The story of Samson is told in the books of Judges. Most of us know about his infamous Philistine lover, Delilah; but before Delilah Samson had fallen in love with and married another Philistine woman. The Bible does not give her name, but some of the details of this failed relationship are given in Judges chapter 14.
Samson went down to Timnah and upon seeing this Philistine woman immediately fell in love with her. He demanded that his parents get her for him as a wife. Even though his parents knew it was against God’s rules for Israelites and Philistines to marry, they finally relented to their son’s stubborn demands and set up a wedding for him.
Meanwhile, Samson threw a seven-day feast (talk about a party) for his Philistine men friends. He gave them a riddle and said if they could solve it by the time the feast was over, he would give them thirty sets of clothing. However, if they could not solve it, they would have to give him thirty sets of clothing. Judges 14:14 says for three days they could not solves the riddle, so the Philistines turned to Samson’s wife to get the answer. When she asked Samson for the answer to the riddle, he refused to tell her; so she resorted to tears. She cried and cried and she cried and cried and she cried some more until Samson couldn’t take it anymore. He told her the answer and she went and told the other Philistines who came back and told Samson what he already knew.
Of course, when Samson found out the Philistines had used his new bride to manipulate him, he was madder than a Spanish bull in a china closet. This led to the quick end of their marriage and shortly afterwards, Samson’s first lover came to an unfortunate end. Here is what we can learn from Samson’s first wife:
1. Samson’s first wife was a manipulator. We talked about manipulation when we talked about the other Philistine girl, Delilah. Now, you have to admit that Samson’s first wife was in a pretty tight spot – the Philistines told her: get an answer to the riddle or have your house, and your father’s house burned with fire. But no matter what the circumstances, purposely becoming a burden to someone to get what you want is never right.
As followers of Jesus, our faith and our trust should be in God. We do not pressure others to make them give us what we want. As it did with Samson’s first wife, manipulation may work temporarily, but in the end it will only cause complications in relationships and bring guilt to the one who uses it.
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