Women In The Word - OT: Day 24

Delilah

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Today's Text: Judges 16:1-20, Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 31:30, Romans 12:21, Ephesians 4:22-32

What can be said of Delilah? I’ll be honest, as I learn alongside you all, her story has been a real head-scratcher for me.

The Bible tells us Delilah was loved by Samson, a judge of the nation of Israel and a man with an enormously impressive and depressive backstory:

On the upside, Samson was one of only a few biblical leaders born to a barren mother and the only judge to be called from the womb to judgeship. He was born under a Nazirite vow that would not allow him to drink strong drink, touch anything dead, or ever cut his hair. (Read more about the Nazirite vow in Numbers 6:1-21.) Samson’s birth was surrounded with fanfare. Like Samuel and Jesus Himself, an angel of the Lord announced Samson’s coming! His calling was sure before he took his first breath.

The downside? Delilah wasn’t the first woman in Samson’s story. His (only) wife was the daughter of a Philistine, who wickedly pressed guarded secrets out of Samson long before he met Delilah. After this wife was burned to death with her father for their own pile of problems, Samson chose a prostitute for a companion. (Not in the way Joshua collaborated with Rahab to deliver Jericho to Israel, either.)

When Samson finally met Delilah, he’d already broken two-thirds of the Nazirite vow, and he had made evident he had no interest in delivering Israel. The Philistines saw Delilah as their opportunity to overcome Samson at last.

Four times Delilah nags and whines and pouts and deceives the man that loves her, and three times Samson doesn’t trust her, so he tells her a lie. Every time, Delilah delivers the word to the Philistines, and every time, Samson effortlessly breaks free. No worse for wear, yet no wiser still.

On Delilah’s fourth attempt, Samson finally trusts her (what?!) or just cannot stand another moment of her nagging—either way, he tells Delilah the truth behind his superhuman strength. And that night, as she lulls him to sleep on her lap and a man shaves Samson’s head entirely, the 3rd portion of Nazirite vow is broken, and the Spirit of the Lord leaves him. The Philistines gouge out his eyes and make him their slave.

We know Samson’s story continues from here, but for now, we’re left banging our heads against the wall. We’re infuriated with the only woman Samson ever loved for betraying his trust and turning him over to his enemies. And, at the same time, we’re wildly disappointed in Samson for squandering his position and calling.

Do you see yourself in Samson? Called to something great, maybe even given a position of influence, but using your privilege for your own gain, or forsaking the reason you were sent to serve?

Maybe you see yourself in Delilah—like the nagging wife Proverbs warns against? Are you going about your own business, doing what it takes to get your way?

Maybe we see a bit of ourselves in both of them. But, what I really want to know as we look at Judges chapter 16, is where do we see Jesus?

We sure do see a lot of similarities between Samson and Jesus—in the announcements of their births by angels, the callings on their lives to be deliverers, the being betrayed by someone they loved. I can see a shadow of Jesus, but I’m not sure those similarities are the point.

Then, as I was reading this passage for the twentieth time today, I got a pit in my stomach. I had missed it all the times before, but this time I noticed—look how much Delilah was paid to betray Samson: 1,100 pieces of silver per person from the lords of the Philistines who approached her. (Maybe there were three of them, maybe there were 20; the Bible doesn’t say. Either way, that’s a lot of silver!)

Do you remember how many pieces of silver Judas was paid to betray Jesus? Thirty. Thirty pieces of silver.

Mercy.

I hate Delilah for her disloyalty—for what a deceitfully wicked woman she seemed to be. But when I remember that Jesus’ own disciple betrayed Him for a fraction of her fee, my heart hardly knows what to think.

Judas, how could you sell Jesus for so little?
And what is my price?
What lights my eyes and feels worth forsaking my Savior, even just for a moment?

Delilah’s eyes, it seems, were simply lit up by selfish gain—bags of silver earned by evil. Her persistent scheme and “endless dripping” eventually overcame Samson, and he, too, paid a high price.

As for us—me and you—I’m praying no price is high enough for us to betray our Jesus. I’m praying, by the Lord’s grace, we would not be overcome by evil’s nagging or bought with its shiny facade. I’m praying, in the way of Romans 12:21, we would “overcome evil with good.”

That’s a lot to reflect on for one day, isn’t it? What is the Lord showing you today in Judges 16, friends? Let’s talk together about what He’s teaching us!

 

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  • Mary Beth

    “What is my price?” That is a haunting question friends. I’ll admit at first glance, like the author, I got nothing really from this except disgust for both the protagonists. However I now very much see myself as a Samson. These passes were especially what I needed to hear lately. So often I am Samson, quite gifted and clearly given a God-ordained mission but I choose to let the opportunity pass me. I get lazy, discouraged or most often just purely distraced by the “bright and shiny” things the world offers me with generous portions. How often do I let go of the mission? Walk off the path? All the darn time friends. More than I even feel comfortable admitting. I am Samson giving into my own seductive “Delilah’s” (idols) – the sexy and seducative, self gratifying, fleeting and most often sinful – losing sight of the road marked out ahead of me…worn down by persistent temptation & settling for what does not satisfy my thirst. I don’t want want to be Samson. I crave renewal on the mission. I ask God today for stench and integrity as I walk with Him beside me into His own marvelous light. Amen! :)

    • Mary Beth Vernau

      Oh my goodness friends! I’m sorry for all the spelling errors. I’m typing on my phone and it auto corrects words embaressingly…I hope despite some of the stark misspellings my point gets across! Blessings ♡

  • Hannah Neel

    I honestly feel that many times I give him the end of my day. When I’m exhausted. So now, I figured start fresh, new, now. Get up and give him my all, and to close off the actions of betraying him of my time. In the midst of looking to earn, search for his wisdom is first, but to trust & to look to him on the little things, and look to him on how to earn and go about my ways is the first major key I have to give over to him in submission.

  • Andrea Z.

    What an eye-opening connection between Delilah and Judas. A great reminder to put God first no matter how shiny and beautiful those temptations may be. Jesus paid the price so we could leave those temptations at the cross so we could live in freedom!

  • Jennifer

    I sell Jesus out for a much cheaper price- I choose to spend hours on social media and can’t give God 10 minutes to do these devotions. I choose things if this world over things of eternal value everyday.

  • Wow, I think we all have a price that tempts us. I see this in myself- dazzled by things outside of Christ, distracted and selfish, forgetful of my commitment even when I’m on a mission that seems wholly provided for and appointed by Him. I guess what I want to know is how we are to pick up the pieces when we do act out this betrayal. I think we all will in ways. The comments below are full of confessions of that.

    • Vickie

      Look to the cross and praise , worship Him for he paid the price for you. Don’t make a declaration “I’ll do better” …. as you repent and praise.. you heart will fall in love with Him as you see grace and mercy poured out for u!!! It’s an amazing privilege.. no works … just. Believe

  • Though Samson and Delilah didn’t have a marriage arrangement, we are told that Samson loved Delilah. Honestly, my thoughts never went to how much she was paid to betray him and they didn’t even go to where is Jesus in all this. My thoughts tend to go a little more to how am I treating my husband. Am I nagging him until he finally gives in or am I manipulating him by being pouty and angry because I’m not getting my way? Before I made Jesus the Lord of my life, I betrayed my husband twice and I was the “dripping rain” in our marriage. I am not perfect, however, I have come to the place of Biblical submission to him and my hearts desire is to never go back to being a wife like that again.

