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Aug 6, 2018

A daily devotional walking through God's word together using The Bible Reading Plan at Our website

Today’s scripture from Judges 14 gives us a peek at how power and arrogance can warp a person’s emotions until wrong seems right. It happened to Samson and if we look around, it is everywhere today. So let’s first look at what God’s word says in Judges 14 starting at verse 11.
When the people saw Samson, they gave him 30 companions.
“Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to the companions. “The dinner will last for seven days. Give me the answer to the riddle before the dinner ends. If you do, I’ll give you 30 linen shirts. I’ll also give you 30 sets of clothes. But suppose you can’t give me the answer. Then you must give me 30 linen shirts. You must also give me 30 sets of clothes.”
“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”
Samson replied, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” For three days they couldn’t give him the answer.
On the fourth day they spoke to Samson’s wife. “Get your husband to explain the riddle for us,” they said. “If you don’t, we’ll burn you to death. We’ll burn up everyone in your family. Did you invite us here to rob us?”
Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him. She sobbed, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You have given my people a riddle. But you haven’t told me the answer.”
“I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied. “So why should I explain it to you?”
She cried during the whole seven days the dinner was going on. So on the seventh day he finally told her the answer to the riddle. That’s because she kept on asking him to tell her. Then she explained the riddle to her people.
Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town spoke to Samson. They said, “What is sweeter than honey?”
“What is strong than a lion?” Samson said to them, “You have plowed with my young cow.
If you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have known the answer to my riddle.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson with power. He went down to Ashkelon. He struck down 30 of their men. He took everything they had with them. And he gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Samson was burning with anger as he went up to his father’s house.
What were Samson’s rules? Don’t drink alcohol. He went on a seven day binge with 30 companions the town gave him for his bachelor party and he partied every day of those seven days. Don’t touch anything dead. He ate honey from that dead lion carcass, then made a riddle  of it when he was to have nothing to do with dead stuff. Only his third rule was intact, but we know that would not be intact for much longer.
Samson broke the rules and then was angry with everyone else when things went wrong. Just like we do. We think the rules apply to the other guy and then get mad at the world when things don’t work out the way we think they should.
We skimp on our work, just getting by with what we’re told to do and wonder why we are part of the crowd that gets a pink slip when the company downsizes. We gossip and bad mouth authority and leadership in general on our facebook page and wonder why the HR department didn’t even consider our resume. We fudge on our income tax filing and wonder why we pay heavily when we’re caught up in an audit. We pass through a really, really orange light at the intersection and wonder why the police stop us for running a red light. We travel along with a string of cars doing 70 in a 55 zone and wonder why we’re the one that gets the ticket.
What do we do? We get angry at the boss. We get angry at the government. We get angry at the HR department of that inhumane business. We get angry at the IRS. We get angry at that policeman. We get angry at the world and its unfair practices.
Well, the world isn’t fair. It’s full of sin and evil and corruption. But sometimes we bring on problems on ourselves. That’s what Samson did. He wasn’t supposed to be in Timnah in the first place. He wasn’t supposed to be engage to a Philistine woman. He wasn’t supposed to touch that dead lion after he killed it. He wasn’t supposed to get drunk with a bunch of enemy companions the city put at that bachelor’s party. He wasn’t supposed to murder 30 innocent men to pay a stupid debt he created by his inability to control his emotions.
Emotions are fickle things. We all have them, but if Samson’s parents had begun to teach Samson how to control his emotions at an early age, this might not have happened. If Samson had listened to the teachings of his elders and obeyed the laws God put in place to protect his chosen people from the idolatry and bending to every sensual pleasure Satan put in from of him, this might not have happened. If the Samson had the personal integrity to pay his debt, regardless where those companions got the answer, this would not have happened. And by the way, they got the answer from him because he could not resist his nagging wife. Who, by the way, again, was only trying to save her life and her family’s lives.
So, do you blow up at the wrong things? Do you participate in things you know you shouldn’t and then blame someone else when things go all wrong? Do you get angry at everyone but yourself? Is your life like it is because someone else made it that way and it would be so much better if only…”
That is where Samson was in his head and in his heart. It cost him everything. His integrity, his morals, his vows, his faith, his family. Ultimately it cost him is life. Learn from Samson. No one can make you feel the way you do except you. Do others have influence? Sure. But only you can emote anger or joy or peace or turmoil or calm or chaos or any emotion you can name. You are responsible for your emotions and no one else. So if you want to blame someone for the way you feel today, be sure to have a mirror handy.
You can find me at I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible based teaching. You can find out more about my church at Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.