Samson was chosen by YHWH to be judge and leader of Israel and to bring, on many occasions, victory to Israel over the Philistines. I find there is much more though to reflect on than just the simple children’s story about a man with great strength. He was gifted by YHWH, but showed a callous disregard for YHWH’s ways. He seems very arrogant and self reliant rather than consistently seeking YHWH.
There is no wisdom in seeking to marry someone who does not share your faith. YHWH actually warns against it elsewhere in the Bible. We see time after time when God’s people mix with others, they are drawn away from him and into worship of false gods. We are not to mix and mingle. There is no wisdom in seeking to marry someone you have only seen and not even met.
While YHWH does not endorse or approve of Samson’s attempt to marry a Philistine in Judges 14, verse 4 tells us it was of the LORD. The LORD was planning to use this situation for his purposes. Ironically, Samson’s parents were correct in their objecting, but YHWH had more unusual plans this time around on how to use Samson’s disregard for his ways.
We also understand that a Nazarite should not only not cut his hair, but also not touch dead bodies. Samson disregarded this often, but quite clearly while eating honey from a dead lion’s mouth. Samson appeared to have quite a disregard for YHWH’s ways.
YHWH showed him mercy and grace in abundance and still used him, but as we all know how the story ends, Samson’s arrogance and carelessness eventually brought about his downfall. YHWH will choose and use whom he chooses, even if we don’t understand why.
I find it worth puzzling over and reflecting on to consider how and why the LORD continued to use Samson despite all his flaws. Clearly we can be encouraged that we too can be used by our Creator despite our flaws, but we should none the less try to be more focused in living according to YHWH’s ways and less focused than Samson was on doing things our own way.
1Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2So he came back and told his father and mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.” 3Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she looks good to me.” 4However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.
5Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him. 6The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. 7So he went down and talked to the woman; and she looked good to Samson. 8When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. 9So he scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.
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