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On Again, Off Again

Just following along.

Judges 14:16–20

Then Samson’s wife wept on him, and said, “You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me.”

And he said to her, “Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?” Now she had wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people. So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down:

“What is sweeter than honey?
And what is stronger than a lion?”

And he said to them:

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have solved my riddle!”

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father’s house. And Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

Note why Samson told his wife the secret of the riddle. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much.

Samson did not do this because the Spirit of the LORD had informed him of God’s grand strategy. No, he was just a normal guy caving in to his wife.

And his reaction to their solving the riddle is pretty normal too. He uses a cute colloquialism, but there’s nothing amazing about his figuring out how they got the answer.

Then, and only then, does he get another dose of the Spirit of the LORD, with which he strikes Ashkelon like a hurricane.

There’s a lesson for us in Samson’s on again, off again relationship with the Holy Spirit. Despite his unique Nazarite heritage, and his amazing gifts, he’s still not driving the train.

Samson doesn’t know what’s coming next; he’s just following along. He makes some big mistakes along the way too.

So do we. That’s the point. Serving God is an imperfect exercise, done by imperfect people.

But He still uses it for His glory.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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