We go on to Samson. Here we see a child of promise, and one who gave the brightest promise. We see godly parents, and a true desire to bring their son up as he should go, “and the child grew and the Lord blessed him.” (Judges 13:24)
The Mother was apparently the stronger character, but there seems no suggestion that she acted in a way that was out of her place, or unseemly. If there was failure on the part of the parents in bringing up the boy, the Scriptures seems to have drawn a veil over it. The lesson for us parents in Samson’s history seems to be of a different kind. It is one of those parts of the Word of God in which parents through the comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.
A strong, willful, wayward young man was Samson. We might say the parents should not so easily have yielded to his demand, “Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.” (Judges 14:3). And very probably this is true. Is not Samson, just here, a true picture of modern youth? “She pleaseth me well”, or, “It pleaseth me well”, is too often sufficient reason for youth (or old age) to act in many things. They quite forget the One of Whom it is said. “Even Christ pleased not Himself.”
The parents may have failed in giving way to their son’s desires, though the Scriptures do not say so; on the contrary they tell us that “his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord.” (Judges 14:4). And what comfort this brings to us in our failure, we may see inscribed in golden letters: “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” (Judges 14:14). Every effort the enemy made to dishonor the Name of the God of Israel, He turned to work sorrow for the enemy and glory to His Own Name.
This in no way excuses Samson for all his willfulness and sin, but it does bring great comfort to an aching heart to know that the “prerogative of God is to bring good out of evil” –meat from the eater- sweetness from the strong. He still “maketh the wrath of man to praise Him”, and the old verse is still true, “We do know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
Such are some of the lessons of comfort that the story of Samson would teach us parents. And we do well to remember that Samson’s name appears in the honor lists of Hebrews Eleven.