The LORD knows!
We live in a culture where what's pleasing to our eyes seems right to have or to ask for. And for the Christian, we deal with thoughts about bad choices getting in the way of God’s plan. However, I want you to know our bad decisions do not thwart the plan of God. Although bad decision bear consequences, God’s work will be advanced, even through those bad choices.
Today, I am going to cover Judges 14:1-4
My primary focus is the Sovereignty of God in decision making
Purpose of the book: Judges is named after an interesting collection of individuals who led Israel after Joshua’s death until the rise of the monarchy under Samuel (up to about 1050 b.c.). In this time of national decline, despite their promise to keep the covenant (Josh. 24:16–18) the people turned from the Lord and began to worship other gods. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). A pattern repeats throughout the book: 1) the people abandoned the Lord; 2) God punished them by raising up a foreign power to oppress them; 3) the people cried out to God for deliverance; and 4) God raised up a deliverer, or judge, for them. The author of the book is unknown, although some Jewish tradition ascribes it to Samuel.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jdg). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Three key about God in this book are: 1) God is patient; 2) God is able to accomplish his plan even through flawed individuals; 3) God held the Israelites accountable to His expectations of them
What does God say?
What does God say?
Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 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.” 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.
Samson goes into Philistine territory and desires to have a Philistine woman which intermarry outside of the Israelites is prohibited. Samson demands his parents, then addresses his father to arrange the marriage. Samson's parents inquired why he would not find a wife amongst his own people instead wanting one from the “uncircumcised” Philistines. Samson claims his reason is "she is right in his eyes." Finally, Samson's parents did not know the LORD was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.
First, reminder of the end result of Samson’s life: Heb 11:33 is to remind us Samson is considered to be one who demonstrated faith.
Samson demands his parents to arrange a marriage with a Philistine woman
In Deut 7:1-4 God commands the Israelites not to intermarry with seven tribes that were preoccupying Canaan. The Philistines was not one of them. However, . . . Ex 34:15-16 and Deut 7:1-4 passage explain intermarriage.
Samson was operating on appearance only. He did not care about the thoughts of his parents or thoughts of God but his own desires. The reference to the woman coming from the "uncircumcised" Philistines expresses disapproval or contempt. However, their disapproval was based on cultural and ethnic issues not issues associated with God's law or God's calling on his life, which includes the Nazarite vow (Num 6; Judg 13). The irony of the narrative is Samson, a man who essentially does whatever he desires without respect for the God's calling on his life or his parents, in the process ends up doing the will of God.
Here are some main ideas from the text: 1) God is sovereign; 2) Carnal men want what they see (1 John 2:15-17); 3) Humanity cannot prevent the purposes of God because God will even use those who are controlled by carnal desires to advance his work (Isa 45:5-7).
What can we do to change?
What can we do to change?
We struggle with carnal desires. There are people/things we see are right in our eyes to have. Sometimes we disregard God and others, God's word, and His calling on our lives to follow our own ways. We have a tendency to become unequally yoked in our relationships with others. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you with this: Even when we were sinners, God's work was advanced. God's saving work was accomplished through Jesus in the giving over of his Son into the hands of the wicked (Acts 2:22-24; 4:23-30). Nothing can prevent the purpose of God!
The passage applies to us in many ways. First, it glorifies God in knowing our bad decisions do not thwart His plans and purposes in any way. Instead, God's work is advanced even through human wickedness. We have a tendency to ask God for things, believing it is promised to us even when some things are not. We have a tendency to allow our eyes to dictate our desires instead of our love for God. Regardless, of good or bad God is sovereign. And sometimes we do not know but He does. Just as a good acts are seen as opportunities for God, evil ones are as well because He is sovereign. That does mean God incites or stimulates evil. Instead, it reminds us that no matter what, God is at work. Hence, why Paul wrote, "And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Ro 8:28).
Therefore, our response should be two fold: 1) Our eyes must be set on Jesus (Matt 6:22-24); 2) Seek the will of God (Ps 119:105; Matt 6:9-10; 33; John 4:34; Ro 12:1-2; James 4:15).
In light of what we read today, we must believe God is sovereign, even in human wickedness. We have evidence of this truth. His purpose is ultimately fulfilled in the death of Jesus under the hands of the wicked men, leading to the saving of our souls. You may not know why, but the LORD knows!