Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out 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 hand of the uncircumcised?” - Judges 15:18
This Scripture is the record of the first time Samson prayed. He had been in the fight of his life. One-thousand men came to apprehend him, the enemy had marked his life, and wanted to take him out. He fought back to survive, and God helped him. With the jawbone of a donkey, he kills a thousand men!
But we have to wonder, why is there a jawbone of a donkey in the hand of a great and powerful warrior: not a knife, sword, spear, or even a bow and arrow. A jawbone? And how did Samson find himself in this undesirable situation, to begin with? On his own, vastly outnumbered, and fighting against an enemy who wanted to destroy him, completely unprepared and thirsty for more than just water?
Because there is more happening here than meets the eye on the surface. God is trying to reveal something to Samson through his situation and his surroundings.
Donkeys are known for being stubborn. They don’t want to listen and they won’t do anything unless they want to do it. You can beat them or bribe them and a donkey is still a donkey. He’s not going to do it unless he wants to do it.
Interestingly, in this narrative, this particular jawbone belonged to a donkey that we can assume wandered off into the wilderness where there was no substance for life and
died of thirst. Very possibly it broke free from its bridle – reigns that were meant to protect it from its demise. Almost, undoubtedly, the donkey's stubbornness killed it.
Samson himself was stubborn. He wouldn’t listen, and he didn’t take correction well. God would put a mandate on his life, and then he would then jeopardize the covenant with God through his inability to comply and be coachable. Likely, the jawbone of a donkey represents Samson’s stubbornness and how it was ruining him. His stubbornness was standing in the way of who and what he could be. It was stopping him from living a meaningful life. I believe God was saying to Samson, allow me to take you in my hands and use you the way I want to use you.
But because Samson couldn’t get this reality straight, he was thirsty in the physical despite how God was using him in the spiritual. Samson had a lot of positive things in his life that God wanted to bring him through to impact the lives of others in a meaningful way. And a lot of times this is true for us too!
Some of the battles we’ve gotten ourselves into directly respond to our stubbornness. This is a direct response to our unwillingness to be teachable and acknowledge what God wants to do in our lives. Like Samuel, we look victorious on the outside, but God desires to work through the stuff going on inside of us. On the outside, one might appear to have it all together. But inside, we are drained, exhausted, and thirsty. Maybe it’s time for some of us to stop being stubborn and admit that we need a refreshing – even strong men and women must occasionally admit they are thirsty if they are to be rejuvenated.
So God (split the hollow place and) caused water to gush out of the ground at Lehi, and Samson was revived as he drank. Then he named that place “The Spring of the One Who Cried Out,” and it is still in Lehi to this day. - Judges 15:19
There is still the opportunity to cry out to God, the one who is greater than you, and receive revival, refreshing, and renewal! The only reason you're thirsty now is that God is reminding you that you can not go without Him. You need Him to continue!
God will hear your cry, but He can not listen to what you do not release! You have not because you ask not. So it’s time to let out a cry. It’s okay to let God know you need a drink of His Spirit, His presence. A drink of what only Heaven can offer you.
He will fill the thirsty! You can come to the crevice of prayer, despite how hollow, empty, or undesirable it may have felt up to this point.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. - Matthew 5:6
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