Samson may have tamed lions (by killing them with his bare hands). He should have tamed his desires by bearing them to God.
1 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” 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. 5 Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. 6 Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson’s eyes. (Judges 14:1-7–ESV)
Untamed eyes: Samson went and Samson saw
In verse one the course of his life is set afire by where he went and by what he saw when he went there. For Samson seeing is desiring. While Samson was a child of Israel and one whose miraculous conception was announced by an angel he had not been tamed by his family or his nation.
A theme that I wish to ensure we understand is: God is always at work. God is not on call; God is at work. God is not sitting in heaven minding his own business watching the angels play football while he awaits a human to send up a prayer text to his phone. No, God is watching the world and all of its people. God is arranging and sending messengers and firing off memories and setting up circumstances all so that the people who he made can live and live well. God gave us his plan and there are dangers in life that the following of God’s plan teaches us to avoid. The story of Samson fits very well with this. Remember that the Philistines exist and the Israelites intermingle with them as a result of national disobedience. The nations were not driven out. The nations became a snare to Israel. God had given instructions to his people and they had not obeyed. The point was not just obedience. The point was protection. That point was still in effect. At the point of Samson’s life the nations and Israel were rather considerably intermixed. That made the seeing and the desiring and the acting on those desires all the more doable.
How do we tame our eyes?
- God’s plan must be held as of higher value than absolutely everything else
- This requires daily prayer, daily scripture reading and daily alignment with God
- God always gives enough strength
- Spend some time thinking about what things or thoughts need to be tamed.
- Take those things to God in prayer. Seek his answers for the taming.
- As far as is possible remove the things in your life that are a snare for you
- I stopped getting my news from foxnews.com because they almost always included racy photos on their pages. (now don’t go looking if that is something that needs tamed)
- If you know a thing is a snare for you then do not go there.
Untamed goals: Samson demanded their fulfillment
Having made his decision the next thing he had to do to achieve his untamed goal was get the parents to make the arrangements. To that end upon returning from Timnah he announced his inclinations to his parents. He did not come home and tell them what he would like to do. He just came home and announced what must be done.
Since the days of Moses there was to be no intermarriage with those outside of Israel. An example of this injunction is recorded in Deuteronomy 7 (verses 3-4). This was not a racial thing, but a religious thing. A similar injunction to the Christian to not marry the non-Christian is outlined in 2 Corinthians 6:141. It is important that the members of a family have spiritual unity. God was building a people for himself who were his very own. Those people were to aim for a proper godliness. That was the highest mark; the most crucial initiative.
The Jew of Samson’s day and the followers of the Messiah Jesus of our day are called out from the world. These are all rescued by God’s great love. Samson was not allowing himself to come up under the guidance of God. His parents were not ignorant of the law and tried to dissuade him from this marriage. Samson, though aware of this, had little regard for the Law of Moses.
Some people will try to balance righteousness with “earthliness.” Samson was not trying to balance these. He had little regard for God’s word. We, though, may personally get caught in this struggle or may see others in it. In Samson’s case it might be termed a “God versus the girl” struggle. Some when trying to balance righteousness with earthly beauty will prefer the earthly beauty. That priority is wrong. To avert that error one must be careful where the feet go.
How do we tame our goals?
- Know the scriptures (don’t be ignorant of what God has told us in his word).
- Regard God’s word above all else.
- Fix the eyes on eternal things (see 2 Corinthians 4:18).
- Spend some time thinking about your goals and aims.
- Are they godly?
- Do they fit with God’s word?
- Do you have to rationalize them?
- Consider how certain things in your life have been thwarted.
- Could it be that God has thwarted them in order to keep you on the right track?
- We have heard it said, “If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again2” Well don’t do it if it is the wrong thing! It is possible that something has not succeed because of God’s good grace and mercy.
- Don’t try to balance righteousness with “earthliness”