Judges 14:1-3, "Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, ‘I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.' 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.'"
2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?"
Imagine an ox and a donkey yoked together to plow a field. It's a ludicrous spectacle to behold! The ox is double the height of the donkey, with legs nearly twice as long. So, while the ox plods along at a rather slow pace, the little donkey has to run as fast as it can to keep up. Concurrently, as this unorthodox team pulls the plow, it swerves side to side, creating rows that look like ocean waves rather than straight lines.
Paul had this spectacle in mind when he exhorted Christ-followers not to be bound with unbelievers. In the passage above, we see Samson - as strong as an ox - seeking to marry a donkey - a woman who couldn't keep the pace spiritually.
He was determined to marry a pagan despite his parents' objections - objections that were rooted in the fact that he'd been set apart by God to lead Israel. Unfortunately, his marriage didn't make it past the reception, and soon after, his new bride lost her life over a dispute between Samson and her people, the Philistines. As we'll continue to discover over the next few days, his issue with the ladies didn't end there.
Unequal alliances go against God's will for two reasons. First, a yoke constrains; it doesn't permit independent action. It compels us to comply with our partner, whether we like it or not. Second, it can easily become permanent and difficult to break free from.
Be smart! Don't go Samson's way and be yoked to the wrong people. God's desire is for you to be free and confident, able to function and fulfill His good and perfect will for your life.
Consider your relationships. Are you unequally yoked? If so, time to undo! Knowing that some relationships cannot be undone, like a marriage, ask God to give you wisdom for navigating successfully.
Dear God, Thank You for the wise guidelines You've placed in my life. I choose to be equally yoked, knowing that Your way of doing life is always for my best interest. In all that I do and say, I want my life to glorify You. In Jesus' name, Amen.