Judges 13:21

 

 

The Bible says in Judges 13:21-25, “But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.[22] And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.[23] But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.[24] And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.[25] And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” We see two people: a husband and a wife. This is a good example where two heads were better than one. God said when He made Eve, “It is not good that man should be alone.” In this case the wife added some logic and some spirituality that the man was lacking. Find the right spouse and you will be a better servant of God. Find the wrong spouse, and you might suffer greatly for it. Too bad that Samson did not learn this lesson before it wqs too late for him.

 

Samson was born. And then “the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.” That happens with most children, but what is said in verse twenty-five does not happen with most children: “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him.” That is when you find your purpose in life. What is a human without the Spirit of God? The Spirit of God will lead you to Christ. The Spirit of God will lead you to the word He wants you to do for Him. Without the Spirit of God, you will go your own way, and that way will lead to death.   

 

The Bible says in Judges 14:1-3, “And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.[2] And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.[3] Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.” Immediately we are shown Samson’s weakness: women. And not just any women, but the unbelieving women of the Philistines. God created the attraction of male and female to each other, but God also told believers to be sure to seek out believers in their unions. It says clearly in Second Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” This spiritual principle is stated many places in the Bible. In Genesis chapter twenty-four Abraham sends his servant back to his home town to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham said to his servant in Genesis 24:3, “And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.” Samson’s parents knew this important truth, but unfortunately for Samson, it appears that he never learned it. His parents said to Samson in verse three, “Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson insisted.

 

The Bible says in Judges 14:4, “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.” We have an amazing God. He is so kind and compassionate towards us. Samson is already showing his weaknesses and faults, but God is going to use Samson in spite of his weaknesses. God even uses Samson’s poor judgment and makes it come out for good. Samson should not have sought a relationship with a Philistine woman, but God used it because had a plan to do something “against the Philistines.” Maybe some believers were praying that the Lord would do something to help them against the Philistines, and God decided to answer those prayers and to use Samson to do it. Whenever God uses any of us, He is using human beings who have their own frailties and failures.

 

The Bible says in Judges 14:5-9, “Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.[6] And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.[7] And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.[8] And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.[9] And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.” The first great act of strength that Samson did that is recorded in the Bible is the killing of the lion with his bare hands. Probably the strongest man alive today would lose such a battle, and it would be no contest. We know how did Samson did that because it says in verse six, “the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him.” That is an important lesson for all of us. We can do what God wants us to do but it takes the power of the Spirit. Do not grieve the Spirit through sin. How will we accomplish anything without the power of the resurrection of Christ? We will see Samson eventually lose his power. He is already making the mistake of chasing after the wrong type of women. And then in verse eight Samson touches the dead carcase of the lion in order to get the honey. That was forbidden in the law. And then notice that Samson hid that fact from his parents. He knew it was wrong, and he knew that they would disapprove.

 

The Bible says in Judges 14:10-20, “So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.[11] And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.[12] And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:[13] But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.[14] And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.[15] And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?[16] And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?[17] And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.[18] And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.[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.[20] But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.” This situation with the riddle when Samson was among the Philistines shows that Samson was over-confident. He played with fire. He assumed that his strength would get him out of any trouble that he might get into. But no matter how big and strong you are either from a physical or financial, there is always something that can bring. “Any one that thinks that they stand should take heed lest they fall.” In Samson’s case no strong man brought him down, only a woman: not using her physical strength, but using her wiles to outsmart him. This same situation will repeat itself later with Delilah, but with disastrous consequences for Samson. In this case with the woman from Timnath, not only did Samson have to result to violence to get the thirty garments that he owed, but also he ended up seeing his woman given to his friend. That hurts, but when go for that which is not God’s will, do not expect it to work out well. When God wants two people to be together, He brings them together like He did with Adam and Eve. But in spite of Samson’s failures, and in spite of how things did not work out according to his personal wishes, God was using all of this in order to guide events to the place where the Israelites would gain victories over the Philistines, and God would use Samson to do it. How merciful and gracious is the LORD. The same thing happens in our lives when we come to know Jesus as Savior. We make mistakes, but the LORD Jesus still uses us.  

 

The Bible says in Judges 15:1-6, “But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.[2] And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.[3] And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.[4] And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.[5] And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.[6] Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.” Once again we see the hand of God guiding all these events. God determined before Samson was born that the LORD was going to use Samson against the Philistines. These events brought Samson and the Philistines into conflict. Who made that happen? Samson’s woman was given to someone else, and so Samson burned all the crops and vineyards and olive trees of the Philistines. And then because of this, the Philistines killed Samson’s woman and her father. It does not end here.  

 

The Bible says in Judges 15:7-16, “And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.[8] And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.[9] Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.[10] And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.[11] Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.[12] And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.[13] And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.[14] And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.[15] And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.[16] And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.” Verse eight tells us that Samson goes against the Philistines and kills a certain number of them for revenge for killing his woman, but we are not told how many Samson killed this time. The Philistines threaten war against Israel unless they deliver Samson to them. Samson agreed to be tied up and delivered to the Philistines knowing that he could easily break the bonds. Even though they fail this time, the Philistines never give up on their goal of capturing Samson, and eventually they do it using Delilah. Once Samson defeated the Philistines using the jaw of an ass for his weapon, Samson made up a parable about like he did when he took honey from a lion’s carcass. Samson was probably over-confident because his victories came so easily. Beware of the enemy. In our case the enemy is not flesh and blood but is spiritual opposition to try and attack our faith. You win by trusting in Christ no matter what happens, and make sure you have the spiritual armor that is described in Ephesians 6:10-18.          

 

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Copyright; 2020 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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