Updated: Aug 19
Samson was a true Nazarite, born to deliver Israel out of the hand of Philistine. In the previous passage we saw how the circumstances surrounding his birth were similar to the ultimate plan of God’s salvation, Christ being born to us. We came to understand that the Son of God referred to as the Angel of God came with the great news of the birth of Samson, which made his birth exceptional, and a sign of things to come.
The Philistine Wife
To help understand the message in this passage, let's look at the Philistine wife as the church, the bride. In chapter 14 of Judges, the bible talks about the time Samson told his parents about a woman he had seen in Timnah, and asked them to get her for him as a wife. And of course, it was a very unusual request as the Israelites were commanded by God from their deliverance from Egypt not to mix with any other tribe, but as explained in verse 4, it was all part of God’s plan seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. The eye opener for me was the question asked by his parents in verse 3 saying, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistine?” This explains after so many attempts by God to reconcile with Israel, His chosen people, the gospel was sent to the Gentiles, and why all of us today have a chance at salvation.
Reading from verse 5, we see the beginning of series which lead to the riddle Samson imposed amongst his companions during his feast. I encourage you to read the passage for yourself but to briefly explain it, Samson killed a young lion and out of its carcass came honey, hence his riddle “Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet.” The interpretation of this passage has been explain in various ways by many great minds but the message remains the same, out of all the things of the world that could easily overcome us, came the sweetest message of salvation, Christ given to us, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have an everlasting life. The catch to this riddle was thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing to be given to either party that wins.
And it so happened that after days of failing to solve the riddle, they got to Samson’s wife threatening to burn her and her father’s house with fire, they were not playing. But what does Samson’s bride do? She wept on him and accused him of not loving her and only hating her, for seven days! Seven days while their feast lasted. I don’t know about you but this marriage was off to a wrong start, this bride was unconsolable anybody would have given up just to seek peace, and no surprise that’s what Samson did. I find it interesting that she used the term “Sons of my people” when she was enticing him, her people turned against her and forced her to betray her groom. She did not believe her groom would save her if she were to tell the truth, she denied him a chance to save her and her father's house. Samson says in verse 18, “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would have not solved my riddle!” Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father’s house.
Samson paid for the betrayal of his wife, just like Jesus paid it all in full, at the cross, just before leaving for His Father’s house. And as we see in verse 20, Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man. Looking at Samson as Christ is in the plan of salvation, if you are not of Christ, you are of Satan. Even though the bible does not clearly state that Lucifer had been His best man, it clearly indicates he was one of the best creations God had made, until he was found with iniquity. Ezekiel 28 from verse 12 says, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, the workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. He was the son of the morning, according to Isaiah 14:12, he once was God’s companion, one of the best angels He had created, once a best man. And again we see God’s character in Samson coming back for his bride, as mentioned many times in the bible including Isaiah 57:16 “For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry, for the Spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.” It is not in God's nature to remain angry forever, hence Samson’s return to reconcile with his bride.
Fear had been the driving factor in this failed relationship. From the moment Samson’s wife was threatened by the sons of her people, to Samson coming back to his wife only to realize she had been given to the man who was his best man. It reminds me of the many times I failed to trust God with the problems I was facing, and instead I run before Him, leading Him my thoughts which only provided a temporary relief, when He has proven Himself constantly to be a God that is Just and understanding. And the thing about sin is it keeps us away from God, leading us directly to the man that once was His companion but fell from heaven. If only we could understand the art of reconciliation in the eyes of the Lord, that from the beginning when man sinned, God has constantly tried to reconcile us to Him again and again, and He is always willing to be the first to seek us when we are lost. Yet when we are wrong and have sinned, we often tend to make things worse, we hide in our sins and get carried away into the hands of the enemy. God’s plan of salvation was because He understands the enemy is plowing with His heifer, His bride, creating fear with threats of violence and of war, showing us what we have to lose if we don’t comply maybe even telling us that God cannot protect us from him. Yes, it is very easy to look at the world for temporary relief but, the alternative is the permanent salvation, which Peter found to be keeping your eyes on Jesus, even in the midst of the storm.
Next, Samson’s other woman, whom we all know very well. Delilah Oh Delilah! Join me again as we see God’s plan of salvation through Samson’s misfortunes with women. Until then, may the good Lord help us all reconcile with Him and trust that He is our only salvation.