July 23, 2019

Who Knew?

Judges 14:4

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ. . . .

—  2 Corinthians 5:19

Samson’s parents didn’t know that their son’s behavior was a part of God’s redemptive toolbox. Sinful behavior that can bring about salvation from the enemy is an unthinkable, even foolish thought.

But God himself didn’t make Samson lust after Philistine women. Like all the descendants of Adam and Eve, Samson was perfectly capable of creative sinfulness and obstinacy to God’s will.

It’s strangely fitting that God hid the savior of his people in plain view: Samson the Nazirite lusted after Philistine women just as Israel panted after the gods of other peoples. No one would guess that he was God’s special instrument of salvation. He was just another young man obsessed with women.

God’s ways are not ours. He chose what is low and weak for a world-shaking transformation. Who could have known that sinners like Jephthah and Samson might rescue Israel for a time from its self-made messes? Who could have known that a no-name Galilean from Nazareth might be the Son of God?

One day in Nazareth, Jesus, the son of Joseph, told the local community that he was God’s Servant. Then they knew. Some were amazed, and others tried to kill him (Luke 4:14-30).

God so loved the world that he sent Jesus of Nazareth to save from sin all who would believe he is the Son of God, our Savior. Hallelujah!

Dear Lord, I need you every hour. Teach me your will, and use me in fulfilling your promises. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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