We should ‘ALWAYS’ stay within our ‘BOUNDARIES’
March 16 Bible Reading: Judges Chapters 13-15
Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." 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." (Judges 14:1-3)
The entire period of Israel during the rule by judges can be summarized in the following words: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Samson, who became the 12th judge of Israel at the age of twenty, was no exception as his unrestrained lifestyle reflects someone who did not stay within his boundaries!
Even before Samson was born, God had listed several restrictions upon his mother to observe strictly in her life. These restrictions were repeated again to Samson’s parents upon request (13:13). Samson was meant to be a “Nazarite to God from the womb”, and his mother had to raise him carefully within God’s boundaries so that he could be a deliverer of the Israelites from the Philistines (13:3-5). As Samson grew up, he was blessed by God, and the Spirit of God began to move upon him occasionally (13:24-25).
However, Samson did not stay within his boundaries, and had a weakness for women. His whole life revolved around three women in particular: the Philistine woman in Timnah (14:1-15:20), the prostitute at Gaza (16:1-3), and Delilah from the Valley of Sorek (16:4-31). God’s law forbade the Israelites to marry foreign women (Exodus 34:16; Deut. 7:3–4), but they did not matter to Samson. His own parents rightly opposed his marriage alliance (v. 3), but Samson was bent upon having the Philistine woman as his wife for “she pleased him well” (v. 3b). Samson’s words revealed his self-centered attitude. Instead of seeking to serve God, Samson was seeking to please only himself!
Despite Samson’s disobedient and careless life, God was able to use him to gain occasions against the Philistines (vs. 4) and bring about His good purposes for Israel. Samson’s life is a sobering reminder for us concerning the tragedy of self-will, and it demonstrates to us that it is possible for us to experience the gifts and power of God without the blessing of God. When God is not allowed to rule, He will overrule (Prov. 16:33) but that is not an excuse for sin (Rom. 3:8). We may ignore our sins, but our sins will not ignore us. We eventually reap what we sow!