Bible Study Lesson — Judges 14:12-20
Greed and selfishness can make people do things they normally wouldn’t. We find this in the riddle of Samson — and we discover that Samson is not a very nice person.
Samson seems to be caught up in a destructive web as he uses his great power to manipulate those around him.
And it backfired! Let’s read the passage and see what the Book of Judges has to say about Samson’s riddle.
Samson Makes a Bet Using a Riddle
Then Samson said to them, “Let me now propound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes.
But if you are unable to tell me, then you shall give me thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Propound your riddle, that we may hear it.”
So he said to them,
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And out of the strong came something sweet.”
But they could not tell the riddle in three days.
Then it came about on the fourth day that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s house with fire.
Have you invited us to impoverish us? Is this not so?”
Samson’s wife wept before him and said, “You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me.”
And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?”
However she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told 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 found out my riddle.”
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle.
And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house.
But Samson’s wife was given to his companion who had been his friend. – Judges 14:12-20 NASB
The Danger Signs from Samson’s Riddle
The honey and lion story was told back in Judges 14:6-8 when the Lord gave Samson his great strength (power).
He then in turn used that strength to kill 30 men. Why? In order to pay off a bet.
We cringe at this action but are we sometimes selfish and self-centered too? Not to the point of killing but to the point of doing something that might hurt others.
As Christians, each of us has talents and spiritual gifts from God. Even though God granted them He allows us to choose whether or not and how to use these gifts.
We can either use them to help the kingdom of God or for our own gain.
The lesson today is very short. It is that we should make sure our gifts and abilities are used in the right way — to help others and to build Christ’s church.
If we use them selfishly (to help ourselves) then we are not giving God or the church the strength needed to change the world.
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.
Read Today’s Passage Here:
New American Standard Bible