  • Devil’s nagging is SO hard to overcome. I have been tempted to hate two of the people I often meet. It feels like they give the reason for me to hate. But Jesus, I know that is a lie and I always have a choice. Lord, help me and give me strength. I have promised to follow you and I am not going to give in to Devil’s lure.

  • Judges 16
    He’s showing me that even through my sin, through betrayal, through mistrust, he still loves us and he wants more for us. He’s put his seal of redemption on us! I see myself in Delilah and in Samson. Trying to get what I want through my human ways when there’s something better. JESUS. Seeing past the sin and going towards the real goal is so hard sometimes. Especially when I act like a 5 years old and what things RIGHT NOW. God is a good, good father, that reminds me to wait. To be patient because something good, something better is coming.

  • Hate is a strong word. Hating someone to the bible means you want to kill someone. I don’t think Rachael Myers would want to kill Delilah?!

    • Dee

      Hate just means “strong dislike,” not necessarily the want to kill. I think this devotion was perfect is taking our “hate” for Delilah and shining light on our own betrayal. betrayal.

    • JM

      Haha, don’t worry Sarah for the bible says to abhor what iS evil. So in this context, I think it’s being used appropriately. She is not hating Delilah, but hating the heart of the situation at hand.

  • Hannahrambles

    Thank you so much for such an enlightening study into this famous story of the Bible. I praise God that He helped you to really bring out truths of this story that had never even occurred to me anymore. This is why I continue to study with you all at She Reads Truth x

  • Of all the devotions I’ve read on SRT, this one is by far my favorite. So many insights. Thank you.

    • oliviakate

      Yeah I think so to it just gave a lot of information about Delilah and Samson so I really liked that!

  • I have often asked myself a similar question when it comes to sin. Was this sin worth Christ’s death on the cross. Not that any sin is but the petty things really get to me and make me realize even for the “small” sins a price had to be paid. Makes me put into perspective the important things in life. My selfishness and anger are not worthy of my savior ‘s life, so suck it up and in my anger do not sin!!

  • Hannah Rose

    I love how the ending of Samson’s story plays out. How he did forsake God, but how at the very moment before his death he prayed to God, asking Him for one last chance. And God gave Samson the strength he needed to destroy the enemy, even though he died along with them. I just love how forgiving and merciful God is, and I need to do a better job of remembering that when one of my friends does something I don’t want to forgive.

  • All I can say, Is forgive me Jesus for the things I have allowed to make me abandon you. Forgive me father for the relational choices and temptations I have allowed to overcome me. Lord help me to not forsake you for a moment of pleasure.

    • Amy

      I feel the exact same way; repentance is needed for the lack of faithfulness on my part to the Lord all for worthless pleasure. It only lasts for a moment, but the consequences nag the soul. Praising Jesus that He doesn’t leave us broken and battered without hope. He cleanses, He restores; He gives light for our darkness.

  • Alexa Massar

    As a high school student who tries her best running after God, it can be difficult to balance what I believe is right and what other people are saying is right. This past year of high school was a struggle for me. I was in a constant battle against my faith and my friends. I didn’t know who I wanted to be. I made some bad decisions that not only got me into a lot of trouble, but we’re not glorifying God. I realized I needed to take a step back and say, hey I shouldn’t be doing this. If someone who knew I claimed to be a Christian saw me doing these things they would question my faith. I’m still struggling with the difficulties of fitting into today’s society because I am a high school student, but I know my God and he is all forgiving and merciful. I have full trust in Him.

    • Jen L

      Praying for you Alexa! God can use you in mighty ways!

    • Elly Wemyss

      I know how hard this can be! I’m a university student and when I was at high school I made lots of mistakes and I don’t act the way I should e just so I could fit in. But God is merciful and he forgives, but not only that he gives us the strength to change. It may be hard but maybe you need to associate your self with people with similar views. It’s hard because you want to be well liked, but actually high school is so short it’s silly to worry about how popular you are. I found it hard to stand my ground but also knowing the mistakes you have made (for me it was drinking) and deciding not to do that again to your friends really gives you accountability. Sorry I rambled but I hope this helped! I will pray for you X

  • This may be a little bit of a different direction than some have gone with this, but the verse that stuck out to me was “Favor is deceitful, & beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Lately I’ve had this on my mind because I haven’t felt beautiful physically. I’m still carrying 25+ pounds from being pregnant with our son, who is now 2 & 1/2, and feeling quite fluffy. But then I am reminded that, while I do need to be healthy, Jesus cares more about the state of my heart & the fruit of my life than my skirt size. There is a balance that needs to be found. I would much rather be the woman He would have me to be than the skirt size I want to be.

    I LOVE these devotionals. Each day there is something that strikes home. Thank you ladies!

    • Jessa

      Dear Sadie, thank you for sharing this. My life and job got extremely stressful after my wedding in December and before I knew it I gained 25-30 pounds. And I’m struggling to lose it and even more so to feel beautiful like God says I truly am when my clothes don’t fit and I feel nothing but discontentment when I look at myself in the mirror. Your remarks brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, you beautiful woman of God.

    • Natalie

      I love that you said “I would much rather be the woman He would have me to be than the skirt size I want to be.” I think so often we’re concerned with society’s views of our body’s & worth that we don’t come back to what he tells us we’re worth. We’re worth the love He gives us. Even when it doesn’t feel like we deserve it, we do. Yes, we are to treat our bodies with respect & love & care, but that doesn’t mean if we’re 30 pounds overweight, he loves us less. Asking him to stay strong in a healthy faith & healthy life is essential.

  • Krisanny

    Hello I don’t know if any of you will see this but it might bless someone! I’ve been going through a dark time but God allowing it to bring me closer to Him which has been my prayer for a long time. He is answering my prayer not like I expected but He is doing it His way! I’m learning to die to myself because for a long time I distracted myself from my calling because of fear! Fear that I might fail so I didn’t even attempt it. Also Fear of having to face those areas in my life that were eating away at me. Things like hidden unforgivness and bitterness. For me I was selling it for distractions so that I didn’t have to do the hard work that was needed to reach that point of healing. Now I have surrendered control and it hurts but I’m willing to go through the molding process so that God can bring me to the place where it’s all about Him and where He retakes His throne in my life! Control was the issue. My silver is control and I no longer desire that more than I desire Him! He has forgiven me and paid a price for me! He is truly faithful to us!

  • Yes he has placed a calling on your life! He knows you by name. Thank you Raechel for redirecting my gaze to Jesus through this passage!!!

  • Frances Keller

    Father God, I pray that you would keep Rosalie under your wings and close to your heart at this time! You are a loving God whose gonna stop at nothing to keep your children safe! Amen

  • Recently being at an event and acting in a way that I know isn’t pleasing to God. Sure I wasn’t the worst person there or even all that bad but if someone from church or someone that knows I’m a Christian and they aren’t…if they saw me, they most likely would question my faith. For a few years now this has been the case. I’m trying to find the fine line and stay real close. I’m now realizing I want to be far away from that fine line. I don’t want anything to do with crossing it. I’m redeemed. I’m a new creation. I need to “quit stealing” like it says in Ephesians. Stop doing the things I used to and instead use my hands for good works. This was a hard one today but I’m so thankful.

