“Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet” (Judges 14:14 NASB).
The reference above comes from a riddle that Samson proposes to some Philistine companions at his wedding feast. This riddle can be applied in many ways to God’s providence, where He works good out of evil.
Samson found honey in the carcass of the lion, which he had slain. God often works in situations that are wrong in themselves, such as Samson marrying a Philistine women, and uses it for His good. Samson’s parents resisted his marriage to a heathen women, and rightly so. But the Bible records in v 4; However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. As the commentator Matthew Henry writes; “when what threatens their destruction turns to their advantage. When their enemies are made useful to them, and human wrath turns to God’s praise.” In times like these we can say, “meat comes out of the eater, and sweetness out of the strong.”
God sometimes places us in situations where He uses flawed individuals or dubious circumstances to accomplish His purpose. In a desire not to be tainted by the world, we can back away from God’s providential provision for His church. Have you heard of the church that was given a large sum of money by an individual who had been know for his unrighteous behavior. Many of the brethren were saying that is was tainted money. An old deacon pipes up; “there is no such thing as tainted money. The only thing tainted about money is that there taint enough of it.” I realize you cannot make an absolute about this type of reasoning. On many occasions we should disassociate ourselves from this type of provision. I am suggesting, based on this story about Samson, we sometimes need to look past the outward appearance and discern the overall purpose of God. It is not inconceivable that God wants to take wealth of the nations, and give it to the children of light. Only those who are wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10”16 NKJV) will know when to take and when to give back.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing