Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Good Wife

“And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, if the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering, neither would he have shewed unto us all these things…” (Judges 13:22-23)

        Manoah was blessed of God to have this woman for his wife, for Proverbs 19:14 says, “A prudent wife is from the Lord.” This woman, referred to as simply the wife of Manoah and the mother of Samson, is a study in unruffled common sense, a jewel of an attribute in any woman, and especially a wife.

        This couple had experienced a visitation from an angel of God with news of a coming addition to their family. His words, and especially the accompanying show of fire, had momentarily “spooked” Manoah. He was just sure they were both going to be killed. It was his wife, however, who calmly reassured him, not by offering meaningless platitudes (“Everything will be fine, dear”), but by giving a plausible reason for optimism: “If God was going to kill us, He wouldn’t have bothered to show us what He was going to do for us in the future.” This was something Manoah surely would have thought of himself any other time; but in the (literal) heat of the moment, he had lost perspective. Nor are we to assume from the context and the rest of their story that his wife ever used this temporary lapse on his part as a chance to gain leverage in their relationship.

        I appreciate the fact that this woman used her wisdom and powers of reasoning to be an encourager and not a voice of doom. Just as God never gives discernment as a tool for criticism, we should never equate wisdom as His rationale for pessimism. It is true that bad things do happen to good people, but they never happen to the child of God without His permission, or outside the framework of Romans 8:28. If everything is working together for our good, should not our first, and not our last, reaction be optimism?

   The good wife props her husband up on one side…then leans on the other!

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