    • Juliefay

      Rosalie! I am encouraged by your desire to break free from even the closeness of that fine line. There are so many things that distract us from the Fathers eyes aren’t there!? I am thankful that ‘greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world’. Father, I pray that you help us keep our eyes on you and realize the treasure that you are. Help us desire you with all of our hearts! Thank you for always forgiving us and cleansing our hearts no matter how far we have gone from you. Amen

    • Crystal

      Rosalie, that was me for a loooong time. I relate so much…I will keep you in my prayers, that God would give you a heart for Him and Him alone, so much so that that fence wouldn’t seem so appealing anymore. Blessings to you! ~Crystal~

  • Whew this one really hit me hard. Being pregnant and struggling with depression has left me a nagging wife to my husband and not a very joyful mommy to my little girl and my heart hurts over it all. I feel hopeless to change it. I guess I feel a little bit like both Samson and Delilah. I need Gods intervention and help to make it through this.

    • christine

      I so resonate with what you’ve said, Dani. I’ve been there, it’s a hard season. Give yourself some Grace, because I KNOW God’s giving you some!
      Isaiah 40:11, “He gently leads those that have young.”

  • SHAMEKAMICHELLE

    Ummm that devotional hit the nail on the head for me! I’ve been Sampson when it comes to my boyfriend. God recently delivered me from the relationship, but not without consequences for leaving in sin. I had to decide he wasn’t worth my self respect, dignity, integrity or salvation. This is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do, but my soul is worth more!

    • Ali

      Hi shameka! I am so happy that God hasrevealed so much truth to your soul! Praise Jesus! This is something I struggled with in the past as well. I wanted to share with you something I learned last night from my pastor. So many of us women hear others saying “he is worth this or that” I am a culprit of it myself. I realized last night by saying this I am totally contradicting that statement and absorption for Christ’s love for me. This is because when we say that someone isn’t worth our this or that.. We are putting worth on others… We are taking control of who we think is worthy.. Where this is only God’s decision not ours. I had to repent last night and thank The Lord for a message that showed me my sin that I was oblivious too.. Then He lead me to think about people that I so easily label as less than myself because of this or that.. Wow what a list I had… This is a sin that I ask the Lord to monitor daily.. To examine my heart and help me repent of it. We are all equal in His eyes.. And who knew.. That of course I knew this statement..but truly in my heart.. I didn’t.. Because He see us all equal so we should see others as equal too. I needed this truth last night.. I thought I would share this truth with you as well. Love you, sister! :)

  • Very well-written and thought-provoking. Lord, keep me from nagging. Keep me from my evil desires for selfish gain. And keep me from squandering my opportunity to serve you and build your kingdom.

  • I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to relate to the story of Samson and Delilah; however, after reading the text, I have been gratefully humbled. I have more in common with these imperfect characters than I my self righteousness wanted me to believe. Praise God for his grace.

  • This reminds me of two things: we as women are going to struggle with control, it is written, and that the rewards of it are death. Even when I think my efforts to control are ‘noble’ or for good purpose, I have lost my focus, and given in to that original desire. Help me father to keep my eyes on you. When I am immersed in your Grace and Presence, I know true surrender. Surrender that comes with Peace and Joy!
    I live to trust You Lord, to do as you Will.

  • Oops, wasn’t done

  • I think too, that the story of Delilah is a reminder of Eve, of the curse that was laid upon all woman kind; the desire to control her husband…. And she uses all the tricks we are all too familiar with: manipulation, nagging, seducing, cajoling…. And she “wins”… She is financially independent, and ultimately steals his strength and power….
    An empty, worthless, forsaken triumph.

  • KaylaBuehrle

    Good morning girls! I am a little late on this post, but your question got me thinking. What do I do on a regular basis that I know forsakes Jesus? Sometimes people come to me and just say plain hateful things about other people. Now, I know not to engage in it, and I absolutely do not care to. However, it haunts me that I cannot stand up!" But I can't! I just sit there and halfway listen until they are done, and think to myself, why in the world do I even pretend to hear such nasty things? That really has been getting to me lately, and I could really use some advice as how to talk to that person about what they are saying. I want Jesus to be heard through the words I chose, but I feel that every time I go to say something I will not give him the justice He deserves, so I sit quietly. Thanks for listening!

    • CandaceH

      This is a tough one. What I’d recommend is saying “I appreciate that you can trust me to share heavy things, but I want to hear about your life. What is your part in all of this?” Secondly, I’d ask, “does this person know how you feel? The Bible is clear about us going directly to the individual we have an issue with & working it out. After you’ve talked with them & there’s not resolve, I’d be happy to talk with both of you.” Your boldness may stop your girlfriend in her tracks and gently remind her how to speak with more grace and wisdom to others. It’s definitely hard to stand up for what’s best, but she will respect you for it and your spirit can be at rest because you didn’t engage in it.

  • Kasey Summers

    God has been teaching me the importance of being a woman clothed with integrity and His love & strength. He is worth of my whole life! Of much more actually but it is all I have to give! To live is Christ, to die is gain.

  • Emma McKay

    Amen amen amen. Jesus is worth it all may we never be delilahs in this life!

  • Great perspective. I see myself in Samson, forsaking my calling and choosing to go down a path I myself chose. not in a bad way necessarily, but its definitely a gut check to see who’s will I really am following – mine or Jesus.

  • michelle of LA CA

    It was great story . I believe she was nagging him lol for the fourth time .
    But God had a plan even after they took his eyes and made him a slave . God still had a plan

  • There are so many valuable insights in these comments. I wrote this in my prayer journal and thought I would hate it here.

    How could I ever think I have a better plan than god? Time and time again I feel frustrated and dissatisfied with where I am in my life, questioning god and where he is taking me.
    I’m constantly trading in the freedom and peace that Jesus has given me, for fear, worry and control over my situation.
    Why would I trade peace for fear? I find it so hard to believe and trust god is leading me somewhere good. I should be thinking about how I can serve god but all I’m thinking about is how god can serve me. My weakness and selfishness is huge.

    Lord, I pray that you would meet me in my weakness and forgive my selfishness. Help me to turn back to the peace of Jesus and away from fear and doubt. I don’t want to betray Jesus and his love for me I want to live in the freedom he bought and to truly believe and live like I know god has an amazing plan. Help me to cast away doubts and praise you holy father, for you are the only one who can lead me. Yours is the only direction I want to go. Amen

  • I love that verse in Romans 12:21, the NLT says “Don’t let evil conquer, but conquer evil by doing good.”

    Anyone ever notice that the numbers of this verse in Romans do the very thing it talks about…… 12:21

  • I was really struck by the idea of overcoming evil with good in this lesson. I used my SRT workbook to make a list of the things that I might consider betrayals, or sin in my life. And then listed next to it the good I can use to overcome them. this was a really good challenge. It helped me make my behavior tangible and accept what I can do better.

  • Day 24 – DELILAH – I really enjoyed our writer’s thoughts on these passages yesterday. I agree, there is a lot to think about! After two days of pondering Delilah and Samson, and what we learn about God through their story, I find myself drifting back to Delilah again and again. She makes my heart heavy. I can’t imagine betraying the vulnerability and trust of a man who loved me and was asleep in my lap. I can’t imagine her callous concern over money (no matter how much!) when she watched the Philistines bind this man, torture and enslave him… as a result of her actions! The sad truth is I have begun to think that Delilah is a perfect example of the OPPOSITE kind of woman I want to be in my man’s life! As far as we are told in Judges 16, she did not seem to know or care to know Samson’s God. She did not know or understand about the calling on his life, or care to encourage or support it. His gifts were only valuable to her for entertainment and selfish monetary gain. At her hand, she caused him to be humiliated, abandoned by God, physically tortured and enslaved. Wow. Horribly wow. When I think of the one man on this earth who loves me and has opened his heart to me without reserve, my husband, I pray that I can be the kind of wife that is the opposite of what I read in Judges 16. “Lord, help me to be the kind of woman in my man’s life that knows YOU, my husband’s God & my God, that sees and understands how You have gifted him and the calling You have placed on his life. Help me to encourage his walk with You and the development of those gifts and the whole-hearted pursuit of the calling You have given him. Help me to guard the confidence and vulnerable moments he shares with me, may they be tender, nurturing and supportive moments that are never exploited, never betrayed. Help me to stand by him as his helper, never his enemy. Help me never to become callous about things that hurt him, distract him, lead him into a dangerous place of pride, and therefore limit or destroy his usefulness to You!” ~ In the end, the awesome God we serve redeemed Samson’s calling, heard his humbled heart in prayer to the Lord to strengthen him one last time, and he defeated more Philistines in his death than he had in his life. But I can’t help but wonder how differently his life on earth might have played out if a woman who loved his God and his calling had stolen his heart and consistently pointed it back to his Creator and Redeemer!?

    • Rosieg

      So glad to read this thanks . I felt exactly the same angry even ! My personality is to make people happy and I avoid trouble .

    • Kelli Beaver

      Thank you Wendi for a prayer that I prayed over myself and my new boyfriend, an incredibly Godly man who has a strong calling on his life! I desire to always point him back to His maker, whether as sister in Christ, girlfriend or even future wife. We as women have SUCH power over men – may we use it to inspire and motivate them and not the opposite!!!!

    • Megan

      What a beautiful prayer and one I just prayed for my husband. It is an excellent reminder to remember be careful of someone who has put their faith and trust into you. Sometimes I think my husband is so strong and forget his vulnerabilities.

  • How entangling is sin?! The moment he rejects God’s calling and instructions his mind weakens and it’s all downhill from there. We do know how it ends and how wonderful God is since Samson’s voice of repentance was heard and grace and forgiveness was given!!

  • Rochelle

    Thank you for sharing this today. It opened my eyes further to some areas in my own life where I am like Delilah…

  • Lots going through my head this morning. I am amazed at how many times I think, “I would never do that,” as I read Bible passages. I am repeatedly reminded that I already have. My list of things that I assign higher value to; my need for control, my desire for peace, security, my fears and the never ending to-do list keep me from focusing on God and all that He is. Most of all it keeps me from focusing on the fact that He is enough.
    I do not need to contrive or control my circumstances. He has it.
    I do not need to live in fear. He has it.
    I do not need the security of tomorrow. He has it.
    I do not need to fear conflict and fight for peace. He has it.

    I see Delilah in me not in the way she is commonly seen -as a conniving, evil woman. I see her as a woman did not know God and so she fell victim to her own devices and ways to control her life. And so the question for me is as one who professes love for God, why can you not trust? Why the need for control?
    God, forgive me for my turned head. Forgive my wandering soul. Take my chin and turn my gaze to You. Let me sit in the quiet peace that You’ve got it all covered.

    • JuliaR

      Thank you for sharing your heart – what you wrote really resonated with me! I am also amazed at how often I say “I could never do that”, when in reality, I do. Especially liked “I do not need to contrive or control my circumstances. He has it.” This will be my prayer today!!

  • Lots going through my head this morning. I am amazed at how many times I think, “I would never do that,” as I read Bible passages.

  • Samantha Clarke

    Raechel I just love your writing and the fact that you are so commited to sharing and making the truth known to us.

  • Juliashelly

    I can totally see the Delilah in me. I read this story and think Sampson is a sucker. If she betrays you 3 times why would you trust her the forth? But I also can see where I am Sampson. I betray Jesus for love every time it finds me. I’ve never found this story so relatable before.

  • I have not been here for a couple months now. God somehow knew that I needed to be here today and that Delilah would open my eyes and help me slowly get out of a spiritual stump. I wrote this on my blog and I would like to share it with you.
    —–

    My spiritual journey with God at the moment feels like it has been on a standstill (in place by me) as I struggle to understand and pursue God while I created a perfect box, filled with things that a Christian who loves God would/should do. I tried to fit and mold myself into this box for a number of reasons (I was envious of those who seemed to ‘get’ God and I wanted to be one of them, etc.). This has not been the first time I have done this, and probably not the last. I am still in the beginning of my journey with God and I have much to learn.

    I’ve been stewing on this issue, so to speak, for a couple of days now. I have not read any other Bible studies, read the Bible, or prayed. These last couple of days have been spent outside and reading, quietly ignoring God and letting the world happen. I’m thankful that it is summer and I am on vacation in a semi-remote area. Otherwise, if it had been any other stressful period of the year I would have gone much longer without Him.

    As a side note, I think it is healthy to take breaks from God in order to re-evaluate your relationship with Him and with the world. I do not mean it as a chance to do whatever you want without consequences and then return to Him and ask for forgiveness. I think that’s what a Christian who does not know God would do. But in my situation, I would have be blind to the works and realizations God has recently given me if I had not been selfish (and perhaps childish) in my reasons for taking a pause. Sometimes in moments when we find ourselves angry with God and we want to ignore Him, He reveals Himself to us. Such is my case.

    I never would have thought that I would be able to connect with Delilah. I like to think that no matter what situation I was in, I would not resort to similar (if not exact) evil deeds as she did. Instead, what I found was a similar heart.

    I see myself in both Samson and Delilah. In pursuing a relationship with God, I have been selfish and I have been trying to do things my way, and in ways that I thought were right that needed to be done. While I have had moments where I have been in awe of God and what He has shown me, I have not been as open as I thought I had been. In reality, perhaps I closed Him off more than before. Here I was, doing whatever it took to get my way–of becoming that perfect Christian that I so desire and focusing on what I would gain through those actions–and forgetting why I want a relationship with God, why a relationship is needed, and God’s purpose for all of us.

    I was so blind by my greed, much like Delilah was. Delilah’s weakness, whether it was riches or something else, was exposed and tempted upon in order for her to turn her back on someone who loved her and might have been with for some time.

