Of all the judges that led Israel, I guess there is not another that is as well known as Samson.
And Delilah? I'm guessing that most people, believers or unbelievers, know her, too. The Bible doesn't tell us about her looks, but she must have been gorgeous, for Samson to put up with her tricks and wiles. Oh, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let me just say that we all have Delilahs in our lives.
We'll get back to that momentarily; for now, let's look at our story. This is a story that can play out in any of our lives. You don't think so?
Delilah was on a mission. She was determined to destroy Samson. And there is someone who is determined to destroy us, too.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
You see, Delilah doesn't necessarily have to be a woman. She can be a man. She can be money. She can be that big house you've always wanted. She can be drugs. She can become, look like, anything she needs to, in order to cause your destruction.
Did you find some time to read all of the chapters that we mentioned?
It's a pretty fascinating story, isn't it? The man who will be Samson's dad is named Manoah; we don't have the mom's name recorded for us. The angel of the Lord appears to her and gives her exciting news -- she's going to have a son! He comes again and gives the instructions again, at the request of Manoah, who didn't see Him the first time. He ascends to heaven in flames, and the couple realize they have seen God. Later, Samson is born, and they make certain to raise him as they were instructed. The Bible tells us that the Spirit of the Lord began to stir in him as he grew up. He makes a rather poor choice of a prospective wife: he chooses a Philistine woman. Come on, Samson, you want a wife from the nation that is oppressing your people?
He appears to have a sense of humor and a bit of a sporting streak, as he wagers them some fine clothes if they can solve his riddle. They convince his fiancee to wheedle the answer out of him (he seems to have a weak spot for women who cry and ask questions) and after hearing her crying for seven days, he gets tired of it, and reveals the answer. Of course, she runs and tells the others, and they "solve" it. He is so angry that he "struck down" thirty men and gave their clothes to the men who won the wager. He leaves, and they give the fiancee to someone else! The next chapter in Judges details his vengeance on the Philistines . . . he could be fiercely angry, and he was incredibly strong. He slew a great number of the oppressors. That brings us to when he fell for Delilah.
Now, Delilah didn't set her cap for Samson on her own. She was promised a huge sum; she would be wealthy if she succeeded. You see, Samson had been leading Israel and wreaking havoc on the ungodly Philistines for twenty years, just as God had intended. But the Philistines were oh, so ready to get rid of him! So five of them conspired, and told Delilah they would pay her handsomely.
The same thing can happen in our lives . . . there is indeed a conspiracy - the devil and his demons work together to accomplish their aim. They do want to destroy us, and they send something different into each person's life; it is something that works just for that person! Yes, they figure out what and who and when and where, and then they begin to work on us. When the time is right, they spring the trap.
Back to our story of Delilah . . .
For Samson, Delilah used more than just sex. What did the conspirators tell her? "Entice him..."is what the King James says, and the NIV says "lure him" into trusting you. Samson may have struggled with an ego as large as his strength! So Delilah worked her wiles on him and enticed him, flattered him, cajoled him. Can't you just see her, running her fingers through his hair?
Delilah was just the "magic bullet" that the Philistine conspirators needed . . . and did she hit the mark! Three times he told her something that was supposed to make him just the same as any man; three times she tried the procedure (don't ya think he'd catch on?) and he shook off the ropes and ties and laughed at her. She began to whine and complain and cry and . . . and . . . well, you get the picture. It worked once before, right? Well, it worked this time, too!
He told her.
We'll conclude our study of Delilah next time!