Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. (Jdg 14:5-6)
After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion. (Jdg 14:8-9)
One thing that causes Christians much confusion and difficulty is the issue of trials and suffering. Anyone who has walked the journey of faith for more than a moment will know, even if they don't admit it, that we as Christians are not immune from the effects of Adam's sin on this fallen world. Jesus himself promised us tribulation. Paul said we must pass through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.
Yet many have bought into a false teaching that assumes that once we come to Christ, everything will be a breeze. We will be shielded from all trials and sorrows by the grace and favour of God. As a result when the inevitable trials and difficulties do occur they are off guard and totally unprepared. Their faith is not ready, and they falter, thinking God is no longer for them or that he is no longer in control.
Peter warns us to watch out for our enemy who prowls like a lion. Why would this be necessary if God will never let him come near us? Those who teach in God's house have a responsibility to prepare God's people for when the lion attacks.
Samson, for all his faults, was a man chosen and anointed by God. Yet God did not spare him from the attack of the lion. It came at him with everything it had got. Its full onslaught of might and intimidation. A young lion, in full vigour, roaring with all its might - its sole aim to bring the man of God to a premature end.
But even though Samson has nothing in his hand, nothing in his own ability or resource to defend himself, he stands firm and in the power of God he overcomes.
This is what we must understand: Bad things will come against us, God never promised they wouldn't, but no matter what comes, we can always overcome! The promise of the Scriptures is not that no weapon forged against us will ever come against us, nor even that no weapon will draw blood, or cause us genuine hurt. The promise is that no matter what comes, it shall not prosper. Nothing can overcome those who stand firm in their faith in God. The lion can rush, the lion can roar, but the lion can never overcome. We can always overcome him if we stand our ground.
When the lion comes, he comes roaring. He roars, "Where is your God?", "How could he let this happen?", "Where is his protection when you need it?", "Why you?" But the hallmark of men of faith is this: they shut the mouths of lions! They are not intimidated by his roars, and they do not entertain his doubts. They stand firm and overcome.
Honey from the Lion is thus a delicious irony. That which came against the man of God to consume him is itself consumed, and becomes a source of strength. That which came roaring doubts, became a source of God's word.
We may not understand at the time why we go through times of trial and difficulty. We don't have to. We just have to stand firm in faith and overcome. But when we revisit them later, those past victories can speak to us and be a source of God's word to us.
They proclaim, "The God who was with you in all you overcame in the past, is the same God who is with you today to cause you to overcome anything you may face. He did not let you fall then; he will not let you fall now."
Honey from the lion is the food of warriors. It is the sustenance of those who are ready to overcome today, because they have already been tested and stood firm.
Alone on a hillside, tending his fathers sheep, a young boy with a deep love and devotion for God was attacked by a savage lion. Who knows whether at the time he understood why his loving heavenly father allowed such attack. What we know is this, later in life that boy saw a giant defying the God in whom he had stood firm, and as one who had tasted the "honey from the lion" he was able to declare with complete conviction:
"The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." (1Sa 17:37)