Bible Commentary: Judges 14

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Judges 14

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Samson's Weakness Did Not Limit God

Samson's life as a deliverer for Israel stands in sharp contrast to the other deliverers God raised up for Israel. Despite such promising beginnings, Samson showed himself susceptible to being foolishly enticed by the world. God did not want the Israelites intermarrying with pagan gentiles, but Samson took a Philistine woman as his first wife. Also, Samson, as a Nazirite, should have avoided any uncleanness, but he took the honey from the carcass of the lion, which would have rendered the honey unclean (compare Leviticus 11:24-38 Leviticus 11:24-38 [24] And for these you shall be unclean: whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the even. [25] And whoever bears ought of the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. [26] The carcasses of every beast which divides the hoof, and is not cloven footed, nor chews the cud, are unclean to you: every one that touches them shall be unclean. [27] And whatever goes on his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean to you: whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the even. [28] And he that bears the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean to you. [29] These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, [30] And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. [31] These are unclean to you among all that creep: whoever does touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. [32] And on whatever any of them, when they are dead, does fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. [33] And every earthen vessel, into where any of them falls, whatever is in it shall be unclean; and you shall break it. [34] Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. [35] And every thing whereupon any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean and shall be unclean to you. [36] Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean. [37] And if any part of their carcass fall on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. [38] But if any water be put on the seed, and any part of their carcass fall thereon, it shall be unclean to you.
American King James Version×
). In short, Samson was a hardheaded man, but God would use that as a means of provoking the Philistines and delivering Israel.

The marriage of Samson, and the trickery that attended it, also shows that Samson was easily manipulated by the object of his desire. Neither his first, unnamed, wife, nor the woman Delilah would prove to be loving, faithful wives—but, rather, willing tools in the hands of the Philistine oppressors. Moreover, Samson seemed to be generally blind to their deceits.

These kind of strange personal characteristics in a deliverer of Israel seem to be contradictory to the purposes of God. But in the case of Samson, God intended to use just such a man to seek an occasion against the Philistines (Judges 14:4 Judges 14:4But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
American King James Version×
). God can use the most unlikely of instruments to accomplish His purposes, even the very weaknesses and sins of men. If this is so with the weaknesses of God's servants, how much more when His servants purge themselves of sin and weakness and become truly holy and spiritually strong! Let us all strive to be just such excellent tools in the hands of our awesome God.