Saturday, October 6, 2012

Love Lessons from Samson: Bitterness and Destruction

Love Lessons from Samson: Bitterness and Destruction


Her father said, “I really thought that you thoroughly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion.” – Judges 15:2

Broken relationships are usually followed by bitterness and destruction.  Some people fall into self-destruction. They fall into alcohol or drugs to relieve the pain, or tearing down their reputation by desperately hunting for a new mate.  For others, it’s the destruction of those closest to them.  Their children feel abandoned, unloved and unwanted, caught in the middle of the divorce.  Family and friends are ignored, and the advice they give met with adversity.
Samson was no different.  Though his physical might was supernatural, his heart was like any other, and as Judges 15 begins, heartbreak awaits Samson.

Samson had apparently not been to see his wife in quite some time.  She had truly thought he hated her.  Their relationship had been based on lust, not love, and her intuition confirmed it.  When he came to see her, he said to her father Let me go in to my wife, into her room.”  His intentions were clear.  The lust was still there. 
Earlier when the Philistines threatened to kill her family because of Samson’s riddle about the lion and the honey, his wife told them the answer to the riddle.  From that point on a trust was broken.  Mistrust is like a hairline crack in fine china.  It’s only a matter of time before that crack divides more and more.  Samson felt betrayed and left her, and apparently for quite some time.  But when he returns in Judges 15, he expects to find her waiting for him, abiding by the ties of marriage. 

His wife however, and even her father, had a different view of the relationship.  They truly believed Samson was gone forever.  They believed he now hated her.  So her father, not wanting her to be alone for the rest of her life, gave her to Samson’s friend. 
Angry?  Bitter? Broken? Betrayed? Samson could check them all off the list if he took an inventory of his heart.  And where there is bitterness, destruction follows.  Samson caught foxes, tied torches to their tails, and let them go in the fields and vineyards of Timnah.  Every stalk of grain and every vine were burned.  In today’s economy that would be equivalent to burning down a factory where everyone in the town worked. 

His destructive actions, as is always the case, didn’t bring him peace, but only fueled a deeper fire of hatred around him.  As the Philistines found out who had caused the fire, they came after Samson.  His own people of Judah, knowing that the Philistines were already oppressing them, feared what might be next.  They came to Samson to arrest him, and Samson willingly went bound in new ropes.
As he was delivered to the Philistines, God granted him might again, and Samson broke through the ropes as if they were threads.  He picked up the jawbone of an donkey and single handedly killed one thousand men.  Did this action make Samson feel better?  Was his heart now mended?  No.  But the path of destruction he left was wide and long.

Be careful how you react when your heart is broken.  As time goes by and the wound heals, you don’t need the constant reminder of how much pain you inflicted on others.  Psalms 34:17-19 tells us how to mend a broken heart.  Cry out to God in prayer.  God, creator of your emotions and your feelings, can and will give you peace.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” – Psalms 34:17-19

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