I read about the life of Samson a while ago and something stood out for me for the first time. I remember hearing/reading children’s bible stories about Samson as a child. We all know how strong Samson was and how Delilah tricked him so that he lost his strength, etc. But somehow I never noticed that Samson was born to “begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines”. God had a purpose for this life of Samson. He planned his birth and He had a plan with his life.
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be educated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.”
Reading more about his life, what struck me about Samson’s character is how selfish he was! He did what he wanted when he wanted and that was that!
Example: Samson wanted to marry a Philistine (his first wife, before Delilah) even though he was an Israelite. This didn’t seem like God’s will, but it was! Through this marriage going sour, Samson did a lot of damage to the Philistines.
…But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.” His father and mother didn’t realize the LORD was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time
Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a present to his wife. He said, “I’m going into my wife’s room to sleep with her,” but her father wouldn’t let him in.
“I truly thought you must hate her,” her father explained, “so I gave her in marriage to your best man. But look, her younger sister is even more beautiful than she is. Marry her instead.”
Samson said, “This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.” Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails. Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines. He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain. He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.
In the end, the death of Samson fulfilled his life purpose. And even then he destroyed the pagan Philistine temple because of his own selfish purposes. He wanted to get back at the Philistines for taking out his eyes!
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.
Isn’t it amazing how God can use even our own selfish wills to accomplish His will?