I have to admit, this is one of those chapters in the Bible I don’t understand. It has some pretty cool stories. First, Samson ties the tails of 300 foxes together, puts a torch in each pair, then sets them loose in the fields of the Philistines. That must have been a cool site. Can you imagine the looks in those foxes eyes as they tried to run away from their partner, and the fire on their tail, but couldn’t. Can you imagine the faces of the Philistines as they see these foxes running through their fields tied together with the torch burning down their fields. Then Samson kills one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Now that’s the weapon of choice.
While all this is pretty cool, and true, what I don’t understand is how God would use Samson. He’s impulsive, proud, and not really worried about obeying God. But God still accomplishes His plan through Samson. God had a covenant with the Hebrews, which included promises of deliverance and protection when they trusted Him. After years of oppression by the Philistines, God acted on behalf of His people. The Philistines livelihood was messed up, so instead of making war on the Israelites, they would have to spend extra time trying to come up with food. And 1,000 of their men are gone, which depleted their army and hindered their capability of fighting God’s people. God is using Samson to bring judgement on the Philistines because of their evil treatment of the Jews. But why Samson?
But you see, that is just it. God is going to accomplish His will and purpose. If God wants to send revival to an area, He will do it. If God wants to send judgement to an area, he will do it. Nothing you or I do will stop God’s plan. Often, we have bought into the idea that there are good people and bad people, and God only likes the good people. It only seems rational that God is searching out and finding the people who really love him and live perfect lives. Their kids are wonderful, and they always break into prayer, and they have a certain glow. The only problem with this perspective is the Bible, especially the story in the Old Testament. Samson is one of a myriad of totally whacked out people that God chooses as an instrument of His Divine purpose. The reason is that ultimately the story of the Bible is not about good people and bad people. We are all bad, sinful people. The story of the Bible is about God’s grace and the fact that He is the Sovereign King of the universe who will accomplish His purpose.
But we can decide how we will fit in that plan. If we respond to God with faith, love, and obedience, we will experience blessing and contentment, no matter what is happening in the world around us. But if we are proud and try to do it our own way, we will experience the consequences of sin and defeat. While God does use Samson, it does not go well for Samson. In the end God saves both the Jews and Samson, but the path is very painful. If you are a follower of Jesus, you may choose a rebellious, unbelieving path. But that path will not go will. Still, God will still accomplish His plan.