“One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.” His father and mother objected. “Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?” they asked. “Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?” But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.” – Judges 14:1-3.
When we want something we usually want it yesterday. We are into instant gratification because we lack the patience for waiting…for anything. When our computer takes a couple of extra seconds for a page to load, it can feel like an eternity. Movies and TV shows begin streaming in seconds. I am reminded of the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There is a girl named Baruka who once she has seen the geese that lays the golden eggs, decided she wants one and breaks into a song about all the things that she wants and she doesn’t want to wait. The lyrics include: “Don’t care how… I want it now.” She eventually falls down the garbage chute.
Samson wanted something. He had to have it. He was going to get it, and he wanted it now. Her name was Delilah. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was moving toward the garbage chute the minute he told his father “Get her for me! She looks good to me.”
But before we judge Samson too harshly, he is not the only man who forgot logic when they want or lust after something. It happens today all the time. Today, we may just look a little too long at a woman and start to wonder what she is like. Today, we may be willing to do just about anything to advance a career or to make more money, or to win an award or achievement. We may want the new boat, or new car, or new house or some new thrills. The problem is when we forget about reason and logic and pursue what we want with reckless abandon. And that’s what Samson did.
Samson went down to Timnah and there a Philistine woman caught his eye. When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her.” Basically, he went into enemy territory and saw a woman that was forbidden to him because God said, “You shall not intermarry with those who do not worship me.”
And at that moment, he looks at her and he forgets everything else and he says, “I want it! I don’t care what my God says. I don’t care what my Dad says. I don’t care what my Mom says, I don’t care what’s right and I don’t care what’s wise, because I want it.” This is just one of the failures because this strong man has a weak spirit.
The story of Samson completely confounds me. He was arrogant. He was impulsive. He was violent. He was selfish. And in the end, it seems he pretty much got what he deserved. However, he did eventually yield to God’s great purpose for his life and finished his life praying for God’s help to accomplish it. We can learn from both his mistakes and from what he did right.
- We have learned in this story that once again the people were doing what was right in their own eyes. Why is it not okay to live this way? What are some consequences of living according to our own definition of right and wrong?
- If you were Samson, and was getting into a relationship with a Delilah, would you have a friend that would throw up some “red flags” about the relationship?
- Samson’s sin in this story is irrational. In what ways do our own sinful choices fail to make sense rationally?
- Like Samson, what successes in your life might lead you to put your trust in yourself rather than in God? How can we maintain a strong sense of dependence on God?