And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.…
What a type we have here of our Divine Lord and Master, Jesus, the conqueror of death and hell! He has destroyed the lion that roared upon us and upon Him. He has shouted "Victory!" over all our foes. To each one of us who believe in Him He gives the luscious food which He has prepared for us by the overthrow of our foes; He bids us come and eat, that we may have our lives sweetened and our hearts filled with joy. The Samson type may well serve as the symbol of every Christian in the world.
I. THE BELIEVER'S LIFE HAS ITS CONFLICTS. Learn, then, that if, like Samson, you are to be a hero for Israel, you must early be inured to suffering and daring in some form or other.
1. These conflicts may often be very terrible. By a young lion is not meant a whelp, but a lion in the fulness of its early strength; not yet slackened in its pace, or curbed in its fury by growing years. Fresh and furious, a young lion is the worst kind of beast that a man can meet with. Let us expect as followers of Christ to meet with strong temptations, fierce persecutions, and severe trials, which will lead to stern conflicts. These present evils are for our future good: their terror is for our teaching.
2. These conflicts come early, and they are very terrible; and, moreover, they happen to us when we are least prepared for them. Samson was not hunting for wild beasts; he was engaged on a much more tender business. He was walking in the vineyards of Timnath, thinking of anything but lions, and "behold," says the Scripture, "a young lion roared against him." It was a remarkable and startling occurrence. Samson stood an unarmed, unarmoured man in the presence of a raging beast. So we in our early temptations are apt to think that we have no weapon for the war, and we do not know what to do. We are made to cry out, "I am unprepared! How can I meet this trial? " Herein will the splendour of faith and glory of God be made manifest, when you shall slay the lion, and yet it shall be said of you that "he had nothing in his hand" — nothing but that which the world sees not and values not.
3. I invite you to remember that it was by the Spirit of God that the victory was won. We read, "And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid." Let the Holy Spirit help us in our trouble, and we need neither company nor weapon; but without Him what can we do?
II. THE BELIEVER'S LIFE HAS ITS SWEETS. What is more joyful than the joy of a saint!
1. Of these joys there is plenty. We have such a living swarm of bees to make honey for us in the precious promises of God, that there is more delight in store than any of us can possibly realise. There is infinitely more of Christ beyond our comprehension than we have as yet been able to comprehend. How blessed to receive of His fulness, to be sweetened with His sweetness, and yet to know that infinite goodness still remains!
2. Our joys are often found in the former places of our conflicts. We gather our honey out of the lions which have been slain for us or by us. There is, first, our sin. A horrible lion that! But it is a dead lion, for grace has much more abounded over abounding sin. "I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and as a thick cloud thine iniquities." Here is choice honey for you! The next dead lion is conquered desire. When a wish has arisen in the heart contrary to the mind of God, and you have said, "Down with you! I will pray you down. You used to master me; I fell into a habit and I was soon overcome by you; but I will not again yield to you. By God's grace I will conquer you" — I say, when at last you have obtained the victory such a sweet contentment perfumes your heart that you are filled with joy unspeakable, and you are devoutly grateful to have been helped of the Spirit of God to master your own spirit. Thus you have again eaten spiritual honey.
III. THE BELIEVER'S LIFE LEADS HIM TO COMMUNICATE OF THESE SWEETS. As soon as we have tasted the honey of forgiven sin and perceived the bliss that God has laid up for His people in Christ Jesus, we feel it to be both our duty and our privilege to communicate the good news to others. Here let my ideal statue stand in our midst: the strong man, conqueror of the lion, holding forth his hands full of honey to his parents. We are to be modelled according to this fashion.
1. We do this immediately. The moment a man is converted, if he would let himself alone, his instincts would lead him to tell his fellows.
2. The believer will do this first to those who are nearest to him. Samson took the honey to his father and mother, who were not far away. With each of us the most natural action would be to tell a brother or a sister or a fellow-workman, or a bosom friend. It will be a great joy to see them eating the honey which is so pleasant to our own palate.
3. The believer will do this as best he can. Samson, you see, brought the honey to his father and mother in a rough-and-ready style, going on eating it as he brought it. Carry the honey in your hands, though it drip all round: no hurt will come of the spilling; there are always little ones waiting for such drops. If you were to make the gospel drip about everywhere, and sweeten all things, it would be no waste, but a blessed gain to all around. Therefore, I say to you, tell of Jesus Christ as best you can, and never cease to do so while life lasts.
4. But then Samson did another thing, and every true believer should do it too: he did not merely tell his parents about the honey, but he took them some of it. If your hands serve God, if your heart serves God, if your face beams with joy in the service of God, you will carry grace wherever you go, and those who see you will perceive it.
5. Take note, also, that Samson did this with great modesty. In telling your own experience be wisely cautious. Say much of what the Lord has done for you, but say little of what you have done for the Lord.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.