“Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah, he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 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.” But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives? Of among all our people that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.””
– Judges 14:1–3
This phrase at the end of Judges 14:1–3 is such a dangerous phrase, and we see it throughout the Book of Judges, people doing what is right in their eyes. For Samson here, this is the beginning of blatant sin against God and his word that will unfortunately mark much of Samson’s life and it’s mysterious how one who was empowered by God’s spirit in certain ways was still prone to sin in other ways. I remember reading what one author wrote, he said, “Spirit given power in dimension of life does not by itself guarantee spirit impelled discipline, and maturity in every dimension of life. It follows that the presence of spiritual gifts is never an excuse for personal sin.”
I think about this in my life, in other’s lives around me whom I love, in even other leaders around me. I just think about people who are gifted spiritually in different ways. That is never an excuse for personal sin and disobedience to God, and it’s a reminder, this passage is a reminder that we are all prone to fear toward that which seems right in our own eyes which is why we need, we need God’s word to guard us, convict us, guide us.
Judges 14:1–3 Reminds Us to Listen to Those Holding Us Accountable with Humility Rather Than Stubbornness
We need brothers and sisters around us, people who will point out to us when we are veering toward what is right in our own eyes instead of what is right according to God’s word and we need grace and humility to listen, to listen to God’s word, to listen to others when they warn. Samson here in Judges 14:1–3 is being warned by his mom and dad and then he says, “It doesn’t matter what you say. This is what seems right to me,” and this is a dangerous position to be in, when we are disobeying God’s word, going against the counsel of brothers and sisters around us, and we’re doing it because we think something is right in our eyes.
So we pray, God, save us from ourselves. Today, in every way, God, I pray this, for my own life today, I pray this for those who are listening today, save us from ourselves. Save us from doing what seems right in our own eyes. Please help us to see through your eyes, through the lens of your word, please help us to see what your word says is right and to live accordingly, and please surround us, we pray, with brothers and sisters who love us enough to speak into our lives when they see us wandering away from your word, and God, we pray for humility, to listen to them. Humility to turn from what is right in our eyes when other brothers and sisters according to your word are helping us. Avoid sin, helping us pursue righteousness and holiness and your good plans for our lives.
God’s Forgiveness and Protection
Oh God, we praise you for your love for us, for your forgiveness of our sins, and we pray, that you would guard us from sin. That you would guard us from ourselves. Today, we might walk according to your word with the encouragement of brothers and sisters around us, who are pointing us to your word.
Oh God, I just think there’s no way I would be where I am in my life right now. I’m not talking about any particular position but just by your grace, walking with you, I would not be here were it not for brothers and sisters who by your grace, through them, pointed out to me, when I was doing that which was right in my eyes but which is not best according to your word. I thank you for them, I pray that you would use people like that in my life.
Even now, you would use me in others’ lives like that even now, you’d use this podcast episode on Judges 14:1–3 to bring others back from veering away from you right now, from doing what is right in their own eyes. God, please, please, please save me, save others, save us from ourselves. From our sin and our tendencies to do that which seems right to us. We pray this. In Jesus’ name. Amen.