A Devotion Based on Judges 13.1-25

I have a very active and smart 6 years old nephew. As he grows up, his parents is giving him more rules to follow. So far, my nephew listens and obeys his parents but I can see that he has started thinking about those rules. A quick indication is his constant use of the word why.

Being a smart boy, he would know when the reasons do not make sense. And, sometimes his parents simply explain, “Because I say so. Trust me, you will understand later.” My nephew just said “Aawww okkayyy…”

In Judges 13:1-25, we read the rules God gave to Samson’ parents to follow. Samson’ mother needed to follow strict dietary rules to receive the blessing of a child, Samson. God also gave a rule to his parents in order for Samson to fulfill his destiny as a leader who will deliver Israel from the Philistines.

Samson’s mother followed the rule and received Samson as a child. However, it seems Samson never wanted to follow her footsteps. Samson married a Philistine woman, even though God had told Israel not to marry anybody from that tribe. Then, Samson slept with a prostitute. He disobeyed God again. Having such a lifestyle, Samson was often tempted into situations that would jeopardize his destiny.

In Judges 16, we read how Samson lost his physical power because he failed to obey one specific rule God that gave to him to maintain his strength. He died blinded and broken just minutes after he was the object of ridicule inside the Philistines’ temple.

Don’t you think it is somewhat similar to our walk with Christ? When we were baby Christians, we eagerly followed what God said. As we grow up in our faith, we start asking God why: “Why can’t I marry someone from a different faith?”, “Why do I have to forgive that person after such a nasty treatment?”, “Why do I have to tithe?” God gives all the answers in the bible. But yet, we keep asking the follow up whys. But so often the final answer is “Because I say so. Trust me, you will understand later.”

From Samson and his parents, we can learn that no matter how old we are, we are to follow rules and to receive new rules, and to obey them. In the Old Testament, God gave us rules because, I believe, God already knew how messed up mankind could be without rules. In the New Testament, not only Jesus re-emphasizes some of the Old Testament rules, He elevates them.

Living this modern life without rules is like driving up and down through the hills where the roads are without guardrails. Guardrails are installed on the road to give signals to the drivers that there are dangers up front. Samson did not pay attention to his boundaries and ended up dead in a ditch. Watch out for your boundaries and you’ll get home safe and sound.