Judges 14 has Sampson on the prowl for a wife. He “saw one of the daughters of the Philistines….told his father and mother….get her for me as my wife”. This doesn’t sit well with his parents. They try and reason with him, asking him to find a wife from among their own people. But Sampson insists. And in addition to his stubborn heart, they didn’t realize that this was something God was up to. He is working to create a way for the Philistines to be overthrown.
Sampson heads over toward Timnah to see his Philistine dream girl, and along the way runs into a lion. In fact, “a young lion came toward him roaring”. That would be enough to make most people flee. But not Sampson. “The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him…. nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces”. Pretty impressive response wasn’t it? He just takes the lion on directly and destroys it completely. That is the kind of man Sampson has become.
He insists on taking this Philistine girl as his wife. And during their seven days of the feast of taking her – Sampson puts a riddle out there to the guests. After four days the local men threaten her and insist she help get her the answer. So she puts a move on Sampson. She plays the emotion card. “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is”. She decides to manipulate him to try and get the answer. This is basic control 101. Sampson has information he has shared with no one. “I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you”? But fear takes over – they had not only threatened her but her family as well.
So Sampson gives in and tells her the riddle. And at the end of the seventh day, she passes the word on to the men of the city and they come with the answer. Sampson is not happy. Sampson is quite ticked off. So much so that “Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man”. Deception is not a marriage builder – especially the first week of their marriage together. He went and struck down 30 men in the city to get the garments he had promised as a prize for the riddle. It is obvious that he has a bit of a temper and doesn’t like to lose.