Samson's riddle unriddled!
"Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done. And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating" Judges 14:5-9
Conflicts come to us when we are least prepared for them. Samson was walking in the vineyards of Timnath, thinking of anything but lions, and "Suddenly," says the Scripture, "a young lion came roaring toward him!" Fresh and furious, a young lion is the worst kind of beast that a man can meet with. Let us expect, as followers of Christ, to meet with strong temptations, fierce persecutions, and severe trials, which will lead to stern conflicts.
What a type we have here of our Divine Lord and Master, Jesus, the conqueror of death and Hell. He has destroyed the lion that roared upon us and upon Him. To me, the comparison seems wonderfully apt and suggestive. I see our triumphant Lord laden with sweetness, holding it forth to all His brethren — that we may have our lives sweetened and our hearts filled with joy.
All this is clear to the eye of faith, which unriddles the riddle. Alas, when under deep depression, the mind forgets all this, and is only conscious of its unutterable misery — the man sees the lion, but not the honey in its carcass. But faith finds honey in the lion!
"This riddle may be an emblem of those sweet blessings of grace which come to the people of Christ through His having destroyed Satan the roaring lion, and all his works." (John Gill)
"This riddle may be viewed as referring to the blessed results of affliction to the Lord's children." (Arthur Pink)
"Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson. But if we overcome them, the next time we see them, we shall find a nest of honey within them!" (John Bunyan)