When we last left Samson he had just left his new wife, who was a Phiistine, and returned to his father’s house, after having killed 30 Philistines at his wedding celebration.
Today, as we rejoin him, his anger has cooled and he goes to his father-in-law’s house to make up with his wife, gift in hand. His father-in-law informs him that his wife has been given to another man.
So Samson proceeds to burn the crops of the Philistines, which causes them to kill Samson’s wife and her father, since the Philistines blame them for this great economic harm that Samson has wreaked upon them.
The question has to be asked: Why did Samson want this Philistine woman in the first place. He was, after all a Nazarite, which means that he was dedicated to the Lord. Why would this man want a woman from the people who were such enemies of the Jews? For the answer, we go back to chapter 14, verse 4: Now his father and mother did not know this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion against the Philistines.
In my opinion, this is a prime example of how the Lord works in mysterious ways, which by the way, is not a scriptural quote as far as I can tell. To me it seems as if God could have chosen so many other ways to defeat the Philistines, but of course, who am I to second guess God?
In the life of Samson, God used his weakness for women to deliver a terrible blow to this race of people who were so evil to God’s chosen people.
In the beginning of chapter 16, Samson is with a prostitute. After that, he falls in love with another Philistine woman named Delilah. And because of his love for her, and her deceptive, manipulative charms, his hair is shorn (which causes his great physical strength to leave him), he is blinded, taken captive and made a slave to the Philistines.
The loss of his physical sight seems to restore his spiritual sight, however, and when he is brought in to entertain the Philistine hoi polloi, he prays and asks God to restore his strength so that he might take revenge on them for what they have done. God hears Samson, and Samson kills more Philistines at his death than he did during his entire life. And this is what God had in mind from the very beginning of Samson’s life.
Remember back in chapter 13, verse 4 when the angel of the Lord told Samson’s mother that she would be having a son? Part of the angel’s message was, “You must never cut his hair, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
Who knew that this was how it would happen? We never know what God has in mind. All we can do is trust that His plan is right, that He is good, and that His will will be done. And I’m supremely okay with that. How about you?