Samson and the Lion
Judges 14:5, 6
Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold…


1. It came unsought. It is foolish for the bravest to court danger. We have only ground for meeting it bravely when we have not rashly provoked it.

2. It was unexpected. Had Samson expected to encounter the lion he would probably have chosen another path, or have armed himself against it. One of the worst features of the great dangers of life is that we can rarely foresee and provide against them.

3. It was when Samson was on a pleasurable journey. He went to seek a wife, and met a lion! The greatest trouble may spring upon us at the moment of highest elation. Earthly joy is no safeguard.

4. It was when Samson was acting in a questionable manner. He was seeking a wife among the Philistines. His parents disapproved of this course though their affection sought an excuse for it (ver. 3). His conduct was contrary to the law of God (Exodus 34:16). We may meet with trouble in the path of duty, but we must expect to meet with it in the way of transgression (Jonah 1:4).


1. It was effected in the might of the Spirit of the Lord. Herein is the distinction between Samson and Hercules. The Jewish hero does not trust to his own muscular strength. Strong man as he is he can only do great things in God's strength. This is the redeeming feature of his character. It shows him as one, though amongst the lowest, of the heroes of faith. If Samson needed the strength of inspiration, how much more do we weaker men need to be clothed in the panoply of God's might before we can face the dangers of life!

2. The Spirit of God came upon Samson in especial force in his greatest need. God gives us strength according to our requirements. In our hour of weakness it seems impossible to face the future difficulty, but when this comes how wonderfully is the new strength bestowed to meet it (Deuteronomy 33:25). We must not, however, abuse this truth and neglect natural expedients. Samson would have been wrong in going unarmed if he had expected to meet the lion. We have only a right to believe that God will help us in sudden emergencies when we are not rashly and negligently increasing the danger of them.

3. The Spirit of God helped Samson by inspiring him to an extraording exercise of his natural powers. It was to Samson the strong, a spirit of strength. God works in us through our natural faculties and helps us differently according to our various gifts. Though the might is God's, the daring, the will, the effort must be ours. God gave him strength, yet Samson slew the lion with his own hands.

4. After victory, Samson modestly concealed his triumph. It is better to be more than we seem than to seem more than we are. If the source of our victory is God's strength we have no ground for boasting. - A.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.

WEB: Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared against him.

The Wedding Riddle and Tragedy
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