And he said to them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness…
A strong impression had been produced by the circumstance upon the mind of Samson. This was one of the means used by God to penetrate and awaken the moral nature of his servant. A certain Divine wisdom is given for its interpretation, and for its suitable statement to the world, the heathen of his day. The form which the circumstance assumes when declared to the Philistines is a favourite one to this day amongst Eastern and primitive peoples. It constituted a distinct portion of God's great revelation of himself to man, but for many and weighty reasons it was not a plain declaration, but the "wisdom of God in a mystery.
I. THE PHENOMENA OF THE NATURAL WORLD LINK THEMSELVES WITH, AND BECOME SYMBOLS OF, SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. Thus the deepest things of the spiritual universe may be uttered by those who are but dimly conscious of their meaning. And no man is wholly destitute of spiritual teaching. The teachings of revelation thus become indefinitely enriched and extended.
II. TO THE AWAKENED SPIRIT OF MAN THE DIVINE MEANINGS OF LIFE AND THE WORLD ARE ALONE IMPORTANT. How vast is the relationship of the truth thus generalised! For many days will such food sustain the soul. Trials may become the sources of spiritual consolation if overcome in God's strength. Death is the gate of Life.
III. TO THE UNBELIEVING IS THE TRUTH OF GOD SPOKEN IN PARABLES, THAT SEEING, THEY MAY NOT PERCEIVE, AND HEARING, THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. This might be called the "gospel of the Philistines." It is a mighty revelation. How near were these heathen, if they had known it, to the wisdom and kingdom of God! So is it to-day with the preaching of the gospel to unbelievers. The moral character, and not the mere intellectual power, of men is tested in this way. What the Spirit of the Lord inspires the same Spirit can interpret. God will bestow illumination upon those who seek it. How often has God spoken through striking incidents to those who would not care to hear the preaching of his word, or to whom it has not been granted! Do not let any one hastily say, "I never heard." Do not let Christians despair of those who have not heard, and who will not hear the preaching of men. God has his own way to every heart. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.