Judges 14:1-4

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 13, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, ‘I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.’ His father and mother replied, ‘Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’ (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)” (Judges 14:1-4)

Last week we heard about the special circumstances surrounding Samson’s conception and birth. His childhood was evidently uneventful, as we now pick up his story when he’s a young man getting ready to marry.

During this time, Israel was occupied by the Philistines. The city of Timnah was about 4 miles away from where Samson lived, and it was still very much Israelite territory even though there were many Philistines living there. The Philistine occupation of Israel was much more peaceful than previous oppressions, and the people were able to intermingle freely.

In that culture, marriages were almost always arranged by the parents. Samson choosing his own bride was a very unusual thing, but then he was an unusual person, having been set apart as a Nazarite even before his birth. Samson allowed his parents to make the actual arrangements for the wedding, but he wanted to choose his bride for himself.

At first, Samson’s parents objected because of God’s commands to not intermarry with non-Israelites, as in Deuteronomy 7:1-3, even though that passage does not specifically list Philistines. The Philistines were foreigners who did not worship the one true God whom Israel worshipped. When his parents suggest marrying a “relative,” they don’t mean his first cousin or something like that; they simply mean a woman from their tribe of Israelites.

Samson was determined to have the woman from Timnah as his bride, so eventually his parents reluctantly gave in. They were certain Samson would be ruining his life with that choice. But what they didn’t know was that God was already at work through this situation to redeem Israel from the Philistines.

While Samson wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to choose his own bride in that culture, here his parents reluctantly allowed him that opportunity, even if they thought it meant his life would be ruined. We are all given free will by God, so that we can make whatever choice we choose, in all areas of life. We can choose to follow Him, or we can choose to disobey Him; it’s our choice, but we need to be prepared to face the consequences of whatever choice we make according to God’s natural law.

Fortunately, just like Samson’s decision to marry the woman from Timnah, God can and will use any choice we make for His purposes. Even if it looks like we’re making a mess of our lives, God can redeem those bad choices for His purposes, especially if we turn to obeying Him later on, once we realize how much we’ve messed up. Want a real-life example of this? I would encourage you to check out a book called No Reason to Live, written by my friend Scott Mason. Scott made a lot of bad choices in his life, but when he finally turned his life over to God, God has used him in many ways to spread the Gospel message and help people making similar bad choices.

How are the choices you make affecting your life? Are you allowing God to use your choices for His purposes in your life?

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