ODJ: outside the box

March 12, 2015 

READ: Judges 14:1-4 

His father and mother didn’t realise the LORD was at work (v.4).

When I went to Bible college, I had a wife, two daughters and absolutely no money! We were confident that God had called me to attend college even though we weren’t sure exactly why. After we determined that we couldn’t afford a house near the college, we brought our need to Him.

God did answer, but in an unexpected way: He didn’t provide a home, so I lived separately from my family. In fact, we saw one another only on weekends and sometimes not even then. The usual line we heard from well-meaning believers in Jesus was, “That’s not God. You’ve got this wrong.” But God was preparing me to be a pastor, and I needed to be available for His training. Although it was difficult, we strived to follow God’s will and remain obedient to His call.

Samson definitely violated God’s will. He ate food from a animal carcass (Judges 14:9), he went after prostitutes (16:1) and he even married a foreign woman (14:2). He didn’t always get it right, but God still used Samson’s life for His purposes. His marriage, going against the law of Israel, was a part of God’s perfect plans (v.4). Although we should always seek to follow God’s will and be obedient to Him, He can still use us in our weakness and failures.

At some point our human logic will collapse under the weight of trying to explain God’s ways. That’s why it’s vital that we rest in the words of Isaiah: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts . . . my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” says the LORD (Isaiah 55:8).

God will often confound us by doing something that doesn’t fit our expectations. But it always fits His personality: He’s a God who’s exciting, sovereign and full of surprises. Russell Fralick

365-day plan: Judges 15:1-20

Read John 6:53-69 and consider what happened when Jesus gave a hard teaching to the people. Then note Peter’s response. 
How can you trust in the journey, even when the way is unclear and difficult? How has God surprised you recently?