4/23 Judges 14:4

4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

Samson had a problem that is all too prevalent today: "lust at first sight." Though God had given him a great gift, Samson could not control his passions. The story begins with him asking his father to arrange a marriage to a Philistine woman he saw. The father pleads for him to take a wife from his own people, but Samson insisted on the Philistine woman because she was pleasing in his eyes. I would call this idolatry. He thought a certain form would bring him satisfaction.

Woman after woman, Samson never seemed to learn to discern that real beauty is inward. However, as our verse today shows us, God used his spiritual weakness to beat back the oppressors of Israel with physical strength. God will have His way in spite of our failures. We just miss out on the eternal rewards of being obedient servants and the joy of cooperating with the Holy Spirit.

The story of Samson covers so many chapters because men have had the same problem throughout history. An unguarded heart that gives in to lust will destroy a man's ministry. The Philistines finally captured Samson and put out his eyes. That is interesting, because his eyes were the entryway for his problem. You could almost understand that as the mercy of God. Remember that Jesus said, "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off" (Mark 9:43). God may allow us to be afflicted to save our ministry. Many of God's servants have Jacob's limp.

Consider: What could Samson have accomplished with God's help if he had tamed his passions? Is there something in your life keeping you from being all that God has called you to be?