Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Samson's Women Trouble

The three women in Samson’s life were Gentiles. The first was the woman from Timnah whom he married, the second was the whore from Gaza, and the third was the only woman mentioned by name, Delilah, with whom Samson “fell in love.” According to the Biblical account, Samson’s relations with these women were a means to avenge the Philistines. (Jewish Women's Encyclopedia)

Samson's only wife was a woman from Timnah. She caught his eye one day, and that was all she wrote! He told his parents to do what they could to make this marriage happen. “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.” (Judges 14:1-2)

His parents objected but ultimately acquiesced. They didn't realize that God was orchestrating this connection so that he could ultimately deliver Israel from the Philistines. (Judges 14:4)
Samson's parents were well intentioned, provided guidance. However, they weren't aware of the details of God's plan for Samson's life. They probably thought that since he was a Nazarite that what they were suggesting made sense. But I also noticed they didn't put up a real fight and they went along with his decision. His parents were at the celebration.

For brevity, the following happened (Judges 14:5-19):
On the way to Timnah for wedding preparations, he killed a lion.
On the second trip to Timnah for the wedding, he ate honey from the dead lion's carcass.
At the wedding celebration, he told a riddle based on his exploits with the lion that no one could figure out.
On the fourth day, the Philistines still couldn't figure out Samson's riddle.
The Philistines told her to entice her husband - Samson. so they could solve the riddle.
His wife wore him down until he gave her the answer which she then told to the Philistines.

"If you hadn't plowed with my heifer you wouldn't have solved my riddle." (Judges 14:18) To me, this sounds like a derogatory view of his wife. This would be consistent since throughout his life he didn't seem to have great respect for women; they were only good for one thing. But this statement also indicates that she was more willing to oblige others than her husband. In trying to keep her people happy she lost her husband and ultimately her life. Samson didn't know how to communicate with his wife or manage himself (i.e. he had no self-control).

And then he got angry.

He used his strength to kill 30 men, then went back home to his parent's house. He left his wife.

It's unfortunate, but his wife became the best man's wife without Samson's knowledge. At some point, Samson decided he wants to go back to his wife only to discover she is no longer his. All he has is his strength so one thing leads to another and his wife is killed as an act of vengeance. (Judges 15)

Now he's angry again and when he's angry he's strong.

He escapes, is captured and returned, pretends to be subdued, releases himself and uses, his strength to kill 1000 men with the jawbone of a donkey. After this eventful start, he judged Israel for 20 years. During the course of his leadership, we meet his other liaisons - a prostitute and then Delilah. We don't know why Samson never married again, but he may have been employing the adage, "Once bitten, twice shy." This was not clear thinking and was not the best choice, as we will see.

So he spent a night with a prostitute and then he fell in love with Delilah. (Judges 16:4-22)

Delilah was more upfront than his first wife - she specifically wanted to know the source of his strength so that she could tell the Philistines. She was honest and did not have his best interest at heart. Samson knew this and probably thought he could outsmart her - but she wears him down by nagging him, literally to his death. Three times he gave her different scenarios because he was a bit of a prankster, and three times she tried. By the fourth time, he finally tells her the source of his strength. Delilah must have been real good because she was persistent. This is when we wonder about Samson's intellect because Delilah was clear in her mission, but Samson seemed to be blinded by lust and perhaps an over-reliance on his strength.

Samson had a gift but he didn't seem to know how to use it wisely. He didn't develop it, he just knew he had it. It was a good way to get out of trouble or toy with people. In spite of Samson's woman trouble, he was able to have the presence of mind to judge/lead Israel for 20 years. He had strength in leadership, God-given strength and a weakness for women. What a combination.

But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. Proverbs 6:32

What can you learn from Samson's choices in women?

--Nylse

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4 comments:

  1. Hi Nylse, I have always wondered about his choices too. He appears to be a bad boy when it comes to women. But doesn't this teach us that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. Yet He places His gift on him knowing his weakness. May be God expected him to work on it, or perhaps his parents would have influenced him...well, it teaches us the power of choice (will power).
    Thank you for the Bible Study. We do have a lot to learn from Samson as moms and women.
    God Bless

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  2. I remember thinking from an early age that Samson was pretty unwise in his choices of women. Delilah tells him outright why she wants to know the power of his strength and then is surprised when she ends up doing what she says she will. But like you said, God uses his anger and strength to benefit him and his people. This just shows that our weaknesses and flaws can even be used by God for our good and others. Love your title. It made me want to read your post.

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  3. Nylse - I think you hit the nail on the head, Samson had a gift and he didn't know how to use it wisely, in fact, he didn't even try it seems. He only wanted his own ways and often gave into his selfish desires... BUT Yet, God chose to use this man to lead His people.

    Thank you for linking up with #TuneInThursday today! I am so blessed to have you linking your posts as part of the community each Thursday

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  4. I love this story in a sad kind of way. I find the role of Sampson's parents very convicting too. When we know what's best for our kids, we can't give in. It's our job to give them what is best, not always what they want.

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