Read Judges 14:1-14
2. Marriage of Samson. Samson sees a Philistine woman that he wants to marry. His parents object to him marrying a noon-Hebrew. But they go along with him. God is moving in the circumstances. Samson kills a lion with his bare hands. Samson pursues the marriage.
He challenges the people of his bride to answer a riddle. If they answer correctly, Samson will give them 30 sets of garments and clothes. If they cannot answer correctly, they will owe him the same. For three of the seven days the people could not solve the riddle.
- Parent involvement in marriages. Notice in vss. 1-3 that Samson’s parents played a role in his marriage. There are some pros and cons to parents being extra involved in the marriage of their children. On the pro side, parents may be able to discern some character traits that younger people may not be able to discern.
Traits like grit (i.e., staying focused and faithful, in spite of failures) and constructive thinking (i.e., seeing failures as feedback and opportunities to learn, instead of permanent and pervasive conditions) can be obscured by beauty and charm. On the con side, parents can bring faulty discernment to the situation. T
oo much involvement can lead to unhealthy dependence on the parents. Let’s work on seeking the wisdom and courage to help our young people make great decisions about who to marry and how to stay married.
- Unequally yoked marriages. Notice in vs. 4 that God had a plan for this unequally yoked marriage. First, we should acknowledge that being unequally yoked is not God’s will (see II Cor. 6:14). As believers, we should both strive to be disciples of Christ and marry disciples of Christ (i.e., if we get married).
Second, God’s using the unequally yoked marriage for good doesn’t justify the sin. God works in all things for the good of His people. But all things are not excused because God brings good out of them. The “ends” do not justify the “means.” Third, it is good to know that God does work in all things for the good of His people (see Rom. 8:28).
There are so many things that seem to be so out of order. But we
can rest in knowing that God can use even what is out of order for good. Let’s work on trusting God enough to both
obey Him and rest in Him, when things seem to be out of order.
- Power for lions. Notice in vss. 5-6 that God is able to give power to handle unexpected dangers. First, just as God gave Samson power to kill the lion. God can give us power to handle whatever comes our way. Second, as the lion was an unexpected danger in the text, we should not be shocked when unexpected dangers come into our lives.
Our peace of mind is not based on our thinking that there are no troubles ahead. Our peace of mind comes from our trust that God will see us through whatever danger comes our way. Let’s live like we trust God to give us what we need to handle whatever comes our way.
Such living should be known for confidence, staying prayerful, and being willing to act on God’s will.
- Pre-marital work. Notice in vs. 7 that Samson and the woman talked and he liked her. First, it is a good idea for people to do a great deal of talking before they get married. It is better to over talk than to under talk, because marriage is supposed to be for life. Make sure you talk about finances, expectations, discipleship, communication, sex, family ties, friendship ties, etc.
Second, it is important for people to like one another (i.e., enjoy one another). The Pastor would add trust one another as well. It is a terrible thing to wake up to someone you don’t like or don’t trust but yet you are supposed to be married to them for the rest of your life.
Let’s work on building marriages on strong foundations. Talking with one another helps in this area. Liking one another is a part of the foundation.
- Family ties. Notice in vs. 10 that they are having what we may think of as a week-long reception. Among other things, this period allowed families and friends to get to know one another a little bit and share good will towards the new couple. In an ideal world, the families of the husband and wife should have some level of friendliness towards one another.
Let’s work on developing healthy family ties. The American focus on the immediate nuclear family can be a problem, especially when divorce occurs, where there are small children, where there are aging elders, etc.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.
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