Samson travelled back and forth from his home to the city of Timnah. One day while in Timnah he saw a beautiful Philistine woman there. He went home and told his mother and father that he wanted that woman for his wife. Samson’s parents tried to talk him out of it because the Israelites were only supposed to marry Israelites. Especially since Samson was being raised as a Nazirite for God. Some of the rules for Nazirites were 1. No alcohol. 2. Not to touch anything dead. 3. To never get a haircut. So Samson, being set apart for God, surely should not marry a Philistine woman, but his parents finally gave in and said yes.
Some time later, Samson’s parents were in Timnah making the final wedding preparations. As Samson was walking toward Timnah, he decided to check out the dead lion that he had killed. He noticed that bees had made some honey in the carcass. He stuck his hands into it and scooped out some honey and ate it. He brought some to his parents to eat, but didn’t tell them where he got it because he wasn’t supposed to touch anything dead.
While Samson’s father was making some last minute wedding preparations, Samson decided to throw a party. He invited the 30 men in his wedding party. He told them a riddle. He made them a bet that they couldn’t guess the answer in seven days.
The men actually threatened Samson’s wife if she didn’t get the answer to the riddle and tell them. For seven days Samson’s wife cried. “If you loved me, you tell me the answer to the riddle. You must not really love me!”
Finally, Samson gave in and told her the answer. She went right to the 30 men and told them. The next time they saw Samson, they answered his riddle. Samson was furious because he knew that he was tricked! He killed 30 Philistines. Then he left Timah and went to stay with his mother and father.
After a few weeks, Samson cooled down and went back to Timnah with a young goat to make up with his wife. A young goat back then, was like a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. I don’t think a young goat would would melt a woman’s heart now a days.
Now Samson was really mad! He burned the Philistine grain fields and the piles of grain that had been stored. He burned their olive trees and their grapevines.
“Who did this?” The leaders inquired. “Samson!” The people replied. And so the leaders of the Philistines took Samson’s wife and her father and burned them to death. This is how the Philistines and Samson became bitter enemies. Samson was determined to get revenge. He went out and killed many of the Philistines.
Do you see God working in this story? Even though Samson made many mistakes, God is using his mistakes to work out His plan of freeing the Israelites from the Philistines.. The word for this is God’s sovereignty. God has a perfect plan. We are not perfect, but He wants to use us anyway. Isn’t that amazing! Now I’m not saying that we can do as we please and God will use us anyway. There are consequences to disobedience as we will soon see in Samson’s life.
A lot of people discover that God has a plan for their lives as they get older. Samson’s parents knew that God had a plan for Samson before he was even born. The fact is. God had a plan for you before you were born ... just like Samson. Discovering God’s plan for our lives is an exciting adventure!