Strong and Foolish


Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”

His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson’s eyes. Judges 14:1-7 ESV

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck. Proverbs 1:7-9 ESV


There’s a story about a gnat and a lion, who decided to have a contest to see who was stronger. The gnat buzzed around and stung the lion on his face, while the lion tried to claw at the gnat. The lion couldn’t get the gnat, but ended up clawing up his own face. The gnat flew away as the winner, but he hadn’t flown very far when he was caught in a spiderweb. The spider ate the gnat, showing that he wasn’t as strong as he thought he was.

Samson was quite a bit like that gnat. He was strong enough to catch hold of a young lion with his bare hands and tear it apart. But he wasn’t strong enough to control his feelings for a young woman from the Philistines, who were people in the land of Canaan who didn’t worship the true God and ruled over God’s people. Samson was very foolish to choose her as a wife, but God was going to use Samson’s poor choice to start ending the power of the Philistines.

God sends his Holy Spirit to his people to help them make wise choices, but often we don’t. We do foolish things and sin against God. But God sent Jesus to forgive our sins. Jesus’ death on the cross shows that God can work through the most terrible situations we can imagine to do good things for his people. We can always be sure that God will stay with us and help us, and we pray for wisdom to follow his ways for Jesus’ sake.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving and forgiving us. Help us to know and follow your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.