Our Disobedience and Anger Can Be Used For God’s Purpose Through Samson
Read: Judges 13-15
When reading the story of Samson it appears in the beginning that Samson was getting away with doing what he wanted to do. However, this is not all true. The story of Samson is more of a story of his anger, temptation and disobedience more so than his strength. Sampson was born during the period of the Judges-when there was no ruler or king over Israel (Judges 17:6,).
The truth of the whole matter was that Samson was totally spoiled, so to speak, for he was the only child of his mother and father. Samson‘s parents saw him as being a special child from God and he was. God created Samson for His purpose (Judges 13:24-25).
When we, as God’s children, do crazy, evil and stupid things our God can use our bad behavior for His purpose and for our good in some cases, but not always. Whether or not we benefit from our evil and disobedience depends upon our response to God when we are in the midst of our disobedience and stupidity. The experience of temptation is common. Every person experiences it. Being tempted is not a sin; however, sin comes to us when we yield to temptation. The child of God should always remember when facing Samson-like temptation, we should remember God’s promise to us, “No temptation has overcome you except such as common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. He will make an escape path for you…” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Samson” story starts with the children of Israel disobeying the Laws (Judges 13:1). It is here that God starts entering the picture. This story is not unlike the story of Zachariah and his barren wife, Elizabeth when an Angel appeared unto them. (Judges 13:2-3).
The troubles for the Philistine began when Samson was roaming around among the Philistine women and saw one which “caught his eye” and he wanted her for his wife. As it was the custom, Samson went home and told his father about the woman and wanted the father to make marriage arrangements to get her as his wife. His father and mother knew this was against God’s law to marry outside of Israel people (Judges 14:3). Samson insisted that his father get the woman for his wife (judges 14:3). The parents did not know these events were being created by the Lord; Himself for the Lord was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistine because they had dominion over Israel at this time (Judges 14:4).
As Samson and his parents were on their way through the vineyard of Timnah (Philistine) to claim his new bride, a young lion came out against him. Samson killed the lion with his bare hands. However, Samson did not tell this incident to his parents. After marriage arrangements were made Samson’s family returned to Israel. On the way back home Samson turned aside to retrieve some of the honey which the bees had made in the carcass of the dead lion. He gave some to his parents to eat but did not tell his parents where he had gotten the honey from. Lying to one’s parents was a serious violation of the Nazarene law. Samson was in a hurry to get his wife, so Samson and his father went down to receive his new bride and give the traditional party (drinking party; against the Nazarene law) for the men in attendance (Judges 14:10). Samson didn’t have enough “party eats” to feed everyone. So he posed a riddle to the party and offered them clothing if they could answer his riddle within several days during the party. “Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet.” When the men couldn’t get the answer to the riddle, they begin to privately threaten Samson’s new bride and her family with fire if she didn’t give them the answer. Out of fear for her and her family’s life she coax the answer from Samson with constant crying, which gives the outside appearance that her husband didn’t love her. Samson finally gave her the answer to the riddle which she finally gave to the men at the party. The men gave Samson the answer to his riddle and Samson knew right then that they had coerced the answer out of his wife under duress.
The power of God came upon Samson and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty men, took their clothes and gave them to the men at the party who gave him the answer to his riddle. Later, when Samson had a need to see his wife again he came to her father's house who did not permit him to see her. I thought that you didn’t love her so I gave her to your best man, stated his father–in-law. Samson was furious. He went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied their tails together and put a torch between their tails and sent them through all the grain fields, vineyards, and olive groves in the community. The Philistine became angry at Samson and went up and set fire to his wife’s and family’s home and they were killed.
The Philistines chased after Samson who had gone back to Judah. While in Judah, the men of Judah took Samson into custody and turned him over to the Philistines. This they did to keep the Philistines from overrunning and killing them. On the way back and coming into a place called Lehi and being shouted down by the Philistine, The power of the Lord came again upon Samson and he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and he took it in his hand and killed a thousand Philistines with it. Afterwards he claimed he killed a thousand men and didn’t give God the glory or the credit for routing and finally defeating Israel’s enemy. And when he became thirsty, he complained that God was going to let him die of thirst. This was Samson’s first prayer to God.