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Samson: He Defied His Parents
Scripture: Exodus 20:12; Judges 14:1-9; Numbers 6:5...
Track 2 of 5 in the The Weight of the World series
Running time: 57 minutes, 37 seconds.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Parental authority can tell us a lot about kids and the family. Watching kids in a grocery store, watching them at Wal-Mart, watching how kids act towards their parents when they are at a restaurant can give some pretty good insight as to what is going on in the home. In the Bible, God had very little patience with children who didn't respect or honor their parents. In many situations, the children usually paid a heavy price for their actions; usually it resulted in death or brought sorrow to many generations that followed.

It is not safe to disrespect ones parents. The whole attitude is unacceptable to God and there are many warnings about engaging in such behavior. Today, our society looks upon maturity, older adults, respecting authority, respecting the dignity of older Americans as something of the past and there is no room for such nonsense. The world belongs to the young, the strong, the quick and the physically beautiful. Vanity has taken over as the new common sense of the 21st Century. What is self expedient is the norm in life today for secular younger adults.

Samson fell into the same trap. Even though the Holy Spirit had been working in Samson's life and blessing him, there still was an eye on what was physical rather than spiritual. What was pleasing to his eyes was more important than what was pleasing to God's eyes. His desire to have pleasure was much stronger than his desire to please God.

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you.

What do you think it means to honor your parents? Partly, it means speaking well of them and politely to them. It also means acting in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not obeying them if it means disobeying God). It means following their teaching and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God's sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them.

If you remember from last week, Samson saw a woman in the town of Timnah. We are led to believe that he had no contact other than just seeing her and from that contact he knew that she was the one for him. He wanted her and he instructed his father to get her for him.

Judges 14:1-3 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, "I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife." His father and mother replied, "Isn't there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the right one for me."

There are a number of statements found here in this passage that describes for us some of the problems and raises a number of questions. What questions would you ask if you were Samson's parents?

"Samson went down to Timnah"
"now get her for me as my wife"
"Get her for me. She's the right one for me."

How did Samson dishonor his parents? What specifically did he do to show disrespect? What was the reason for the disrespect? There are many examples in the Bible where one action or desire set into motion a whole course of events that brought pain and disaster. Many in the world today can give testimony to this fact. It is amazing how one single event, very often a small event can set off a chain reaction to several hurtful things. All it takes is one self desire and a firestorm can erupt.

Why did Samson need his daddy and mommy to get him a wife? If he wanted this woman from Timnah so bad, why not just go down to Timnah and talk with her and take her as his wife?

Dating today is nothing close to what it was like back then. Samson was a man, not a boy. He was a young man but also old enough to be out on his own. It is evident that he is still living in his father's home under his parent's authority because it requires his parents to arrange a meeting with the woman's parents. We will see that the same is true with the woman he thinks he is in love with. Back then, no one maneuvered outside the family unit. In order for Samson to meet the woman, formal family interaction is going to be required.

Samson loved a Philistine woman. Who were the Philistines and how would this fact affect Samson's parents and family? How do you think they felt about this relationship? What sacrifices would they have to make in order to accommodate their son?

The Philistines were hated by the Jews and in God's eye's, there was nothing natural about a Jew and Philistine getting married. Both cultures were opposite and both were enemies. This request by Samson required Samson's parents to travel to Timnah to make arrangements with a Philistine family. In normal life, there would be no contact between the two families but due to Samson's physical desires, this meeting is a forced situation. God knew the likely result of this relationship would be friction between the two families. There would be enough friction to allow God to start the process to rid Israel of this evil enemy.

Do you think God is happy with this? When you do the same types of things (find yourself in places or meeting people you have no business being with), do you think God is happy and how might he use the situation for his own good? How dangerous was it for Samson to be playing this game? What could have happened? How dangerous is it for Christians to be doing the same things? What could happen?

Judges 14:5-7 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.

We have to remember here that a long period of time happens in just a few short verses. The writer places into the narrative bits and pieces of information that frame a point of thought but the information has a significant amount of time intertwined. Samson with his family is on his way to meet with the woman and her family. Not recorded in scripture must be the official meeting or announcement that Samson wanted to meet the woman. As they approached the city, Samson is attacked by a young lion.

Many scholars believe that this trip is just one of several Samson and his family makes. As the relationship develops, they begin to prepare for a wedding. From this lion attack, what do we learn about Samson? His strength was very powerful and it came from the Holy Spirit.

It is evident that his parents were not eyewitnesses of this event. Even though they were traveling together, they were not in the exact same spot when this lion attacked. It is interesting that Samson didn't tell his parents about the attack. Most scholars believe the incident sets the stage for what is to happen later in this account. One would not associate lions with Israel but there are other accounts when lions were killed by Bible heroes (David and Benaiah).

What is wrong with this whole situation? Do you get the feeling that this relationship is taking everyone in the wrong direction? Have you ever found yourself in similar situations when you are following a course that God would not be happy with but due to your own stubborn desires, you are forcing the events to take place? Does this kind of situation bring peace and joy? Why or why not?

Judges 14:8-9 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion's carcass. In it was a swarm of bees and some honey, which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion's carcass.

I find it interesting that even to this point, Samson didn't tell his parents about the lion he killed? Why is he hiding this fact? Did the killing of the lion fulfill his ego needs? How do you know? He went back over to look at it thus finding honey inside.

Numbers 6:5-8 During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head. He must be holy until the period of his separation to the LORD is over; he must let the hair of his head grow long. Throughout the period of his separation to the LORD he must not go near a dead body. Even if his own father or mother or brother or sister dies, he must not make himself ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of his separation to God is on his head. Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the LORD.

This vow was serious business. To follow the Nazarite way of life, it required dedication and close attention to following the Law of God. How serious was Samson about his vow? How can you tell? which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. Did he know what he was doing? Did he know he was breaking his vow? Why not tell his parents where he got the honey?

When you are tempted with sin, do you know what you are doing? How many sins do we commit that we are just caught off guard and are floored that what we did was sinful? Was it a big deal that Samson ate honey from the lion? Maybe he did it in such a way that he didn't touch the lion, only the honey?

Doesn't this sound gross? Why do something like this and why would bees form their hive in such a horrible place? In the desert of Arabia the heat of a sultry season will often dry up all the moisture of men or camels that have fallen dead, within twenty-four hours of their decease, without their passing into a state of decomposition and putrefaction, so that they remain for a long time like mummies, without change and without stench". In a carcass dried up in this way, a swarm of bees might form their hive, just as well as in the hollow trunks of trees, or clefts in the rock, or where wild bees are accustomed to form them. Bees avoid both dead bodies and carcasses of dead animals.

If this is true, then does this event tell us the story is wrong or is there another message from this event? It is unnatural and against nature for bees to form hives in dead animals, it is also spiritually unnatural for a Nazarite to be messing with anything dead.

What is sad, Samson did something that was wrong but he didn't really care that what he did also violated his parents. They were innocent of the act but they would have been very displeased about this action. He didn't want to tell them not necessarily because it would violate them, but would probably just add fuel to a fire that was already burning.

As a kid, what was worse, the physical punishment for doing something wrong or the lecture you would get because you did something wrong? What about today, how effective is a lecture from your spouse or a friend when you do something wrong or are thinking about doing something wrong? Maybe there was a reason Samson didn't walk with his parents as they traveled down to Timnah. What do you think they talked about as they traveled in the land of the Philistines? What are your conversations like when you are doing something for your kids you really hate to do and believe is wrong?