This is the record of tragic things. The boy Samson had grown to manhood's estate full of strength and passion. Going to Timnah, he saw a woman of the Philistines and desired to take her to wife. His parents attempted to dissuade him, but he allowed himself to be swept by his passion and determined to realize his own desires. All through the transactions connected with this woman, he is seen as a man of animal strength, bold, adventurous, determined, and of sporting propensities. There is nothing to admire in him in all his doings.
Two things, however, in the course of the narrative arrest our attention. First, the statement, "His father and his mother knew not that it was of Jehovah" (verse 14:4) ; and, second, the declaration, "The Spirit of Jehovah came mightily upon him" (verse 14:19). In these statements the fact of the overruling of God is clearly revealed. The phrase, "It was of Jehovah," is used in the sense in which we find it in Joshua 11:20. God makes even the wrath of man praise Him as He compels it to contribute to the accomplishment of His own purpose. This fact, however, in no sense justified the sin of Samson in seeking a wife of the Philistines in violation of the expressed commands of God. The impetuous passion in which he slew thirty men of the Philistines to pay his sporting debt was utterly reprehensible. Yet this also contributed to the purpose of God in the destruction of the Philistines.
the Third Week after Epiphany