English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio
4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.
5 Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson's eyes.
8 After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9 He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion.
10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. 11 As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, 13 but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Put your riddle, that we may hear it.” 14 And he said to them,
“Out of the eater came something to eat.
Out of the strong came something sweet.”
And in three days they could not solve the riddle.
15 On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?” 16 And Samson's wife wept over him and said, “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.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” 17 She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,
“What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?”
And he said to them,
“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have found out my riddle.”
19 And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. 20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a Bible Study for our Daughters of the Holy Cross Meeting on Samson.
Let's look at the time of Judges, it helps to establish the framework.
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
We always ask, was Jesus a Republican, a Socialist, what form of government would Jesus prefer? When God established Israel, He preferred self-government. Unfortunately, man being man turns self-government into the cafeteria plan. Which means then we need a government. And then people disagree and there is war and social upheaval, unions, insurance, house payments.... not the Garden of Eden.
Why didn't Samson's parents spank him when he was a child? From God's perspective - maybe they did. Or maybe they treated him like God's own wonder child. The point that is repulsive in Samson and explains a lot of why the world still works like this - everyone partially believes they are right. They just are doing their level best. And compared to God and His Holiness - it falls far short. What happened next and always happens? God's plan. When we've left our eyes open for so long and we've seen the evil and the good - what happens? God's plan. The evil produce God's plan, the good produce God's plan. It's just than when the pendulum swings to the selfish, sinful, evil - what ever word you use for wrong - portion of the pendulum - everything becomes confusing and unclear.
So - what does Samson mean for us today. We are not God. We do our best to be His Child, His Servant. In each of our large actions, our small actions we do what we can. When we fall short, we pray for grace. When the people around us are doing - get her for me, tearing animals to pieces, jumping in the cage with lioness named Delilah, living unclean habits they aren't aware of, providing thirty companions to be with him, bribing/enticing others, hate for love, love for hate, giving riddles that cannot be solved - what can we do???
Jump out of the way!! If you saw someone jumping off of cliff - would you Do it? NO!
And here is another good one - the little frog sat in the water so long - he didn't notice the warm water was heating up, he was being boiled to become frog leg lunch. LOOK OUT!!
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you
Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Father God, what a strange world it is. Help us each day to see what You would have us do. Help us to help others in a humble manner. Help us to help ourselves, loving ourselves as You would have us to, in diligence and hope. Help us to be like Paul and see life as the adventure it is - and short. We were Not built to be here forever. Help us to remember the goal - to grow and to go Home. To You. In the name of Jesus Christ. Let us rest in You and Hope in You. Amen.