Archive for October 14th, 2009

Judges 14

Judges 14 reads like a soap opera.  Samson sees this beautiful Philistine girl he decides should be his wife.  His parents question that decision, and want him to find a “girl in the neighborhood” rather than a foreigner.  But Samson holds on to his own desires – “in Samson’s eyes she was the one” – and asks his father to pursue this girl.  Samson heads down to Timnah, the Philistine town she lived, and runs into a young lion who comes at him.  “The Spirit of God came on him powerfully and he ripped it open barehanded”.  Certainly a powerful young man in the making here.  No one knew what he had done because he didn’t tell them about that or the bees and honey that formed in the lion’s carcass.  Sort of unusual that he kept that all to himself but he did and it later became part of a life lesson for him.

The Philistines were a bit wary of this guy so they have “thirty friends mingle with him”.  Samson challenges them with a riddle, related to the lion and bees.  “From the eater came something to eat.  From the strong came something sweet”.  They couldn’t figure it out, so they go to his future bride and ask her to help. The solving of this riddle actually was a bet with some pretty significant winnings associated with it.  Samson had challenged them with the prize being thirty linen garmets and thirty changes of fine clothing.  There was a prize that was rather important – enough that the thirty threatened his future bride with burning down her father’s house.  “So Samson’s bride turned on the tears”.  Manipulation at its finest.  She wants to save her family so she trys to weasel the answer out of him.  He resists until the last day of the challenge when he was “worn out by her nagging”.  Why is it that men as such suckers for things like this?  Of course, she immediately “went and told it to her people” so they had the answer.  They played it to the very end and just before sunset give Samson the answer to the riddle.  He knew what had happened.  To pay the bet he killed thirty Philistines and took their clothing to pay off the debt.  He was angry and went home “stalking out, smoking with anger”.  He got burned.  But it gets worse.  “Samson’s bride became the wife of the best man at his wedding”.  Can you imagine?  He was betrayed with the information he gave his bride to be, but then he was dumped for his best man.  Wow – sort of a bad week for Samson.  Should have listened to his parents on this one maybe?   They were leary of his choice of a woman, but he wanted it his way.  There is often wisdom in listening to what others see during the courtship period.  Love is blind for most, and it is often the perspective of others not quite so deeply involved that provide some real guidance and truth about the future.  Samson got burned because of his unwillingness to listen.  God used it as part of His story, but what a soap opera week it was.

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