The Trouble with Foxes For a lot of men, anger is a default emotion. When someone embarrasses us, rarely do we feel only embarrassment. Most of the time, that embarrassment also makes us angry. Nobody’s gonna make me look like a fool. They’ll be sorry they messed with me. That’s because when men experience something negative, anger is usually our automatic response.
You might have thought Samson’s reaction from yesterday was over the top—killing 30 guys to pay off a gambling debt—but he was just getting warmed up. Today we’ll see him really turn up the heat.
After Samson stormed off from his engagement celebration, his bride’s father was embarrassed that his future son-in-law had just disappeared. So he did what any father in that position would do: he gave her to another man in the wedding party! (This may not make sense to us, but it was appropriate in their culture at the time.)
In today’s reading, we’ll see what happens when Samson returns to find that his wife went to another man.
Let’s review Samson’s greatest hits so far: He went someplace he had no business going. He lusted after—then pursued—the wrong woman. He ignored his parents’ advice (and God’s wisdom). He touched dead things. He got drunk. He taunted the Philistines with his riddle. He gave his own secret away. He left his wife at the altar to go kill a bunch of guys.
And who was responsible for every single one of these actions? Samson himself.
Samson keeps getting mad at the world, but in reality, almost everything that happened was his own fault. At any point, he could have backed off, even just a little. If he had just taken a minute to cool off, maybe he even could have turned things around. Instead, over and over, he escalated every situation, forcing others to react.
Today, we’ll see how one more emotional decision from Samson forces an emotional response from the Philistines—and costs him everything he cares about.
What about you? If you’re angry at those around you, where is your responsibility in that? Could it be possible that at least some of the hard things you’re going through right now are the result—perhaps even the direct consequences—of your own choices? Really try to be honest with yourself here.
Do you feel tempted to make excuses for your behavior? If you do, it’s time to stop and fight that temptation. Own your part. Ask for forgiveness if you need to. And not just from God, but from the people your actions and attitudes may have hurt. Ask God’s Spirit to lead you. Then go make the hard changes he shows you.
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