He saw her and she was beautiful. Samson went home and told his parents he had found the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. They were excited. Until he told them she was from Timnah.
Imagine the distress of his parents. "Is there no woman among all of Israel that is pleasing to you? (Judges 14:3)"
Remember, marrying outside of the tribe of Israel was forbidden. God had given strict instructions against it (Deuteronomy 7:3). And while there were many who disobeyed the law of God, Manoah and his wife (Samson's parents) served the Lord.
The Bible doesn't say what caused his parents to agree to the marriage but we are told in Judges 14:5,7) that an agreement of marriage was made with the Philistine family. In fact, we are told in verse 7 that [the woman from Timnah] pleased Samson.
So here we are, the wedding vows have been made and we're at the reception. Again we have a case of "chicken merry, hawk de near". On the third day, Samson posed a riddle to his guests.
He knew nobody would have guessed the answer and it must have made him feel superior to be "smarter" than everyone else. I can imagine a smug little smirk on his face when he listened to the answers as one by one each guest made an attempt to solve the riddle.
But Samson didn't think about what the Philistines would have done after days of failure. Especially since they knew failing would have cost them financially.
He had to learn the hard way that:
The woman from Timnah is mighty quiet for the first three days of the feast. Maybe she was silently gloating about how smart her husband was. After all, nobody could solve the riddle, not even her.
On the fourth day, some young men said to her: "Trick your husband into solving the riddle for us. If you don't, we'll burn you and your family to death. Did the two of you invite us [just to make us poor]?"(Judges 14:15 GW)
Mrs. Samson had a dilemma: should she remain loyal to her husband or should she save her life and that of her father's?
The relationship was based on nothing but lust and so it quickly crumbled at the first hint of trouble. She became very vocal (and whiny ... can you hear her whining?)
"You don't love me." Drip. "You hate me." Drip. "How could you ask a riddle and not tell me the answer?" Drip. Drip. Drip. And on and on she went. For four days!
Have you ever had a child beg for something? Over and over and over again? Can you imagine how much more annoying that is when an adult does it?
Finally, on the seventh day he told her the answer. I really like how the NLT put it: "she tormented him with her nagging (Judges 14:17)."
That was the beginning of the end. As soon as she got the answer she told the young men who proudly came to Samson with the answer.
There was no doubt about it, he knew exactly how the Philistines got the answer and he was mad!
You can read the entire story in Judges 14:1-20. But let's fast-forward to verses 19 & 20. Samson abandoned his wife and went back to his father's house.
This Hollywood marriage lasted 7 days before crumbling under the crush of a whine.
There are times when we get a little bit on our soap boxes and feel that we have to talk about ... whatever. Over and over and over again. Are we starting to sound like a leaky sink? Is this how we want to be in our marriages?
Father, I invite Your presence in my marriage. Cover those weak areas where I falter. Where I am contentious, give me Your grace. Soften my words with love and teach me when to speak and how to say nothing at all. In Jesus' name. Amen.
A nagging spouse - like a leaky sink - can cost us a lot. It starts out small and seemingly insignificant but can wear down even the strongest material.
Are we making our homes places of welcome? Or places of despair?