    I think back to Adam and Eve and how they were tempted to eat the fruit because they wanted to become and know God and be aware of good and evil. I imagine that both parties had probably thought about this before and perhaps longed for this knowledge, making it easy for Satan to swoop in just give a little tease to persuade them to take a bite. If I were in a similar situation, and someone came and told me if I did something, I could be so close to God and be that perfect Christian, I might have taken up that offer. Why? Because I’m weak and selfish and my desires and wants would have been much more important to me than God.

    There is a lot to still think about, but I’m grateful for this humbling experience. It’s time for me to learn that I should not judge my relationship with God based on what I see before me. There is a lot of misleading people out there, and when I focus on perfecting a relationship, I miss out on its good and God. Everyone has different relationships with people, so why not that be the same with God?

    Yes, there is much to consider.

    • Dana

      I really enjoyed your honesty and how I can relate. It took me reading this to think about it and realize how similar I am to both Samson and Delilah.

    • Lauren

      I went through a similar period in my life several years ago, and I too think it’s healthy to stop and re-evaluate your relationship with God every so often.

      Look up L’Abri Fellowship online – I spent some time there deciding whether or not I was going to keep being a Christian, and it has forever impacted me and my walk with God. I feel like it would be massively helpful to you…

  • When she asked the question what would I trade Jesus for, even if it were just for a moment, I immediately became defensive. Thinking that I would never do such a thing. Then as I started reflecting back over this season in life I realized that I traded the peace that Jesus gives me for the option of worrying and taking my future into my own hands. This is such a silly trade off, Jesus or fear? Seems like a no brainer choice on a piece of paper and even as I am typing these words. However, most days I let the nagging of the enemy allow my sinful heart to think that if I medal just enough with my situation it will guarantee me a future that doesn't involve me being lonely or discontent. I know that Jesus has bright plans for me, He says it over and over again in the scriptures, but just like Samson, I let the dripping drive me crazy and I give in to flesh like tendencies. No matter what you trade Jesus for, trading the characteristics of the Holy Spirit for your old fleshy ones is just as bad, and that is so convicting.

    • Kristen Fagaly

      Bekah, I’m right there with ya! Thank you for your raw honesty and encouragement. Praying we would walk in God’s peace and bright, wonderful, will today; that we would be deeply satisfied and made complete through our relationship with Him!

    • Brittany

      Wow. So good! Such good insight.

  • Ouch. I said some harsh words to my husband this morning and was wondering how God was going to teach me today through today’s devotional. Thus begins my attempt to overcome my evil with good today. Thank God his mercies are new every morning!

  • Reminding myself that God is the one in power and not me. Allowing Jesus to work in me and to not allow the world to cloud me.
    Do not let the noise of this world keep you from hearing the voice of God.

  • This is just so good! It's so easy for me to sit in my comfortable house and say, "No I would die for Jesus!". And then I remember all my sin that I do that in effect betrays Him all the time. All the times I knowingly fall short and have no real sorrow for it.

  • It is worth reading further in this passage to get a better sense for Samson…who truly became a vessel of God's strength…when he was finally weakest. Delilah plays a key roll in that transformation. she thinks she is powerful and able to overcome this man…but in the end it was always God's plan. My lesson here might be that sometimes we feel ego self strength…able to overcome something and feel we will receive selfish success…and really miss the point that we are vehicles for God's purposes in that moment.

  • Christa Gregg

    Wow! I had noted she betrayed Samson for a lot of money, but hadn't made the connection to how little Jesus was betrayed for and what my price is? Very convicting. God took me in a different direction…how can I protect, encourage, and guard my husband's "strength" and encourage him to pursue God not the passing things of this world. Basically, how can I be the opposite of Delilah to the man who loves me?

  • A little interpretation on the book of judges, thanks to my study Bible- 17:6, 18:1, 19:1, 21:25. All of those verses say “And there was no king in Israel” and two of the verses also add “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. Also, I thought too about how God’s spirit had not been poured out to indwell people yet, and instead was only on a few special people at a time.

    But anyway, I see a lot going on here- one is the pull of culture on us. I think for our culture, materialism is a huge struggle. For me too, personally, I struggle with the idol of success. But, by God’s grace, His Holy Spirit never lets me be satisfied with these lesser things, no matter how much or tempting it is to devote my life to having success in all of its various forms.

    So, getting back to Judges, the whole book needs to be framed by those key verses- there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes. The Israelites had already been redeemed from Egypt’s opression, delivered from bondage. They had the law now, too. Yet it was not enough. The law and the 10 Commandments do not have the power to save us, and we aren’t empowered to follow it simply by understanding what the law is. The Israelites at this time were proof of this, as are we, judging by all the comments, and my own too. What do we need? Not more religion, more good works, more trying harder. We need a king for our hearts and our wills, and our minds. We need the Son of God, in all his humanity, in all his divinity. We need to see that he became like us, suffered like us, was tempted like us, and yet never sinned. While Samson’s life was defined by lust-I want, I take- Jesus’ life was defined by love- I want you, the Father wants you, I will give everything to have you and bring you to my Father, my very flesh and blood, my life for yours. Jesus, the Father, the Spirit, in unity from day 1, from before time, on what it would take to create and then redeem us.

    We are not saved for religion, but for Christ, to know his person! To spend eternity, starting now, knowing the infinite love of Yaweh. I would also argue that Israel, as a whole, did not really know God yet during the time of the Judges. God’s revelation of himself was gradual, culminating in Christ over a thousand years later! Jesus came when the time was ripe for us to no longer live as slaves to the world and to the law, but to be adopted into the family of God! See Galatians 4:1-7. This commentary was longer than intended, but helpful, I hope. See also Tim Keller’s bible study on Judges.

  • Wow, hit hard with humility. I want so badly to be the Proverbs 31 woman, but I am so much more like Delilah. I am like the nagging wife in proverbs that does whatever it takes to get my way. What is my price? It’s control, control of others and of circumstances. Lord, save me from seeking my own selfish gain and from believing that my desires and instincts are better than the plans that you have for me, for others! Help me humble myself today, throw away my pride and let you be Lord of my life. I have no good thing apart from you. May we all see Jesus as our greatest treasure and be moved by his deep love for us despite our unfaithful hearts!

  • Carly Wilke

    Delilah. Oh Delilah. Every time I read this story, for a moment I feel mighty. Proud even that I have not given way to the nagging of ‘Delilah’. But whom do I start to resemble but a religious leader, a Pharisee, a tax collector. I too have sold something that cannot be appraised because it’s worth is beyond my understanding. I too have set myself above Delilah only to be Delilah myself. Selfish. Self pleasing. A hypocrite. But then enters Jesus. The only one who can lift these names and reputations of of me and instead give me grace. “Crown me with faithful love and compassion”(Psalm 103:4). Rename me like Naomi. Restore me like Ruth. And raise me up from the dead like Christ!!! Praise be to our God almighty!! Amen!! Sisters! Amen!!

  • Mercy, indeed.
    I have always struggled with Samson’s story. It makes me cringe, and get utterly frustrated that he couldn’t just leave that awful woman already. And prostitutes, Samson? Come on! You were made for more than that!
    But then I have to remind myself that while he was a man of God, he was just a man. He made terrible choices just as I’ve made terrible choices. Mine aren’t recorded in a Book for the world to read. There is only One who will never disappoint, never let us down.

