Hope for bad boys…

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Scripture: Judges 14:1 Once Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw a Philistine woman. Then he came up, and told his father and mother, “I saw a Philistine woman at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among your kin, 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, because she pleases me.” His father and mother did not know that this was from the Lord; for he was seeking a pretext to act against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah. When he came to the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion roared at him. The spirit of the Lord rushed on him, and he tore the lion apart barehanded as one might tear apart a kid. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson. After a while he returned to marry her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. He scraped it out into his hands, and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.

Observation: Samson is a bad boy. By that I mean he’s essentially out of control. If you read the rest of this chapter you’ll see Samson doing great violence to both man and beast. He marries a Philistine woman, which is a no-no in his day. He eats honey – from the carcass of a lion. Gross! Not only gross, but a dead animal is ritually unclean for a Jew. To eat from the carcass of one is just plain over the top.

Yet, despite these and many more foibles, Samson is the one God had chosen to free his people from Philistine rule.

Application: I’ve never been as out of control as Samson, but I’ve definitely been a bad boy at times over the years of my life. Like Samson, I’ve done wrong things when I should have known better. And I’d like to say that’s all in my past, but it’s not. I may have gotten better over the years, but the stain of sin remains on me. Our story today blesses me because it shows that God can, and will, use flawed people to do his will. Even me. Even you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, first we take a moment to repent of our sins. Just because you use sinful people to do your will doesn’t mean we should keep up our wicked ways. Forgive our sins and heal us from all unrighteousness. Secondly, we pray that you would continue to use us for your purposes despite our shortcomings. Which are many. Mold us into people who serve you and do your will. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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