Samson’s Sin or God’s Plan?
As we continue a look at the life of Samson, there is something interesting to me in the beginning of his story. You can read all of Samson’s life in the Old Testament book of Judges, chapters 13-16. In chapter 14 we read that Samson wanted a wife from the people of the Philistines, something that God had specifically told His people not to do. Let’s pick up the narrative in chapter 14, verses 3-4: 3 Then his father and mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.” 4 But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord—that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
It is verse 4 that has me thinking. When the Bible says that “it was of the Lord”, that God was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines…what does that mean exactly? Did God direct Samson to do the wrong thing by asking for the Philistine wife so that He could put His plan in motion? Or, did God use Samson’s sinful desires as a way to put His plan in motion? What do you think? I am going with door number 2. I don’t believe that God put it into Samson’s heart to sin, or caused him to sin. That is not possible. We are told that God never tempts us to sin and I think that the idea that God would “cause” Samson to sin is inconsistent with God’s nature.
Rather, what I think we see here is God using Samson’s sinful choice for His purpose. Samson went against God’s plan by wanting to marry the Philistine woman, but God decided to use Samson’s sinful plan for His glory anyway. That’s the way I think God worked it in Samson’s life and the way He works in our lives as well. God doesn’t tempt us to sin. But when we do sin, God is always able to take our sinful choices and turn them for our good and for God’s glory. So, Samson’s sin is not God’s plan but Samson’s sin becomes part of God’s plan. How does that make you feel? To me, that is comforting. I know that not even my sin can mess up God’s ultimate plan. I know that even my failures do not lead to God’s failure; and in fact, God can use my failures for His success. That’s not an excuse to sin…Samson pays dearly for His sin…but the sin of man can never thwart the plan of God. Amen for that!