We begin to read about the life and exploits of Samson, Manoah’s promised son. The first thing we learnt was that he went to Timnath and saw a Philistine woman he desired as wive. Despite his parent’s counsel that he could marry an Israelite instead of the uncircumcised Philistines, Samson insisted he wanted the Philistine. It was however God who was at work seeking an occasion against the Philistines who had dominated Israel.
While he and his parents went down to Timnath, Samson met a lion that roared at him. The Spirit of God came upon Samson and he tore the lion easily, but his parents did not know about this. After speaking with the Philistine woman, Samson was pleased to have her. He later returned to take her, and while on the way saw that the carcase of the lion he killed the previous time was filled with bees and honey. Now a Nazirite should normally not touch a dead body, Samson however took honey from this dead body and ate it, and also gave his parents without telling them where it was from.
Samson then took his wife and had a feast as the custom was for seven days. During the feast he gave a riddle and made a bet with the men in the feast. The stake was thirty sheets and thirty change of garments if they got the answer, if not, they would give him the same.
The men did not know the answer, so by the seventh day, they sought help through Samson’s wife, threatening to burn her if she did not help them get the answer. The woman then tricked Samson into giving her the answer by crying all through the seven days of the feast. She told the men the answer, and of course they won the bet.
Samson did know they got the answer from his wife. He went to Ashkelon by the Spirit of God, slew thirty men there and took their spoil to pay the men who won the bet. He then left and abandoned his wife, who was given to his friend.
This story seems so mixed up. A man with the Spirit of God, married to a gentile, making bets, losing, killing others to pay his debt. However, through it all, we learnt God was at work. In this life too, nany things that seem weird and beyond our understanding are still under God’s control. Do we trust him.
Some verses to remember
Vs 4: But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
Vs 19: And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.