We're ploughing through the Old Testament of the King James Version for one of my religion classes. Reading about the genocide in Joshua and the gang rape in Judges has left me scratching my head about a few things. Today I understood something about one of the stories that I'd never considered.
Remember the story of Sampson whose strength comes from his long hair? As a child who spent most summers at Vacation Bible School, I was impressed Sampson as he brought down the pillars on all the Philistines. It's his strength and that tricky Delilah that I remembered. But here's the new insight (and I suppose why we should read the Bible more often): Samson sucked at love.
He sees the girl. He loves the girl and convinces his parents despite their misgivings to arrange the marriage. He has a riddle. Nobody can guess the answer during the seven day wedding feast. His wife's loyalties are with her kin who are going to lose a lot of linen. He falls for the drama queen act "thou dost but hate me, and loves me not." I should point out that he put up with that nonsense for seven days. Samson tells her because "she lay sore upon him". She tells her kin about the honey in the lion's carcass and Sampson loses the bet. Strike One
He goes back home to his parents.
Sampson cools off from being duped. He comes back a little later and brings meat. His father-in-law thought Sampson had gone for good so he gave Sampson's wife to his friend. Sampson sets the fields on fire with the foxes tied together. Sampson's wife and father-in-law are killed in retribution. Strike Two.
And then we come to that tricky Delilah. Why, why, why Delilah? This is a horrible woman and Sampson doesn't seem to see how duplicitous he is. She wants to know the secret of his strength. He manufactures one reason after another. She grows wrath with him because he isn't telling her. She asks him "how can you tell me that you love me when your heart isn't with me?" Seriously? Sampson wake up! You'd think he would have learned from the first wife. Nope.
You know the rest of the story.
My question is how many times does a guy have to get burned before he realizes that the wench just isn't worth it?