IF GOD BE FOR US…
10. Then his father went to visit the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as was customary for the bridegroom.
11. And when the Philistines saw him, they selected thirty men to accompany him.
12. “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can solve it for me within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.
13. But if you cannot solve it, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”
“Tell us your riddle,” they replied. “Let us hear it.”
Judges 14:10–13 NLT
Alright, before I begin breaking down Today’s Passage, let me say once again that this set of Verses is the catalyst for future drama. It is a seemingly mundane and inconsequential moment in which nothing of transformational import transpires. However, as in most Scripture, all we must do is delve a bit deeper, and we can find innumerable Truths from which we can glean individual significance.
Sampson, the Chosen Judge of Israel, God’s Chosen people, has come to enemy territory to marry one of his adversary’s young women. On the way to the wedding celebration, Sampson revisited the carcass of a lion he killed with his bare hands, discovering a beehive was situated within.
Sampson took a honeycomb out of the dead lion’s body cavity and ate it, sharing it with his parents, which was a clear violation of God’s Statutes for His Chosen people. Sampson would have known this, but apparently, he simply didn’t care. He not only sinned willfully himself, but he drew his entire family into his defiant conduct.
Sampson never told his parents or anyone else about the lion or where the honey came from, which will play out in future DAILY WORD Posts ON The Story. But in the meantime, let’s explore the intricacies of what is happening here.
As was the tradition of the day, Sampson, upon the marriage announcement, prepared a great feast for the family and friends of the bride. It would be a seven-day affair with all of the requisite revelry and ritual that would have been expected in that region. Upon the commencement of the celebration, the Philistines sent out 30 men to accompany Sampson, attending the banquet.
Now, there are two things to keep in mind here. The first is that in Philistia, where the party would have taken place, they would have had differing and contradictory practices and traditions regarding marriage that the Jews would not have practiced. In fact, many of their religious customs were the exact reason the Jews and Philistines were at odds in the first place.
That being said, it is likely, to ensure they were satisfied with the celebration, Sampson may well have violated Jewish tradition to maintain the status quo. That is not indicated in Scripture, but it would make sense given the wedding’s location, Sampson’s recorded defiance, and his willingness to bend and break the rules.
So, Sampson may have already been breaking vows just by throwing this party, but something else stood out to me here. Why did the Philistines send thirty men to this shindig? Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive, even for a raucous 7-day wedding party?
Alright, maybe the woman Sampson was marrying had a big family, or perhaps she was the daughter of a dignitary. Even still, thirty men is a lot if you are simply there to wish someone well unless there was an ulterior motive for having that many able-bodied men there.
I submit that there is a distinct possibility that these men were sent out not only to keep a close eye on this foreign, enemy Judge, who was interloping into their territory, but they may have been there in an attempt to intimidate Sampson.
Think about it. You’ve got the most powerful and influential man from your rival country coming into your home and taking one of your women. That would have been as alarming and scandalous to the Philistines as it would have been to Sampson’s own parents! Of course, they’d have sent someone to keep track of his movements, wouldn’t you?
But far from being intimidated, what does Sampson do? Is he threatened by them? Nope, not in the least. He actually taunts them with a riddle, displaying his complete and utter disregard for their clout or ability to affect him in any way.
Sampson, in no uncertain terms, is a terrifying God-ordained beast, and it’s the Philistines who should be afraid! Who else would even consider going into enemy territory to find a wife, let alone taunting the indignant men of her village once you got there?
Well, Sampson did, and he didn’t seem too concerned with the outcome either. Was that confidence in God’s Power, or was it his arrogance? I can’t say, but that question leads me to Today’s Lesson.
When God has your back and has given you the Agency to do His Will, it can come with an audacious confidence that some on the outside can find off-putting. It’s called Assurance, and it’s an offshoot of our Faith in God. Sampson was as confident as he was because he knew who had his six!
If God’s got you, why worry? You can be facing a firing line and still live in confidence because you know that even if you die, you’re still in His Will and, therefore, Covered. If you die in God’s Will, there is a Reward awaiting you, and if you survive and succeed, there’s one too! In God, there is no loss; there is only Victory!
So, if you’re facing something that you’re not sure you can pull off, and it was God that Called you to it, just do it! He’ll give you whatever you need to get the job done, and even as your enemies surround you, you’re still as safe as if you were covered in impenetrable armor because you are!
God is your Protection! You have nothing to fear because He said, He would fight our battles! That is our position in Christ, Victorious through battle by the Power of His Blood! And if that is our Foundation, what could ever threaten what you’ve built?
Have a Fantastic Friday and Remember, If God Is For Us, No One Can Stand Against Us!