lord but he makes a very pagan deal with God which results in him having to sacrifice his daughter when he arrives home. Not something that the Lord would ever require, in fact, the Lord is quiet in these verses and it seems as if this vow that Jephthah makes is one sided.
Once Jephthah is out of the picture then we have another line of self-imposed rulers until we get to Samson who is clearly chosen by God to lead the people of Israel. We read multiple times that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him. I tend to see him as a bit of prankster whose pranks are on the scale of many magnitudes which include death and destruction for those that he pranks. Samson gets married, but not to Delilah first. But just like Delilah she is a Philistine and helps her people out much to the damage of Samson. He is angry and breaks a few things, but apparently still loves her, much to the surprise of his father in law who had already given her to marriage to someone else.
Again, Samson gets angry, burns all the fields of the Philistines which leads to the burning of his wife and father-in-law. Samson was not crazy about that. He kills a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, so, yeah, he had that going for him. He led Israel under God’s tutelage and grace for the next 20 years. He was definitely put in power by God.
We then transition to Psalm 49 which is attributed to the sons of Korah. Let’s look at vs.20 and call it good: “A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” So that’s good to know.