  • Sonja Cox

    “As for us—me and you—I’m praying no price is high enough for us to betray our Jesus. I’m praying, by the Lord’s grace, we would not be overcome by evil’s nagging or bought with its shiny facade. I’m praying, in the way of Romans 12:21, we would “overcome evil with good.”
    Thank you for the reminder of the ‘shiny worthless things’ that can so easily make us sell Jesus for that which only leads to death! Jesus Himself brings life! Thank you for this huge lesson!

  • Delilah. We don’t hear about what happened to her after Samson’s “fall”. She was so symbolic of how easy it is to fall prey to seduction. She epitomizes temptation. Do you think that is her purpose in Judges? To personify evil and how glamorous it can appear?

  • So, I am loving how these devotionals are continually pointing us to God's character rather than the "subject" of the passage. I have been deeply challenged in a few different areas this morning so I thank you Raechel and SRT as well as all the incredible insight from you SRT sisters! There are some great nuggets that have been unearthed for me this morning and I pray that God would refine them in my heart.

    I think another question that kind of burns for me along with "What is my price to betray him?" is "What price would I pay to follow Him?" And in the spirit of honesty, I feel both prices are heartbreakingly low.

    So I have much to pray about this morning but first and foremost will be to give thanks and praise for His unending love and faithfulness. That He continues to call me to so much more and I pray that I would answer that call by surrendering my "price" and obeying in trust.

    • Melnewton4

      Wow, Kim, that second question… “What price would I pay to follow Him.” I often tell myself that I’d do anything, yet find myself day after day compromising time with Him. My priorities are a bit misaligned to say the least and I need to truly find comfort in the stillness. I don’t know how to just relax and spend time with the Spirit, and instead spend my time in “checklist mode.” When I answer that question, and realize how low my own price is, it’s upsetting. It’s not who I want to be. Thank You, Father, for loving me despite my shortcomings and for revealing truth today through the words of my sisters!

  • "And what is my price?"

    Well if that doesn't just humble you.

    For another comparison point about the silver, I just read in 2 Chronicles yesterday the verse that said that silver was as stone to King Solomon in those days because his wealth was so great. What a thought, how God shows us in His word that money can be viewed as the ultimate goal or mean nothing at all – that it is never truly about the money, but the depravity of our own hearts. It is either so connected with value that it drives us mad or the equivalent of the pebbles beneath our feet. It is the tool used to dismantle and destroy lives in it's power and it is also the tool used by God for establishing His eternal kingdom through Jesus Christ. He uses everything, even dirty money, for His good purposes and plans.

    Unfathomable when we are sober-minded to think that whether tempted by much or by little, we will still choose money (or whatever our own "money" might be) over righteousness – we still choose it over Jesus, the lover of our souls.

    Sometimes it is so easy to impulsively hate on these Biblical figures for the choices they made, until we consider what our own currency is. We might say we can't understand their choices or foolishness or seeming gullibility, but at the end of the day, we DO understand them when we compare their choices to ones we would make in our worst moments, don't we? Beautiful, humbling, convicting food for thought that makes me want an extra cup of grace today. Thank you, Raechel and SRT!

  • Amanda Raschel

    As I read this today, I am challenged to think about the idols in my life. I may not think I’m betraying my Savior when I strive to make more money, when I stress over my appearance or when I misuse my time for my selfish gain; but when I do these things, I’m putting myself on a pedestal rather than bowing my heart and life to God’s will. What a refreshing message this morning. Praying that we all are encouraged to live our lives in worship of Jesus rather than in idolatry of self.

  • This was an amazing study this morning. Thank you for the insight into these verses but more important, thank you for posing the question. As I ask myself, what my price is, I sense immediately some areas where I compromise. I know the Holy Spirit will reveal the areas of my life that are not pleasing to him. I'm praying I will not miss his gentle promptings and that my heart will be open and obedient. I pray for grace and strength to move away from those displeasing areas (sin!) so I can reflect his grace! I pray I will not let evil conquer me, but will conquer evil by doing good! Thank you again for this convicting study! ❤️

  • Brittany

    Thank you for this devotional. It was a wonderful reminder. I’ve received such a lesson from it. The biggest thing I took away from this devotion is an overwhelming compassion and empathy for both Sampson and Delilah. Being a sinner and identitfying with both, I feel sad for the guilt they must have carried around with them for their actions (at least for a time until redemption was asked for). I feel especially broken for Delilah. She wasn’t voluntarily evil, we live in an evil world of pain and that pain can cause sinful actions from our own selves. She too, was loved by God.
    Thank you God for loving me despite my sinful nature. Thank you for your redemption.

  • Caroline

    Let us overcome evil with God's truth and goodness! Amen!
    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Such crazy connections to draw across scripture and heavy convictions to take in this morning. It’s my prayer that I don’t forsake my Jesus for any price.

  • Diane Huntsman

    We are all but one bad decision away from a lifetime of ramifications.. As Samson’s hair was cut off and all strength departed from him, when we fall into sin and cut off the connection to our power source we lose all of our spiritual strength and begin our spiral downward at lightening speed.. To avoid the bad decision making in the first place, we must cling to Jesus every second of every day.. The silver bullet answer is always abiding, knowing we will abandon Him for 30 pieces of silver at any given moment if we aren’t literally at His feet soaking in His presence and power to make right choices.. asking Him to fill us afresh and enable us to love Him more than we love ourselves and love fulfilling the desires of our flesh.. Staying connected to the vine is essential for every single victory we hope to have in the spiritual battles that wage.. It’s not just a ten minute she reads truth pit stop either, it’s moment by moment communion and the truths of His words on constant replay in our heads… Apart from Him we can do nothing, but with Him nothing is impossible.. We all have the ability to be Delilah’s.. may the Spirit of God who dwells in us be alive and active in us to overcome those Delilah ways.. Abide. Abide. Abide. ❤️ thank you SRT you nail it everyday!

  • What lights my eyes and feels worth forsaking my Savior, even just for a moment? Wow…..

    • Meg

      That statement hit me right between the eyes. So many little things popped up. Seemingly inconsequential things that happen as I go about my day. But they do have consequences- every one of those little things adds up to put a bit more distance between myself and God. Thank God for His mercy.

  • Everyday I am Delilah. Wow! This reading today broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Lord please help me not to sell you out for the cheap things of this world but help me to be SOLD OUT for you. Amen

    • Kimone

      Amen Gina. I am with you on that. Lord help us not to sell you out for the cheap things of the world but to be sold out for you!

  • Stephanie

    When thinking about what I have traded/betrayed my Jesus for… I’m 10times worse than judas. Little things, lying, cursing, many other daily missteps… I feel like that’s a form of betraying my Jesus for something so very small. It’s a shameful feeling knowing how quickly I’m able to decided something else is more important than my Savior, even if it is just for a moment.

