Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Everything works together for good’?
That’s a quote from Rav Shaul. But is that saying true even if people choose to disobey God’s commands?
The life of Samson offers a good answer to this question. Young Samson demands of his parents, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
Samson’s frum parents are horrified and try to convince him to reconsider. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Scripture records, “His parents did not know that this was from the Lord.” How could they know? And you and I ask, “Why would HaShem ordain such a thing?”
This is where Rav Shaul comes back in. Although Samson had been raised observing the commandments, as a young man he began to go his own way--he began to make friends with the enemy! If Samson were friendly with the Philistines, HaShem’s plan to deliver Israel would come to naught. So God worked with Samson’s rebellious heart. He allowed Samson to obtain that Philistine wife. The joy of the wedding soon turned to bitterness. That bitterness boiled into a righteous rage which inspired Samson to take up his lifework as a deliverer and judge of Israel.
Samson’s life gives me hope. I’ve disobeyed HaShem’s commands, too. But God can take my bad choices and turn them into blessings. That’s why it’s important to quote Rav Shaul correctly. He wrote: “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with His purpose.” It is only when I turn my heart back to God that He can make everything in my life work together for good.