Take a breath. Alright, now let it out. Relax, every now and again we just need to pause and take a break from life. Slow it down, get away from all the business. Now, that doesn’t mean I am going to make this post extraordinarily long to give you a longer break from life, but I hope this post does take you to another place; a place of rest and forgetfulness.
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. 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.
Samson took another step down the dusty road toward Timnath to confront his wife. He stared down at his hands; he had killed thirty men by the power of the Spirit of the Lord. But, the deaths of these men did not trouble him, they were Philistines, slave-masters to the Israelites; what troubled Samson was that his own wife had betrayed him.
“How could she do that?” Samson kicked a stone in frustration and watched as it flew far off into the distance. “I thought we were in love…” His thoughts were disoriented. Who was he? True, Samson was known as a strong man, he never missed an opportunity to show off, yet he did not look it. His size was not as great as the strength it possessed. But, what did great strength avail him if he had no useful purpose for it?
“It all started with that silly bet.” Samson murmured, gambling was one of the things his father had warned him about, that, and getting involved with a pagan woman. He should have listened. He had made a bet at the feast that 30 of his friends could not guess his riddle. The bet was for 30 changes of garment, all would go to Samson if he won and one change each would go to his friends if he lost. It was a fair bargain, but Samson also knew he could not lose.
Not long before the feast a lion sprang upon him in the vinyards of Timnath, Samson slew it; but as he was passing by latter, he noticed a hive of bees had sprung up in the carcass of the lion. Thus his riddle was: out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.
With a riddle like this, he was sure to win. But, alas his wife, that Philistine woman, wept and begged, and cried and nagged until he could bear her complaining no more. He told her the answer to the riddle and she, in turn told his friends. When his friends came to him with the answer, Samson was furious. He spat at the men saying, “if you had not meddled with my wife, you would not have guessed the riddle.”
But, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson and he went down to city of Ashkelon and slew 30 men, taking their garments he gave them to his friends to fulfill his bet.
After that, he had taken a while to cool his heels, and now was on his way to return to life as usual; though, he would have a good long talk with his wife first.
“There are a few thing that a man must have in his own home.” Samson muttered to himself as he came to the door of his father-in-law’s house. “Trust is important, if a man can’t trust his wife, who can he trust?” He mused as he rapped on the door. It opened ever so slightly and his father-in-law poked his head through the crack to see who was there. Samson gave what he hoped was a non-threatening, friendly smile but the man’s eyes bugged as he saw who was at his door. He quickly slammed it shut and it sounded like he threw the bolt down in the inside. Samson arched an eyebrow, what was wrong with him?
“Father, I would like to see my wife.” Samson declared.
“Go away, leave us alone.” A muffled voice came from inside, obviously frightened.
Samson gave the door a few hard raps and tried again, “open the door or I shall break it down and come in anyway.” He ordered. The sound of the bolt lifting came first, then slowly the door opened again and the man stepped cautiously out. He stayed half in and half out so as to make a quick escape if necessary. He truly looked like a scared rabbit.
“Th- they said you would be like this. They said you would be angry, just leave us alone. Please.” The man said scattered.
“Who said? What’s going on? I just want to see my wife.” Samson stood with his arms crossed. “Are you going to let me in? Or do I have to force my way through.”
“You can’t!” The old man squealed, moving his arms to block the doorway, his eyes darting wildly.
“What is it now?” Samson asked impatiently.
The man look thoroughly crazed, something was obviously wrong here. “Well…- they said you hated her. They said you’d kill her when you returned. So…”
“So…?” Samson prodded.
“So, I gave her in marriage to your companion.” The man closed both eyes cringing, but nothing happened. Samson’s father-in-law popped one eye open to see if the coast was clear, half expecting a fist to the face. But, Samson just stood, shocked. Then it seemed to register.
“You did what?” Heat flushed his face.
“It’s not a big deal,” the man stammered, “take her younger sister, is she not fairer than the elder anyway?” He was grasping at anything, “just don’t kill me like you killed the men of Ashkelon, I beg of you.” The man’s eyes pleaded with Samson and for one moment it looked as if Samson might kill him. But the rage in his features died, replaced by a steeled resolve.
“I am not going to kill you. But I shall not be held accountable for my actions hereafter, I shall be more blameless than all of the Philistines though I reap my vengeance from them.” His fists clenched and his eyes kindled with fire. “I shall be avenged.”
Well, it seems that’s all of the story we have time for today. This might be classified under: the dangers of giving in to temptation. Samson let his wife’s nagging get to him and he told her the secret of his riddle. That secret cost Samson his marriage and 30 men, their lives. Nothing good ever comes of giving into temptation, no matter how harmless we think it is at the time. Just ask Samson, believe me, he knows better than anyone.
As always, thanks for reading and tune in next time for part two of this story, and trust me, it’s just getting started.
–the anonymous novelist