Powerful Passion

Ah, but where is it taking us? Passion is so powerful it can undermine, tarnish, even destroy great promise. It can take us places we never imagined…and would never choose to go.

Such is one of the lessons from the life of Samson.

Imagine the sense of hope in the heart of his parents. The couple was infertile, and there were no fertility drugs or doctors specializing in the field. But the Lord came to them and gave them good news: they were going to have a son. You can sense their elation as the account unfolds in Judges 13. And this was not to be any ordinary son. God would use this child to begin to deliver Israel from Philistine oppression.

Hope, promise, excitement.

One must wonder when Samson’s parents began to have nagging concerns about the direction their son was headed. Any nagging concerns were brought out into the open as chapter 14 begins. What Samson sees, what Samson wants, Samson insists on having. Passion…ruling over reason…trumping righteousness…ignoring God’s will…dashing hopes…destroying promise. In that regard, he reflects the spirit of the age in which “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Oh yes, the Lord can use the defiant pursuit of passion to accomplish His objectives. The mystery in how that works goes all the way back to before creation. But the mystery doesn’t excuse or justify the sinful choices, nor does it ease the pain in the hearts of those crushed in one’s passionate pursuits.

Samson’s life and eventual death remind us that passion must be checked by God’s will revealed in His Word. Our sin nature drives us to want what God forbids; the Christian’s new nature drives us to want what God desires.

Will we be like Samson, defiantly insisting on fulfilling forbidden passions?

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