The title relates to the Biblical characters who find a place in the Book of Genesis and Judges respectively. The point that is the focus of my blog is the relationship that Joseph and Samson had with their respective women.
Joseph was a slave in Egypt, because his brothers (especially Judah, who had the bright idea that what would the brothers benefit if they killed him, so more as a matter of greed they agree with Judah and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites) had sold him and he winds up in the Pharoah’s Chief of Guards house and becomes a steward there. The Chief of the Guards is one Potiphar, who has a wife who eyes Joseph and openly and shamelessly makes a declaration of her lust to Joseph and says, “LIE WITH ME.” The story goes that one day when Joseph was alone, Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him and Joseph runs away leaving his cloak behind, making that cloak a piece of evidence for Potiphar’s wife to bolster her accusation that the slave Joseph was trying to force himself upon her. Potiphar believes her and puts him in the Special Jail meant for the Royal Prisoners (persons who were working for the royalty and fell out of favour with the Royalty for one reason or the other!)
Let us see Samson’s story. He was from the tribe of Dan, not a powerful tribe within the Jewry like Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin or Judah, and he was a VALOROUS MAN. A man who with the jaw-bone of an ass, killed a thousand men (Judges 15:15). He had taken many women from time to time but the Bible says that he fell in LOVE with a woman called DELILAH.
Whether she loved Samson or not is a mystery, but to put it a woman’s lib way, “DELILAH LOVED SAMSON IN HER OWN WAY!!” She was however under the payroll of the Philistine Lords who promised her 1100 pieces of silver each for finding out the secret of the strength of Samson and revealing the same to the Philistine Lords. Then one of the most terrible of charades of love unfolds, where Delilah PESTERS him daily for telling him the secret of his strength.
Judges 16:15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.
Samson is caught, after his locks were shaven while he was lulled into sleep by Delilah on her lap, taken bound hand and foot and made a spectacle before the Philistines. He was caught by the guile of the Philistines and the treachery of Delilah. Samson could not take it anymore and his hair had grown (Philistines were so dumb that they did not get his head shaved on a daily basis) and his strength was returning!! So one day while the SPECTACLE OF THE BLINDED SAMSON WAS GOING ON IN A CLOSED THEATRE HE PRAYS TO HIS GOD THUS-
JUDGES 16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
NEVER ONCE WAS THAT VERSE 28 OF CHAPTER 16 READ BY ME WITHOUT TEARS WELLING UP IN MY EYES WITH PITY FOR THE VALOROUS SAMSON.
The man who cared for none, and had led a life where he had taken STRENGTH for granted , begs God, for REMEMBERING him THIS ONLY ONCE for committing a SUICIDAL ATTACK. From a Jew’s point of view, he had even forgotten that there was a life after Death and through this prayer he seeks a finality not only to his woes, but also to any FURTHER CONSCIOUSNESS. It is the ultimate passage in PATHOS, which out-pathoses even KING LEAR of Shakespeare.
Now these two characters i.e Joseph and Samson are in stark contrast. One FLEES FROM THE TEMPTATION OF A PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOMAN and THE OTHER WALKS INTO IT WITHOUT HAVING A CLUE AS TO WHERE IT WAS LEADING HIM.
7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
VERSES 6-18 OF THE CHAPTER 7 OF PROVERBS, defines both Potiphar’s wife as well as Delilah. The consequences of having a physical relationship with women of that type is enumerated in verses 21-23 of the same chapter. So this is the statistical TRUTH. Mostly, if humans were to take to such women, they are likely to end up the way, as mentioned above. As an example to these verses Joseph and Samson could be cited.
But unfortunately, LOGIC does not end here. It goes beyond and tries to apply the formula in respect of every case. So when we apply this formula to the case of KING DAVID, it miserably fails. King David was not only a notorious womanizer, but at least in one case, i.e in Bathsheba’s case was an adulterer and a murderer. That is leaving out the case of Abigail, the wife of Nabal- as it is difficult to believe that Nabal died out of a contrite spirit and not of the conspiracy entered into between Abigail and David the previous night based on their meeting. Maybe Nabal died more out of the knowledge that his wife Abigail had met David on the sly without his knowledge!! As it is Nabal did not have a good opinion of David and in sexual matters he must have had a fairly good idea of David’s proclivities.
But David survives it all, and proves to be an exception. That is GRACE. David had obtained IMMUNITY from the general RULE. That is because he TRUSTED in THE MERCY OF GOD. And at every instance, when he was informed of his wrongdoing, he was not merely PENITENT but also took all reasonable steps to ensure that his GUILT is not made a PUBLIC ISSUE. In fact, if Adonijah had become the King, it would have been quite possible that Adonijah would have made the Prophets and Priests as the witnesses and proved the guilt of adultery between Bathsheba and King David, and got Bathsheba executed for adultery after the death of King David. So King David, while still alive, WISELY declares Solomon, the son of Bathsheba and David as the heir to the throne and protects his own name after his death besides protecting the interests of the co-adulterer. AFTER ALL ONLY A SON COULD BE TRUSTED WITH THE JOB OF PROTECTING THE MOTHER’S HONOUR AND NOT A STEP SON, U SEE!!
If one asks the question, why Samson was caught up in the snare of the woman Delilah but not David, when both of them had led a dissolute life, there is no logical answer to it. Jesus beautifully solves this conundrum in the Gospel of Luke chapter 13 as follows:-
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
So what Jesus says is that we are still ALIVE by HIS GRACE and let us not squander our TIME by taking individual instances and testing the ESSENTIAL TRUTHS against isolated cases, which have escaped the general laws of RETRIBUTION. Let us make use of the TIME to REPENT and REFORM. As that is the objective of LIFE.