Summary: To get sweet things – particularly, the sweetness of a rewarding relationship – requires putting yourself in danger – taking a risk.
Feb. 11, 2001 Judges 14
“The risk of relationships” – part 1
Whenever I say the name “Samson”, there are probably two things that pop immediately into most people’s minds. They are great strength and Delilah. Most anyone who has even a little bit of biblical knowledge has heard the story of Samson and Delilah. But did you know about Samson’s first love? Did you know that Samson was married long before he ever met Delilah? That’s the story that we’re going to learn from today and next week.
Each of you has chosen to enter into different types of relationships. You have parent to child relationships, employee to boss relationships, teacher to student relationships, friend to friend relationships, and dog to master relationships. Have you seen the dog food commercial that talks about the special bond between a human and his dog? It’s as if the dog is talking, and he says, “I won’t scold you when you come home at 1:00 in the morning. I won’t get mad when you throw your clothes on the floor. You can drive as fast as you want as long as you roll down the window and let me stick my head out. I won’t question you about the smell of perfume on your clothes.” One famous dog to master relationship is in the Peanuts cartoon strip. In the relationship between Snoopy and the rest of the gang, it would be hard to say who is the master and who is the dog. In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Lucy says to Snoopy: “There are times when you really bug me, but I must admit there are also times when I feel like giving you a big hug.” Snoopy replies: “That’s me…buggable and huggable.” – Robert L. Short, Parable of Peanuts as recorded in Tale of a tardy Oxcart, p. 477 That could probably be said about a lot of us. Each type of relationship carries certain risks with it. There is always the potential for getting hurt. Of all the different types of relationships that a person can have, the greatest human relationship is between a man and a woman. Two little teardrops were floating down the river. One teardrop asked the other, “Who are you?” The second teardrop replied, “I’m from a woman who lost her lover. And you?” The first teardrop said, “I’m from the woman who got him.” – Michael Green, Illustrations for Biblical preaching as recorded in Tale of a tardy Oxcart, p. 477
The risk of entering into a relationship sometimes causes us to hold back. We put on thick armor in the hopes that we will never be hurt again. We see others hurt, and we determine in our heart, “That will never be me. I’m not going to make myself vulnerable just to have my heart trampled on!” A greater risk than being hurt in a relationship is the risk of never having a relationship at all.
In this passage of Scripture – Judges 14 – I want us to see some guidelines that will help us evaluate our present relationships, plan for new relationships and prepare ourselves for the costs that are associated with those relationships. To get sweet things – particularly, the sweetness of a rewarding relationship – requires putting yourself in danger – taking a risk. Even then, you may not get the outcome that you want. How are you going to respond? Is it worth the risk?