ESV - 4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.
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I humbly submit for your consideration: As the creator of everything seen and unseen, scripture tells us that HE claims or has the right to use in anyway HIS creations to accomplish HIS will. (Isaiah 46:5) To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? (Isaiah 46:10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:11) Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isaiah 45:1) Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; (Isaiah 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Bottom Line; (Isaiah 55:9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. The CREATOR uses the sometimes dormant unseen things HE placed or hard wired within the creation. That in HIS perfect timing will hear HIS call, moving HIS plans forward; HIS WORD DOES NOT COME BACK VOID. Many times we are discombobulated on this kabuki stage of life as things seem to make no sense for us. It's in these times that simple mountain moving faith that there a CREATOR with a plan that encourages us so. This CREATOR is the boundless grand mathematician with a great sense of humor? Doubt the humor part; look at whom HE calls or brings forth to do HIS mighty works, friend. In the Lords freedom... warrior on.
I view this question as more a statement than a question. It implit’s that God used the lust of his servant as a means to deliver his people from the oppression of another people. It is, in my opinion, a major oversimplification of the narrative. Yes, Samson should have steered clear of all Philistine women. He was to "begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines." (Jdg 13:5) That's what was told to his mother by the angel of the Lord when Samson's impending birth was announced to her. I assume he was told this by his parents at some point in his upbringing. The bible says 'Samson's mother bore him, called his name Samson, he grew, and the Lord blessed him’ (vs 24); nothing more was said. The first thing he did on record: he went to Timnah, saw a Philistine woman he liked and asked her to marry him (Jdg 14:1). I think the story is told this way to increase our knowledge of just how rebellious a man Samson was from the word 'Go.' It goes from bad to worse as the story unfolds. This story isn't told by an enemy of Samson or Israel, it was penned by a friend. I don't think this record is meant to extol the value of spiritual rebellion. Lust for an enemy of your soul (that's the story's casual reference), for that which is poison to your life, isn't something to which we readily admit, but it's as common as a head cold. We sometimes chase things that once caught, can turn and eat us alive. The best thing about the story of Samson's ministry (that's what it was, it was service to God) is that Samson is depicted as very normal; (actually he's what the church calls worldly; he's carnal) he was given the title, 'Nazarite,' and we know that God knew in advance how he would act. (He didn't act like a man with a God-given title). There are few stories that should encourage everyday people who are called into God's service, like the story of the life of Samson should. Abraham was summoned by God at the age of 75; Moses was 80. Samson was ordained before he was even conceived. He never did get it together, and God never gave up on using him. God didn't use Samson's lust to accomplish the deliverance of Israel. He used Samson's strength. Samson was a rebellious man; that was his weakness. He had a commission from God; that was his strength. His parents were told that Samson would begin to deliver his people from the hand of their enemy (the Philistines). There was no caveat given; it wasn't a conditional promise. The angel didn't say, 'If he will do this or that...' He said it definitively, and it was done just as he said. (Jdg 16:30) God doesn't make empty promises; it's the reason he makes them in advance of our actions. It's undeniable proof of his faithfulness to his word. That's the central point of this kind of account. God commissions a man; the man is clearly not worthy of God's presence in his life. God keeps his word to the man. Again, God is faithful to his word. That was Samson's strength! It can also be ours... Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
Humans often have a difficult time relating to GOD's viewpoint of things, since they imagine GOD as an omnipotent Being Who can do whatever He wants, so why should He 'tolerate' a long list of 'not quite what I was hoping for' scenarios? They certainly wouldn't if they had inexhaustible wisdom and power. Yet, that is exactly what we see in scripture. We never see GOD 'forcing' His 'highest and best will' upon anyone. He does always clearly state exactly what that 'highest and best' scenario is, but it is frequently ignored. For example, GOD never wanted 'Judges' at all. This was a 'compromise position' arrived at after Israel first ignored GOD's expressed desire to be their only King, the Lord ultimately agreeing with them to appoint Saul instead, (1 Samuel 8:4-9, 10:17-24). GOD knew that having 'earthly kings' would lead to apostasy and then punishment. The 'Judges' were later appointed because the apostasy had gotten so bad, the people had literally no one to guide them because their kings were corrupt and evil, and even the prophets were either being killed or embracing soothsaying and witchcraft under the same corrupt public pressure. So we must bear this in mind when we speak of Samson. He was 'separated out' under what was called the 'Nazirite Torah' which required that he did not even cut his hair, (a task typically done for men by women), drink alcohol in any form, (another activity often leading to sexual sins), or touch anything dead, (a task typically requested by women who alerted men to come and 'help' with the situation). Basically, the Nazirite code was primarily about preserving a 'holy separation' by keeping men away from women and situations where 'lust' was the likely end scenario. The downside of the Nazirite code and other similar codes is described in New Testament scripture: "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees: “Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch”? "Which deal with everything destined to perish with use, which are in accordance with the commands and teachings of men; which are matters having, to be sure, a word of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence." (Colossians 2:20-23). In other words, this 'holy separation' is only good if it is perfect and no one 'breaches' it. Unfortunately, someone always does, since no code given through men is ever 'perfect.' When it is breached, (as Delilah was able to do despite the many precautions taken), all of the suppressed 'fleshly indulgence' catches up to us and we end up as Samson ultimately was, sapped of his holy strength, literally blinded by his enemies and only able to do any good for GOD by destroying himself and them at the same time with one final godly act. That is FAR from GOD's 'highest and best' scenario. Yet, once Israel entered the 'compromise positions' of disobedience, this became the 'highest achievable good' which we can always count on GOD to offer us, even from the farthest possible place of disobedience. GOD would obviously prefer not to use lust or violence at all to achieve 'good' ends, but all things ultimately work together for good for those who love GOD and are called according to His purpose, (Romans 8:28). And if this is the unfortunate scenario we face ourselves, we should not recoil from it, since doing that is even worse. “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." (Matthew 10:16). This is a very challenging command of Christ, because it gives us the liberty to be as 'shrewd and worldly' as the most evil men, yet requires us to remain uncorrupted in the process. Most Christians choose one or the other. Some of us are willing to be 'worldly' and face evil for others on its own terms. Others remain naive while trying to avoid corruption. Both are 'compromises.'
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