Judges 14 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“But his father and mother said to him, ‘Can’t you find a young woman among your relatives or among any of our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines for a wife?’ But Samson told his father, ‘Get her for me, because I want her.’ Now his father and mother did not know this was from the L_rd, who was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. At that time, the Philistines were ruling over Israel.” Judges 14:3-4

We must discuss the interpretation of verse 4. Samson’s pleasure rather than his purpose carried the day. Samson was a typical “Judges” man….high on doing his own thing. Verse 4 tells us of G_d’s secret: The L_rd was after an opportunity for striking the Philistines; He seeks grounds for opening a quarrel and He is using Samson’s sinful lust in order to accomplish His purpose.

Here would have been a real comfort for Samson’s parents had they known this situation was from the L_rd, who was “seeking an occasion against the Philistines”. This does not mean they were wrong to object to Samson’s desires and action. Nor does it mean that that Samson’s desires were virtuous or that his bull-headedness was right. It means that neither Samson’s foolishness, nor his stubbornness is going to prevent the L_rd from accomplishing His design. G_d can and will use the sinfulness or stupidity of his servants as the camouflage for bringing His secret will to pass.

Ehud Avriel took three months (1947-48) looking for a ship to transport some of his purchases to British Palestine. At last, he was able to hire the Nora, a tramp steamer in the Yugoslavian pert of Brno. To all eyes his shipment consisted of Italian onions – 600 tons of them. British customs agents would not likely sniff around that cargo for long! Which was the idea – the 600 tons of onions covered the real cargo, a shipment of Czech rifles Avriel had purchased for the Haganah, Israel’s army.

Today’s passage, then, should hold out some hope for G_d’s people. Frequently, all we can see are the onions of a situation. The sin or the “smell” of disappointment seems to dominate the scene and cover the bigger picture. But, perhaps, that is only the cover for the L_rd’s “secret work”; perhaps, our greatest comfort is hidden in what we don’t know or can’t see; perhaps, it is “from the L_rd”, who has His own saving design to work either through Manoah and his wife.

Many believers have, though realizing their own sinful inadequacies, faithfully taught, prayed for, disciplined and loved a son or a daughter…only to see that child willfully turn away from the L_rd. No one can deny it is anything but devastating. Yet no one should forget verse 4: “Now his father and mother did not know this was from the L_rd.”

What we don’t know may yet prove to be our deepest comfort. We don’t know what the future holds, but we trust Him who holds the future.

~Steve Wiggins
Daily Devotional, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014