One thing about God? He orchestrates!
To us, in our carnal thinking, some of His set ups may seem harsh and “unlike Him”, causing us to conclude in complaint that it’s the enemy working or that it’s not God who’s the one behind it all. I dunno what sparked it, but my dear friend Oyetola Adesanmi just reinforced on her IG Story (@O2Boom) that “Perspective is Key”. And I concur… because the moment we come out of our own understanding and start to gauge these “unlike Him” type set ups from His actual point of view; is the moment He starts to give us insight on His unusual plans, how to walk through their valleys, and come out victorious to the enemy’s shock and shame.
As I study the book of Judges — particularly Samson — and as I enabledly go through the Bible my second time around; I find that God’s orchestrations — regardless of our failures or mistakes and successes — are perfectly planned… lacking error. I also find His set ups to be the very reason we call Him All Knowing, because He causes all things — good and bad — to work out for our good.
“Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines, who oppressed them for forty years. In those days a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan lived in the town of Zorah. His wife was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children. The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.” — Judges 13:1-5 NLT
Back Story: So the Israelites, post entering into the promise land, would do things that upset God and His homegirls — basically mix and intermarry and end up serving other gods —, and He’d hand them over to their enemies for a period of time. Then the Israelites would repent and He’d send a Judge who’d rescue them from their plight. This was pretty much cyclical because one thing about humans? *insert Speed Darlington’s* “we no dey hear word, we get coconut head…” 😂😫😂. Yeah, so this time around, Samson was to be the Judge that will begin the process of rescuing the Israelites from the Philistines.
Samson’s parents had been informed of his destiny before his conception. To me, this the perfect juxtaposition to how God knew us and the good works He planned ahead of us to do, long before He formed us in our mother’s wombs. His parents were told he was going to do the job and they were given clear instructions: his mother wasn’t to drink wine or alcohol nor eat anything unclean while Samson was never to cut his hair. They were given just a piece of the puzzle but because they coupled that puzzle piece with leaning on their own understanding and having their little idea of how Samson was going to fulfill purpose, they tried to box God. One would’ve thought God’s angel also said “Samson must not marry a Philistine woman — kinda sorta how Yoruba mothers go “e ma fe Ibo ooo”… meaning “don’t marry the Igbos” 😫🤦🏾♀️.
“One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.” His father and mother objected. “Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?” they asked. “Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?” But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.” His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.” — Judges 14:1-4 NLT
😯😯😯 So you mean to tell me that even through the very evil the Israelites kept committing — mixing, intermarrying and worshiping other gods —, God was like “I’m finna make a way through this mess they think they making and orchestrate one of the most unique enemy take outs of all time”??!!
More Back Story: “These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle.
These people were left to test the Israelites—to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors through Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and they intermarried with them. Israelite sons married their daughters, and Israelite daughters were given in marriage to their sons. And the Israelites served their gods. — Judges 3:1-2, 4-6 NLT
If the above verses don’t spell out GOD, ON TOP OF BEING THE BEST SETTER UPPER, IS DELIBERATE, then I trust the Holy Spirit to tell me what to tell you in a language you’d understand. Because, phew chiiiiilllleeee!!! 😅😅 I mean, You tell me You’re giving me a land. You help me take out it’s former inhabitants not just because they displeased You, or because I deserved the land, but because You love me and consider me chosen. You then purposely allow me not drive out all the former inhabitants of the land because you don’t want my future generations to think they just “arrove”. You want them to learn the art warfare in order to keep territory over the land and importantly to see if they’d make the right choice from their own free will to obey Your precepts which were given long before they existed 🤯🤯🤯.
What I gather Lord, is that You’re basically reminding me yet again, that the reason You know the end before the beginning is because You’ve not only got all the pieces of the puzzle, You’ve also got all the outcomes of my made and unmade choices, even before I make or don’t make them. So in essence, wherever the beginning and middle are, they will run to go find the end.
We know what eventually ensued. We know that Samson took out more people in his death than he ever did whilst alive. But We often times miss out on the revelation that no matter how he kept falling for his parent’s idea of the “wrong kinda woman”, in the end and from the beginning, he ultimately was being led by God.
“When her son was born, she named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him as he grew up. And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol.” — Judges 13:24-25 NLT
I pray Your Spirit stirs us Lord, and that You enable us recognize that it’s You behind the set up. I pray you cause us to be sensitive to Your unfathomed ways dear God, so that we don’t reject the slightest hurdle and miss out on what is clearly your perspective; in aligning to and fulfilling the purpose for which you created us.