  • My price is pride. Isn't that what I'm gaining when I gossip? When I talk about others, when I relay a story which casts them in a bad light? I feel better than they are, I feel superior because "I'd never do such a thing." And I fail to do what the passage from Ephesians asks us to: to speak only what will uplift and give grace. I've fallen into this sin so many times, felt guilty, begged forgiveness, and done it again. As I approach the throne of grace and begin again today, I do it with the words from this devotion in my mind: "what is my price?" Do I want pride to be the price for which I'll betray Jesus?
    Begging prayers today, sisters!

    • Susan

      Angela, thank you for your transparency. I’ve prayed God would answer your prayer and I know He will.

  • As often as I have read about Samson and Delilah, I never really thought about the silver that she was being offered. She was a prostitute and therefore money probably meant a lot more than loving the man she was with. I never thought about the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for giving up our Savior. Delilah was offered so much more —-and she worked hard to get it by deceiving Samson.

    Again, what would my price be? Oh my. I just hope and pray that I would never look in that direction. WE are being tested every day. We have to remain strong by being in his Word, in prayer, in relationship with Him or dare we betray our Lord and Savior.

    Thank you for this devotional!!! Made me think!!

  • Samson's story made me think of fallen Christian leaders. He was called, judged the people, but fell misirably. Then his hair grew in prison, the Holy Spirit returned his strength and he distorted a large group of the enemy at his death. Delilah was part of God's plan and I pray she/I will always see that God has a plan even when life gives me it's worst.

  • I wrote in my journal this morning that it is disgusting to me to even try to identify with my own familiar sins appearing in Samson and Delilah – I despise this story so much and I definitely have a lot of questions for God about Judges as a whole.

    But at the same time…. how many times have I returned to the same old sources of temptation over and over, telling myself it’ll be different this time, ignoring the still, small voice that says it won’t?

    Just this morning I gave into temptation yet again, and sinned the same sin I always struggle with, and have been struggling against for more than fifteen years!!!!!!!!! When will I ever learn, huh?

    So I guess I can’t exactly lord my righteousness over Samson.

  • I love that question at the end! What is worth forsaking my savior, what am I putting ahead of him? Bc everything on this earth is like “30 pieces of silver” compared to Him!! Good reading today!!

  • Another thought just landed in my heart.
    If we are looking at the WOMEN in the OT, we 'Women of the Word', then what are we learning from DELILAH??

    And what just came through big and bold is the CONTRAST. Sometimes we need to be confronted with what we will BECOME, if we continue to turn away from God.

    And Delilah is a pretty good example of what we DO NOT want to end up like. Manipulative… that 'dripping water' irritant from Proverbs? (better to sleep on the corner of the ROOF than endure a nagging wife!!)… but ultimately, she lies, she betrays, she is untrustworthy. How very SAD if we were to end up like Delilah. I don't think she is in any way acquainted with peace or real love. What a pitiful waste, and how much God must have grieved to have another of His precious children go their own way…

  • The thing that struck me was Sampson's missed opportunity. Here is this 'great man of God'. He was strong and powerful. He was well known and he took an interest in Delilah, a prostitute. We are so quick to judge Delilah, but I think we must consider what leads a woman to such a lifestyle. There is likely and lot of pain and hurt. She has learned in her life that her beauty can get her what she thinks she wants, all the time not knowing that she is worthy of so much more. I am guessing that most Godly men had shunned her for her vocation. Then comes Sampson and he is interested in her.
    When Jesus encountered a prostitute, he told her to turn from her ways and follow him. He showed her a pure love. When called by God, Hosea married Gomer and continued to pursue her with a Godly love even after marriage. In comparison, Sampson ended up using Delilah just as every other man had up to that point. What bitter disappointment she must have felt. Yet again, she was shown that there was nothing more than looking out for herself. I am so struck by the lost opportunity. How differently could this story have ended.
    Today, God is telling me to not judge anyone, but to see them as he sees them. Love them and care for them. I am terrible at this but I am also reminded that I am no more worthy in God's eyes than a prostitute or any other type of sinner, at least not without the blood of Christ covering me. And just as I have been freed from my own forms of bondage, I can also help others find freedom. May God give me the strength to do so.

  • What is my price? Do I know the Spirit intimately where I miss his presence? I agree with many of you; my fears, lack of trust, self-sufficiency, need for control, my lack of self-control! How do I, personally grieve the Spirit of God? I followed the scriptures, and was brought to this;
    “They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.” Ps78.18
    How often I demand from The Lord. Praying that today, one day at a time, I am able to recognize those demands and begin laying them down!

  • Jennifer B

    That is a wonderful comparison between the 2 betrayals that I honestly wouldn't have ever found. Also to stop and ask what the reading (in the OT) is telling me about Jesus. SRT is deepening my love for reading and studying the bible. Thank you!

    • shereadstruth

      Thanks for joining us today, Jennifer! I love hearing what God's teaching you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Ouch. Raechel, that question struck home. How many times EACH DAY am I a Delilah…choosing the temporal, shiny "silver" of control, fear, stuff, or (perceived) applause of people over my God and what He offers? What a reminder to me to make a conscious choice, minute by minute, to choose my Jesus–because as someone else pointed out, He is always there, always waiting for us to choose Him so that He can redeem what we have squandered–just as He did with Samson. I want more of Him than the last-minute redemption that Samson had–I don't want to make the wrong choices and miss out on all of the blessings I could have–IN HIM–between now and then. Oh God…I choose YOU. Amen and amen!

  • Wow. What a way to think about this passage! What am I deceived by, even in a moment, that tempts me to betray my savior? Is it in letting myself overeat when I’m feeling sad? Think unkind thoughts when someone cuts me off on the road? Or simply being busy doing my own thing take over so that I just kind of forget about him and what my life is really about for a day, or two, or three… I pray that nothing, no food, activity, person or temptation would be enough to convince us to betray out precious savior!

  • So good! The Ephesians reading was very convicting also, I hate the thought of “grieving the Holy Spirit” or “giving opportunity to the devil”. But we do quite often when we let sin win and choose something less then His best for us. I don’t wanna believe the lies of the enemy anymore. Lets drown out that deceptive voice with the truth of God’s word and who HE says we are! we don’t have to feel condemnation today, His mercies are new every morning! :)

  • Thank you, Rachael, for an insightful message. I, too, am percolating on 'my price'… and how, in many small ways throughout my days, I may slip up in that greasy puddle of temptation that the enemy has laid down.

    Then, as I read through all the comments (thank you, Sisters, for all of your insightful and transparent offerings!!!), it began to build in me: how can we truly wonder about Sampson's inclusion in the Hall of Faith, when so many of the men and women there have a checkered past themselves? There's an adulterer/murderer – David – right up front. A big name, a Patriarch, a 'Man After God's Own Heart…. and yes, Yes, YES we must read a little further, search more deeply, and we will find David's heartfelt repentance. Just as – thank you Sister that offered THIS: Sampson repented later, too.

    And I think for myself, and many others as well, the repentance, forgiveness and restoration is the greater part of the story. Why, yes! It is indeed, because THERE Jesus is – right in the heart of the new beginning. Right in the HOPE part of the story. Jesus, the Lover of our souls, who will restore us no matter HOW ugly our sin is, no matter how painful to His Heart our 'selling out' was, He is there to meet us in our need, Grace-filled Hands, Arms wide open to us.

