beyond our pay grade
Judges 14:10-20 (JDV)
Judges 14:10 His father went to visit the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do.
Judges 14:11 When the Philistines saw him, they brought thirty groomsmen to accompany him.
Judges 14:12 “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 thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.
Judges 14:13 But if you can’t explain it to me, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” “Tell us your riddle,” they replied. “Let’s hear it.”
Judges 14:14 So he said to them: Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet. After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle.
Judges 14:15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Persuade your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father’s family to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?”
Judges 14:16 So Samson’s wife came to him, weeping, and said, “You hate me and don’t love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven’t explained it to me.” “Notice,” he said, “I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother, so why should I explain it to you?”
Judges 14:17 She wept the whole seven days of the feast, and at last, on the seventh day, he explained it to her, because she had nagged him so much. Then she explained it to her people.
Judges 14:18 On the seventh day, before sunset, the men of the city said to him: What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion? So he said to them: If you hadn’t plowed with my young cow, you wouldn’t have discovered my riddle!
Judges 14:19 The Breath of Yahveh came powerfully on him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty of their men. He stripped them and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. In a rage, Samson returned to his father’s house,
Judges 14:20 and his wife was given to one of the groomsmen who had accompanied him.
beyond our pay grade
When I was a soldier, lots of things happened in my unit that I could not understand. They were planned and had a purpose, but their purpose was beyond my pay grade.
Life could have gone wonderfully for Samson, except that was not what God wanted. God wanted the anxiety, the discontent, the animosity — even the violence. God’s plan included a failed marriage, ethnic rivalry — the whole nine yards. Samson’s story reminds us that we can have all kinds of chaos going on in our lives not because we are outside his will, but because he is doing something beyond our pay grade.
LORD, thank you for your involvement in our lives. Show us how to trust you in the midst of circumstances we cannot understand.