"His father and mother replied, 'Isn't there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?' But Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me. She's the right one for me.' (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)"
Yesterday (Pearls of Great Price, March 13, Hard Hearts, Exodus 8:32, 10:20, James 1:13) we only began to scratch the surface of understanding the way God works out His purposes in an evil world filled with wicked people. Oh, how mysterious are His ways! Like the way He worked through Samson, the young, passionate Israelite who although famous for his strength, was a pushover when it came to pretty girls like Delilah.
In today's verse, we learn that Samson rejected his parents' pleas that he not marry an idol-worshipping Philistine. Samson and his mom and dad assumed it was merely a matter of matrimony. But in Judges 14:3-4 we learn that God had a higher plan and purpose -- a purpose which would ultimately result in a glorious victory over the Philistines. Samson and his parents never dreamed their little father-and-son talk about the birds and the bees played a role in foreign affairs! But God did. And God allowed Samson to have his own way, to "follow his heart" and tie the knot with a girl from a heathen nation.
God oversees people's wicked actions.
No sin happens that the Lord does not deliberately permit.
Don't misunderstand --
He is not the source of people's evil deeds, for He despises sin. Yet He steers the sin already in their hearts so that sinners unwittingly fulfill His plans and not merely their own.
Ponder this awesome aspect of God's sovereignty today.
Lord God, I can't pretend to understand the way You work in our world and through the hearts of both believers and pagans. But I do understand that You are good and gracious and that Your plans are always perfect!
Pearls of Great Price, 2006, by Joni Eareckson Tada, March 13
(my own emphasis)
It was significant for me to read this devotion today. Oh... so, so many times, and so many ways, our lives are struck by evil in this fallen world. We can study all of it over and over and never be able to understand "why" the LORD allowed such blatant pernicious evil to effect others or to effect us.
In the end of rehashing the horrible facts over and over, as a Believer of Jesus as my Savior, I must just once again give it over to the LORD.
It is His job, His plan, His ways.
He has a plan, I need to trust Him completely, I need to continue to walk in faith with Him even though I certainly do not see what His plans could possibly be.
I need to just KNOW He is the God of the universe who is still on His throne and that He is working.
My job is to walk in faith.
Praise be to my gracious, compassionate LORD!