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Up to Something

For all time.

Judges 14:1–4

Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.”

Then his father and mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?”

And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.”

But his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD—that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Samson sounds like an impetuous teenager. He is an impetuous teenager. His manner towards his parents borders on not honoring thy father and thy mother. This is especially curious given that he needs his parents to get the Philistine girl as his wife. Apparently, he can’t just woo her himself. Honoring thy father and thy mother is built into their culture, but Samson does the bare minimum.

Samson—the Nazarite on steroids—will be known for his strength, not so much for his wisdom. His parents sound like they’re trying to raise him right, but it’s a struggle.

Recall that the Angel of the LORD’s instructions to them were solely about the Nazarite rules. He said nothing about what they should teach him, nor did He warn them about what was coming.

But then, in the last paragraph, we get a curious twist. This isn’t just some random act by an impetuous teenager. Nor is it about Samson’s lack of wisdom. The LORD is up to something. He always seems to be up to something.

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.” — Genesis 50:20a

God always seems to be up to something. Does anything happen outside of His will? The reformed view says, “No.”

There’s an explanation for this view that’s easy to say but hard to understand—God is outside of time.  This is a point of wonderous agreement between the Bible and science. God’s dominion over time is all over scripture. My favorite examples are 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2.

And there’s also a scientific fact about the nature of time (called time dilation) that implies that the creator must have dominion over time (because there can’t be a universal clock). Here’s a good reference.

Being outside of time erases the difference between the past and the future. God sees the entire span of history at once. Thus, He isn’t subject to the rules of probability. He knows all things with certainty.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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