Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Omer 2016 Day 18: Samson's first wife

Day 18: Netzach in Tiferet, Victory in Beauty
You know the story of Samson and Delilah, but did you know he had a wife before Delilah? The unnamed Philistine woman caught Samson's eye and, despite his parents' objections, he decided to marry her.
"His mother and father did not realize that this was the Lord's doing: He was seeking a pretext against the Philistines, for the Philistines were ruling over Israel at that time." (Judges 14:4)
In spite of the beauty that drew Samson to her, his wife was not faithful. She pestered and harassed him for the answer to a riddle he had posed to her countrymen until he trusted her with the answer, only to immediately divulge the secret to Samson's enemies. Her actions gave her countrymen a temporary victory, but ultimately, as was God's plan, the victory was Samson's. In his anger at her betrayal, Samson destroyed her village.

Samson's wife is victory in beauty, but the question with which we are left is: whose victory? Is it the Philistines? Samson's? God's? If God's plan for her was to use her to destroy her people, can we really blame her for betraying Samson? There seems to be no victory for her in this story. Today, we should think about how to create our own small wins when circumstances seem to be otherwise stacked against us. What are your strengths and what can you make of your life?