The Life of Samson 2 –
Palm Sunday –
– door to different way of Life
only to begin the process by stirring up trouble between the Philistines and Israelites who had constructed a peaceful co-existence that was precisely against anything that the Lord wanted for His people.
T]hey lusted after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord; they did not follow their example (2:17b).
SAMSONS RASH DECISIONS
The lion & honey
GIRL BETRAYS SAMSON
SAMSON’s BET OBLIGATION
SAMSON’s MARRIAGE OBLIGATION
SAMSON READY FOR WAR
GOD WORKING AGAINST CO-EXISTENCE
Why Palm Sunday? Jesus riding in….
What did it mean to ISRAEL?
What does that signal for us?
God pursues us.
Can work in any circumstance.
While Shimshon’s (Samson’s) motives and methods were often questionable (if not downright criminal) the Lord influenced him and at certain critical moments anointed Samson with supernatural strength. Those critical moments often came after Samson went astray from Hebrew cultural norms and from the Law of Moses in such a way as to precipitate some crises or another; so Samson and his relationship with Yehoveh and the manner Yehoveh worked through Samson is quite unique among the Judges and not something (I think) we ought to seek for ourselves for the most part.
Here in Judges we have the Lord picking a fight with someone who is not looking for one, and using Samson as a surrogate.
The Lord doesn’t LIKE the peace and calm between His people and the Philistines.
Why not? Because the Philistines don’t belong there. They don’t belong in Canaan. The Father gave direct instructions to Moses and Joshua to drive out or destroy all who oppose Him from Canaan but instead His people have decided they’d rather switch than fight.
beautiful unmarried girl) when a Philistine girl catches his eye; he fell instantly in lust with her. That Samson “saw a woman” means more than to notice her existence; it means he saw her unveiled face, meaning from typical Middle Eastern cultural norms this was an immodest girl. He went to his parents and asked them to get her for him. That may sound a bit strange, but what this is talking about is the usual custom of parents negotiating the marriage among each other.
Most versions say that he said, “get her, she pleases me well”. Actually what it literally says is, “get her, she is right in my sight”. What a contrast and what a revealing of Samson’s underlying character are contained in that abrupt answer. The contrast is that each time a new Judge cycle begins we have the Lord saying, “Israel was evil in my sight
Kephir is the 2nd youngest stage. So what Samson fought was a mature cub, but not even a young adult lion. So the typical illustrations of a large male lion with a flowing mane is a little over the top.
Still it’s unimaginable that Samson’s parents would have eaten honey taken from the corpse of a dead unclean animal like a lion. This shows once again how Samson paid little attention to the Laws of Moses or even Hebrew traditions if it didn’t suit him and really didn’t care too much about the feelings and concerns of others or if what he did negatively affected them; this apparently included even his own parents.
Apparently a Philistine wedding ceremony was much like a modern western bachelor’s party (wonder how the bride felt about that?) Only this party was a 7-day long affair!
Naturally part of the bargain was that if the 30 men couldn’t guess the answer to the riddle by the end of the 7-day marriage feast then they each owed Samson a sedin and a chalipha. Samson was not planning on losing because in reality the riddle was not a fair one, but his guests accepted the challenge and the dye was cast.
By all accounts these were random killings, but undoubtedly Samson picked men who possessed the special kind of clothing the bet required. He took the clothes and gave them to the men he owed them to, then went to his father’s house in Tzorah of Judah.
Back in Timnah, his wife and her family waited for Samson to return, but he didn’t. What a terrible insult toe her family and what a dilemma. Was this girl married or not married? Would Samson return and complete the marriage process or was this girl to remain in limbo? After some time passed (we don’t know if it was days or months), the girl’s father gave her in marriage to Samson’s best man.
Samson’s rash decision to marry the Philistine girl; the girl’s decision to betray her fiancé to the 30 wedding guests; and then her father’s decision to give her to another man after Samson took off, now made reconciliation impossible. Samson’s war against the Philistines was about to begin in earnest.
Samson’s own evil inclinations made him the impetuous bully (with anger management issues) that he was; but the Lord unapologetically used this for His purposes.