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."
The promise held in the story of Samson quickly degenerates into the story of selfishness and dishonoring of God that marked his life. It was remarkable that God would use him despite himself. The story of Samson is the story of God's sovereign work even in our sinful choices.
Samson was infatuated with a Philistine woman. He begged his parents to arrange the marriage knowing full well that it was in violation of the Law. But God sovereignly worked this into His plan of delivering Israel. The fact that God was already with Samson was evident in this story. First in the killing of the lion with his bare hands, secondly in the solo assault he took on Ashkelon in which he took out thirty men just to settle a bet. Samson was not a the kind of guy you wanted against you!
The Philistine oppressors saw the great strength of this young man. And God was getting him noticed, ultimately to save Israel and to draw glory to Himself. But the Philistines were not the only victims of destruction. Samson was decaying even as God was using him... just like the carcass of the lion that God providentially turned into a beehive. Out of the rotting core of Samson's ambivalence, God was showing His sweet saving power.
Samson would be driven by the very thing we see in his first recorded speech to his parents. He would always want something for himself at any cost. And disobeying God became casual in that pursuit. It would only be at the end of his life that he saw the tragedy of his selfish pursuits. I wonder what his story might have been like with a little self-control, humility, and worship in his heart.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13