“Out of one who eats came something to eat; out of the strong came something sweet.” Judges 14:8
Samson’s heading down the road with his parents and a young lion jumps out and attacks him. Samson easily rips the jaws of the lion open with his bare hands. Later he passes the lion carcass and notices a swarm of bees have made honey in the carcass so like Bear Grylls he scoops the honey out to feed him and his parents. Funnily enough, he doesn’t tell his mum and dad where he got the honey from.
Samson’s riddle meant that he and his family got something sweet – honey 🍯 from that which was ready to devour him – the lion 🦁 with all its strength and fury.
We have a picture here of life (bees and honey and the resulting pleasure and strength) coming out of death.
It reminds me of the story of the bitter waters at Mara where Moses was to take some wood, threw it in the bitter water and the bitter water became sweet. Life and refreshing came out of bitterness once again.
It’s a great picture of the Cross where the ultimate honey came out of the carcass. From the sacrificial death on a Cross, came sweetness of new life. A lion came with its fury and strength to destroy Jesus as He hung on that cross but Jesus uttered that phrase “tetelestai” meaning “it is finished”. Victory over death was finished and now new life could spring forth.
And so Samson’s riddle is a great picture (foreshadowing) of the greater victory to come through Jesus.
And this gives us great hope for the devouring lion 🦁 experiences and bitter water experiences in our lives. “Something to eat” and “something sweet” can come from the carcass of that lion experience giving sustenance and pleasure not only for us but our families too. Why? Because “it is finished”! Because of Jesus’ death on the cross devouring lions and death no longer have the final say.
Why not? Well Samson was able to kill the lion and rip its jaws open with his bare hands because “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him”.
And guess what? The way to destroying the lions 🦁 of trouble that come against you is through destroying them with your bear hands with the same power and Spirit that enabled Samson.
That’s why Paul prayed you would have the eyes of your heart opened and understand the incredible greatness of Gods power for you. But it’s only available to those who believe. Faith in His power is the key to honey 🍯 from the carcass.
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT
So lions 🦁 of trouble come and attack us on the road of life. But how can we consider these as an opportunity for great joy? Well, by faith we can see the honey from the carcass. We believe in the power and knowledge and goodness of the all powerful One who can bring sweetness, strength, endurance and even pleasure from the very thing that tried to wipe you out. And the results are not just your own personal development and growth as a person but that honey is enough for your family and friends also. James reminds us of this bigger perspective we need to have of troubling lion experiences in our lives:
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2-4 NLT
Here’s some of the verses about Samson mentioned earlier:
“As Samson and his parents were going down to Timnah, a young lion suddenly attacked Samson near the vineyards of Timnah. At that moment the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat. But he didn’t tell his father or mother about it.”
Judges 14:5-6 NLT
“Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. And he found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass. He scooped some of the honey into his hands and ate it along the way. He also gave some to his father and mother, and they ate it. But he didn’t tell them he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.
So he said: “Out of the one who eats came something to eat; out of the strong came something sweet.” Three days later they were still trying to figure it out.”
Judges 14:8-9, 14 NLT