Scripture reading for March 13th: Judges 13-16
The story of Samson revealed a mix of the supernatural power, the anointing of God and his carnal nature. Samson was born by supernatural intervention to a couple who was childless. His parents carefully listened to the instructions of an angel and raised this boy as a Nazarite, one set apart to God. (Numbers 6:1-21) God’s Spirit began to stir Samson early in his life. God was going to use him to deliver the Israelites from 40 years of bondage to the Philistines. (Judges 13:1)
As Samson grew, he was attracted to a Philistine woman in the town of Timnah. The Bible states that this was from the Lord, although his parents did not understand and sought to direct him to get a bride from his own people. (Judges 14:3-4) God specifically warned His people not to intermarry with those outside the faith. (2nd Corinthians 6:14) In this instance, God used Samson’s carnal tendencies to accomplish His purposes in attacking the enemies of His people.
Samson’s marriage to this woman never happened. She was given to one of his friends in the bridal company! This filled Samson with the desire for revenge and he lost his connection with God. Samson impulsively ate honey out of a lion’s carcass, a violation of the Nazerite vow. He was attracted to prostitutes and carnal women. How often men of God are distracted by their flesh!
Samson ended up in captivity with both of his eyes gouged out. He was mocked in the presence of Philistine officials. For the first time Samson asked God to help. (Judges 16:28) God answered and he was again given supernatural strength. God used him to destroy more of the Philistines in his death than in his life!
God can use us in spite of our sinfulness and carnal nature. But we can be deceived by it! We must guard against the carnal nature because it has the potential to blind us and take us to our death! How much better to walk in the Spirit and humbly follow Jesus each day!
Samson’s only recorded prayer: “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28)