“I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!” Part 2 of 2

Click here for Part 1 of 2

Refresher…At the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, John Paul Jones went to Philadelphia and entered the Continental Navy. In December he was commissioned a lieutenant on the first American flagship, Alfred. Jones was quickly promoted to captain in 1776 and given command of the sloop Providence. While on his first cruise aboard the Providence, he destroyed British fisheries in Nova Scotia and captured sixteen prize British ships.

In command of Ranger in 1777 and 1778, he operated in British home waters and made audacious raids on England’s shore. In recognition of his exploits, he was placed in command of five French and American vessels. Aboard his flagship, the Bonhomme Richard, Jones led his small squadron in the capture of seven merchantmen off of the Scottish coast. On September 23, 1779, Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history. Jones struggled with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis, and although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command. (Adapted from the article Lauren Pitre see “Traditions…of the Naval Service” website.)

Samson

Judges 16:20-24 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. {put out: Heb. bored out}

22 ¶ Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. {after…: or, as when he was shaven}

23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.

24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. {which…: Heb. and who multiplied our slain}

  • Of all the men who would have surely been able to say they had fought their hardest and won many battles
  • Of all the men who could have lived out his days satisfied that he had avenged the Philistines
  • Of all the men who could have been contented that he had dealt a deadly blow to his enemy
  • This man who had slain 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey
  • This man who literally picked up the city gates of the Philistines and carried them away
  • This man who tied 300 foxes together and set them on fire and turned them loose into the corn fields and olive yards of the Philistines
  • HIS GREATEST BATTLE HAD YET TO BE WON!

Samson could have said all of those things. But with each turn of the grinder’s wheel, something supernatural was taking place. God was restoring his strength…

  • Not so he could just be a better grinder
  • Not so he could continue to be a good slave

But, so he could finish the job God called him to do.

This brings us to the point of Samson’s story we can all connect with

Judges 16:25-30 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. {them: Heb. before them}

26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. {on which…: or, he leaned on them}

30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. {me: Heb. my soul}

As if to say…”I have not yet begun to fight!” Samson asked to be led to the 2 central pillars of the house. He prayed to God…” O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”

Indeed, God granted Samson the strength one last time to avenge himself of the Philistines.

Even without his eyes, Samson had one more good fight left in him and dealt the Philistines a blow that was greater than all the other battles he had fought in his entire life.

In Closing

On the third day after Christ’s crucifixion, the greatest comeback of all time happened! Jesus arose from the dead.

Some would have surely said that the battle at Calvary was without a doubt the most brutal of all battles that Jesus, or anyone for that matter, must have faced. But on the third day something that has never happened before or since took place; Jesus arose from the dead…victorious over death, hell and the grave.

But you know what, as tough as Calvary was. As daunting as defeating death, hell and the grave were. Jesus is saying today to the church…I have not yet begun to fight!

Our greatest challenges are not behind us, but ahead of us. We need the Army of God to be stronger and more determined than ever to stand up and face the enemy down and say and mean these words, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

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