Today’s Reading: Judges 11:29-15:20
Have you ever planned an event or an outing and had it all gone wrong? You work hard to plan out every detail, take everything into consideration, research all possibilities and it still turns our wrong. It can be quite frustrating, unnerving and depressing.
Today’s story of the birth of Samson is an excellent example of this. His birth was foretold, he was raised in all the right ways and it just didn’t work out so well. Why do these things happen that way?
As you read Judges 13 you will have to note some things about the birth of Samson:
- His birth was announced by the angel of the Lord. vs. 2-3
- His mission in life was declared by God before he was born. vs. 3-6
- He was raised by godly parents. v. 8
- He was blessed by God as a young man. v. 24
- He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. v. 25
There is no other Old Testament Bible character that had so much going for him. He was on a path of destiny. The future was his oyster, he simply had to obey and follow the path set out for him my God.
What went wrong?
As we move in Judges 14 we realize that even though Samson had all that preparation and training and attention from God, he still was a human, capable of doing his own will. Capable of sin. In this chapter we begin to see the flawed clay pot that he was. His flawed character traits begin to reveal themselves.
He is tempted by a good looking Philistine woman, A women he should not be interested in. Not only was he interested in her, he desired her against the advice of his father.
Judges 14:1 -3
1 One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. 2 When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.”
3 His father and mother objected. “Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?” they asked. “Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?”
But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.”
But, as we saw in yesterday’s post, God can use cracked pots. For we see that God was going to use Samson’s weak character to bring about God’s will.
4 His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.
Later, we see another flaw in Samson’s character, he is interested in dead things, even through as a Nazirite he was supposed to avoid dead things.
Judges 14:8 – 9
8 Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. And he found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass. 9 He scooped some of the honey into his hands and ate it along the way. He also gave some to his father and mother, and they ate it. But he didn’t tell them he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.
Samson decides to go forward with the marriage to the forbidden Philistine woman. He even has a party with men from her home town, a bachelor party with alcohol that he is forbidden to partake in as a Nazarite. As the story goes on we see that he succumbs to the tears of his forbidden bride and tells her the answer to a riddle he had offered at their wedding. His deceitful wife told others and Samson was responsible for having to give 30 men robes as a prize. The woman Samson was forbidden to marry betrays him to others. Samson responds to her pleas and demonstrates the flaws in his character once again.
The story of Samson goes on as he seeks revenge, demonstrates a lack of control over his anger and once again falls for women that he should not be involved with. He is a flawed vessel. He should have been cast aside by the potter, but he isn’t. As you read the story today and tomorrow, you will see that Samson is not fulfilling the promise of his youth. He blows everything that was invested in him, his parent’s investment in him, the blessings of God, the Nazirite training – all gone to waste. Or so it appears.Keep reading about Samson, and see how God uses another cracked pot to fulfill his will. Maybe Samson is another for our “Cracked Pot” Hall of Fame – what do you think?