Category Archives: Judges

In spite of our flaws…

God is sovereign and executes His will even through the mistakes, follies and disobedience of people. This is evident from the lives of Biblical characters. Samson is just one example.

But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”

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.

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. (Jud.14:3-9)

God’s servants are to follow God’s instructions in performing their God-given functions in His mission. Failing to do this, however, will not thwart God’s sovereign will and plan, but deprive us of our rewards.

Samson was set apart for God’s business from his mother’s womb. He was to be a “Nazirite” by vow, which means he must keep away from vine and all grape products, must not cut his hair or touch dead bodies. As a Jew he is also commanded not to marry non-Jews. Knowing all these, Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman.

What’s a Nazirite doing in the vineyard?!

On the way to the girl’s town he passes by some vineyards. By the very mention of the vineyard as a landmark I assume that he probably went into the vineyard, and perhaps ate some grapes. The text doesn’t say this, though. And to his surprise there appears a lion in the vineyard. It is not a place where you will find lions quite often. May be it was a reminder from God (like Baalam’s donkey facing the angel!) that he is off the mark. I make this assumption because Samson is doing this in secret without letting his parents know about it. His parents would have rebuked him had they known his waywardness. Any way, in spite of his waywardness God empowers Samson to tear the lion in pieces.

What’s the man of God doing with dead bodies?!

During the next trip to solemnize his wickedness Samson once again went off the road, perhaps into the same vineyard. This time, he touched the carcass and ate the honey scooped out of that dead body. This time again he kept it a secret and made a riddle out of it during his wedding feast. This ‘unequal yoking’ (as Paul calls it in 1Cor.6:14) has eventually led him to his downfall. Though God used him in spite of his sinfulness, he definitely missed out on God’s rewards. How much more could God have used him if only he walked in obedience.

Let’s not be found in places where God doesn’t expect us to be. Let’s not be caught up with things that are abomination to our God. Let’s be warned that God will accomplish His will in spite of us, and we will stand to lose the blessings that could be ours!