God “is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15), “the God of gods ... the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God” (Deuteronomy 10:17). Our God “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is sovereignly ruling and reigning today just as He did more than three thousand years ago when Sampson lived in Israel.
Sampson was born in 1150 BC, give or take a couple of decades. “He judged Israel twenty years” (Judges 16:31). As was common, especially during the period of the judges, the Jews“did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines” (Judges 13:1). As God’s Chosen Nation languished, God appointed a leader: Sampson.
As the story begins, “there was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was unable to conceive and had no children. The angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Although you are unable to conceive and have no children, you will conceive and give birth to a son’ ” (Judges 13:2–3). Like Isaac (Genesis 11:30), Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:21), Joseph (Genesis 29:31) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:7), Sampson was miraculously born to a momma who had previously been unable to conceive.
As a young man, but still long before the infamous “Sampson and Delilah” story unfolded, Sampson took a shine to a pretty girl. Wow, she was a looker! The problem was... she wasn’t an Israelite. She was a Philistine.
Sampson “went back and told his father and his mother, ‘I have seen a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Now get her for me as a wife.’ But his father and mother said to him, ‘Can’t you find a young woman among your relatives or among any of our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines for a wife?’ But Samson told his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me’ ” (Judges 14:2–3).
If I had been Samson’s daddy, I’m not sure what I would have said: “Bend over and grab your ankles!” or “Go to your room and stay there for about twelve years!”
The next verse brings us to the point of today’s musings.
“Now his father and mother did not know this was from the Lord, who wanted the Philistines to provide an opportunity for a confrontation. At that time, the Philistines were ruling Israel” (Judges 14:4).
Behind the celestial curtain, God was sovereignly ruling and reigning. Our Sovereign God made it possible for Sampson to be in the Philistine city of Timnah and to spy the pretty Philistine maiden. Why? So that God’s sovereign plan could come to fruition.
“A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). God is almighty, all-knowing, ever-present, never-changing, and sovereign!
All Scripture quotation, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.