And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.…
By the goodness of God those things which once appeared unpleasant or injurious become real blessings.
1. This general observation may be applied to those painful convictions and apprehensions which sometimes harass the minds of beginners in religion. Many who have felt the deepest sorrow for sin have afterwards possessed the greatest degree of religious joy, and have "loved much, because they knew that much was forgiven." Thus, then, "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
2. The same may be said of divers temptations with which a Christian may be exercised.
3. It is the lot of many, of very many good people, to be poor. Yet, even here, they gather honey from the carcase of the lion; for their various troubles give occasion for the exercise of humble resignation to the sovereign will of God. Constant dependence upon God is thereby promoted. Thankfulness is another fruit of sanctified affliction; for such is the ingratitude of our hearts, that we are scarcely sensible of the value of our mercies but by the loss or suspension of them. Another advantage which may be gained from poverty is, that the Christian is led to seek the things that are above.
4. Apply this sentiment to the person who is grievously afflicted with severe pains and bodily afflictions. "We have borne chastisement; we will not offend any more," then is the purpose of Divine goodness in the visitation accomplished (Psalm 119:67, 71).
5. Domestic trials may produce the same advantages (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
6. The same may be said with regard to disappointments in our worldly affairs.
7. Persecution is another of those evils to which the people of God are exposed. As long as there are men "born after the flesh," there will be hatred and opposition against those who are "born after the Spirit." But out of this unpromising lion sweet honey has been procured.
8. The subject may even be extended to death itself. The death of Christ, though "according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," was effected by the cruel hands of wicked men. But bitter as seemed this event to the disciples; what ever produced so much sweetness? Apply this also to the death of believers. Nothing to nature is so formidable as death; it is the king of terrors; and through the fear of it, many are all their lifetime subject to bondage. Such, indeed, is the carcase of the lion; but search and see: is there no honey within? Is there nothing to lessen the terrors of the tomb, and reconcile man to the grave? Yes; there is much every way. The sting of death is extracted. And not only so, but death is gain. The Christian leaves a troublesome world, a diseased body, a disordered soul, to be with Christ, to behold His glory, to be perfectly like Him.Conclusion:
1. Let us be led to adore the wisdom and goodness of God in bringing good out of evil.
2. On the contrary, it is painful to reflect on the state of worldly and wicked men, who are unhappily so entirely under the power of sin and Satan that they continually extract evil even from good.
3. What an argument may we derive from this subject for the commitment of ourselves and all our concerns into the hands of an all-wise and all-gracious God!
Parallel VersesKJV: And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.