Daily Devotion for November 19, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Samson Part 3 — Samson's Riddle
After some time, when he returned to get her, he left the road to see the lion's carcass, and there was a swarm of bees with honey in the carcass. He scooped some honey into his hands and ate as he went along. When he returned to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it. But he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey from the lion's carcass.
His father went to visit the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do. When the Philistines saw him, they brought 30 men to accompany him.
"Let me tell you a riddle," Samson said to them. "If you can explain it to me during the seven days of the feast and figure it out, I will give you 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes. But if you can't explain it to me, you must give me 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes."
"Tell us your riddle," they replied.
So he said to them: "Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet."
Notes on the Scripture
Until about 100 years ago, riddles were told somewhat differently. Instead of asking a question, the person posing the riddle would recite a poem describing something in a clever way. To answer it well, the responder would write another poem (although sometimes they would just guess it, as we do today). Also, riddles were not as dependent on puns as they are today.
You should be able to guess the answer to Samson's riddle, since it appears in the first verses of today's Scripture. The Philistines could not possibly know the answer. No human except Samson knows about his encounter with the lion.
Consider how brash and provocative Samson's riddle is. We know that God wants to provoke a war with the Philistines; this is the very reason Samson has insisted on taking a Philistine wife (Judges 14:4). How bold and rude it would be for a foreigner to come into your town to marry your daughter or sister or friend, and tell the wedding party, "Okay, I'm going to tell you a riddle, and if you get it right I'll give you $1,000 each, and if you don't get it, you each give me $1,000." Such conduct is bound to give offense. By telling an impossibly difficult riddle, he is going to coerce them to pay him a considerable sum.
Yet this is just what Samson does. He is provoking the Philistines intentionally, because his action is bound to make them angry.
The riddle also continues the metaphor mentioned yesterday. The lion represents the Philistines. Out of the eater — the Philistines who have conquered and occupy Israel — comes something to eat: the conquerer will be conquered and will give up the fruits of the land.