But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.
Samson can only be spoken of as an unsuccessful great man; his name stands high on the scrolls of the faithful, but his life was after all a splendid failure, and few indeed are the lives to which that term does not apply.
I Two mistakes we make in life. (1) One of our great blunders is in beating our hands against the stern necessity which walls in our being, and expecting that it will give way to us; we set ourselves above our powers, and we quarrel with Providence because we have failed, perhaps, in the task we were never called upon to perform. (2) We are too much in the habit of testing power in life by its prominence, as if we said there were no stars in the heavens but those which glitter to the vision; the astronomer knows that there are multitudes of stars which ordinary eyes have not seen. All strength may honour God and fulfil its end, the weakest as well as the strongest seeing God as behind all strength, for God's law seems to be to honour weak goodness, and to make it more; so to every kind of strength is given its life and its law.
II. The theory of the great modern atheistic philosophy is that in the universe there is no place for weakness, all life is the conquest of strength, "the survival of the fittest." There is no place here for Divine grace; but every labouring gardener would give a widely different lesson and interpretation to life. If weeds and vegetables were left to a free fight, in which the strongest specimens only come to maturity, the garden would be a scene of license and disorder God does not permit mere hereditary goodness; "He giveth more grace." In all nature's weakness we put on our crown of immortal hopes. "By the grace of God I am what I am, but it is no more I, but Christ that dwelleth in me."
E. Paxton Hood, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xix., p. 358.
Reference: Jdg 16:1-3.—E. Paxton Hood, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xix, p. 342.
And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.
And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.
And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.
And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.
Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.
And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.
And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.
Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.
And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.
Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.
And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.
And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.
And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.
And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?
But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.
And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.