    THAT'S the treasure for me… Jesus is always there to take us back to God, restored, refreshed, redeemed.

    • Melnewton4

      I love that you said, “…repentance, forgiveness and restoration are the greater part of the story.” Amen to that!

  • May it never be! "But he did not know that the Lord had left him."

    I pray this for me. I pray this for all of you.

    I pray that the Holy Spirit reveals to me my weaknesses, my price — that would cause me to sellout. Complacency sneaks in and I think, for me, is above fear. I can not be satisfied in my weaknesses that keep me from moving forward for Christ, yet I can not step out on my own strength and conquer this; I must beseech the One with the Power to do battle so that NO PRICE is ever enough to cause me to be satisfied with how things are–I should always be moving forward, being molded into the likeness of Christ — no matter the cost.

  • MNmomma (heather)

    This study is certainly one that will be "sticking with me" for awhile…..lots to think about. Love that. I pray that my eyes are opened to the enemy's empty promises and that I am led by the Spirit to discern truth and to choose actively to do good – each and every day. I pray that Jesus's love and light fill me and that His love is seen in my actions and words….that I remain in and with Him…..

    • cvj50

      Yes. That His love and light fill me entirely… that when people see me they see Him in my actions and words.. and may I be blanketed by His unending grace…

  • Wow! There is so much to reflect on today with this passage and the devotion! I almost didn’t have my quiet time today as my to do list is so long. How easily I can get my prorities messed up by listening to the wrong voices. God is so faithful, yet how easily I can turn him aside..I guess my price is very low. I am so thankful for his forgiveness. Praying that I won’t be overcome with that evil nagging. Have a blessed day!

  • smithwendy62

    I really appreciate being able to participate and read such wonderful messages…Thank you!

  • This has touched my heart deeply today! Thank you for allowing God to lead you in the writing of this post! How many times on a daily basis do I trade Him off for the cheap price of my own selfish ways, thoughts, and attitudes? More than I would want to admit. Thank God for His mercy that reminds us of His ways! I have found a reminder of His way and His mercy in your post today!

  • In this story Samson loses his power when someone betrays him. But with Jesus, when all his friends betray him and even his father betrays him at the cross, he conquerors death. He never loses his power. No one no matter how much they betray him for can ever ever ruin his power. That is my strength and my hope. Even when I do sell out my savior for a cheap price, it doesn’t affect who he is like it affected Samson. Jesus is stronger! Jesus has already won the victory! And Jesus makes me a conqueror with him! I want to live in that identity as conqueror today and every day. Listen to the song “More Than Conquerors” by rend collective it’s so powerful and connects so much with today’s readings. God bless!

  • What is my price? Still pondering – and I will be for a long time. So easy to sit in judgement – to think how stupid Samson was, how wicked Delilah. But I do the same.

  • What is my price?!! Wow!!! Blew my mind with that point because it is so easy to separate yourself from Delilah like I don’t do that… But I’ve compromised on a few things in the past that I know I shouldn’t have.. LORD, give me strength to stay near you and always overcome evil with good. Amen

  • Raechel! You brought this word home with the comparison of the amount to silver paid for Samson and the amount paid for Jesus. I never saw that before either. Also, your point on what is our price? I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict me real good when a price is revealed to me in my life. Thank you for this Raechel.

  • Leslie Olson

    Each day I ask myself who is God to this woman and today it seems for this moment God is Delilahs enemy…he is not enough for her. Oh I haven’t caused this type of downfall when God is not enough for me – or haven’t I? When God is not enough for me, who have I pulled down with me in my anger or my gossip or my stubbornness, etc. who have I hurt with my nagging or complaints. Delilah is a gift – a picture of what destruction can come from a short period of distance from God, what harm can result when I say in my heart He is not enough.

  • This is what the lord showed me… I think we get good picture of how spiritual warfare with the devil works from this story. Delilah’s repeated lies & constant nagging mirror satan’s tactics. I once heard someone say “satan over promises and under delivers every time.” And when Samson finally gave in, finally believed her, he was destroyed. Of course as another reader mentioned, he is named alongside David and Samuel in Hebrews 11 “hall of faith” … God redeems and uses even those who have believed the enemy’s lies, even those who have traded satan’s empty promises for God’s unfailing love. That was me once. But He is faithful. And he has redeemed my story, and he redeems all those who believe. “Believe in the lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” I love that verse because it’s so simple.

    • Laura

      Amen and amen, girl. That’s it right there. Thankful God saved you out of that, and that it really IS as simple to just believe. <3

    • Rachel

      Amen! Satan is such a deceiver and my past sin blinded me. But God redeemed me! I now pray for discernment to immediately see through Satan’s empty promises and obey God instead and cling to God’s promises. Let’s pray for each other. I wonder what sin am I blind to right now? It’s easier to look back and know. It hit me for the first time that the removal of Samson’s eyes were fitting to his downfall of lust. With no eyes, there was less opportunity to fall into the same sin. In eternity it will have been better to have a body part removed than to fall prey to what so easily entangles me. O, Lord, give us eyes to see the truth. Stir us up and save us from our sin…the thing that keeps us from totally and wholly worshipping and serving you only.

      • MNmomma (heather)

        AMEN!

      • Candacejo

        I heard a sermon preached along those lines! That Samson was a He-man with a SHE-weakness. But it was not really Delilah that brought him down. it was the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Delilah certainly was not his first mistake. :(

        Yet God!! In His mercy to Samson's repentance gives him strength for one last battle to defeat the enemy. How many times have I needed that mercy!!

      • Melnewton4

        Yes, Amen!

    • Beth

      Thank you Renee. I really needed that today. I have a lot going on and the devotional was kind of discouraging to me because the Spirit of the Lord left Samson. What you said really put it in perspective and helped bring it around for me.

  • sweetdes2014

    What is my price? Hannah, thank you for helping me identify my price… You said it so well…. The way I value my fears over His goodness to me. And then Sarah adds His faithfulness. My fears are at 100 as I journey through my husband's illness and I believe I have placed them over His goodness and His faithfulness. My fears of loneliness, my financial future, getting a plumber to replace the toilet, selling my husband's car… I'm scared!! But I must remember His goodness towards me and His faithfulness towards me. I must overcome evil (fear) with goodness (trust).

    • churchmouse

      Praying for you! I pray that though your body may shake and your voice tremble and your mind be swirling in your circumstance, that you would sense His very strong presence right beside you. Holding you up. Taking your hand and showing you the way. And ever whispering in your ear, you are my beloved.

    • mamajonk

      Praying peace and comfort for you and your husband. Trusting our Lord will hold you close today and always.

  • What is my price? The affirmation of other. Fearing people rather than growing in the fear of the Lord. Like Samson, I have far too often foolishly chosen the love of others over loving my Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. Time to go have a heart to heart with my Beloved Savior again. Thank you Jesus for being willing to die even for this sin, and to clothe me with your righteousness. That never, ever ceases to amaze me!

    • Carol

      Ellen, I could so easily say the same words – this is very powerful for me today. Thank you so much.

  • Like Samson God has called me. From birth He has given me countless opportunities to share Him, speak for Him and live for Him. But like Samson I took my life a different direction and instead chose to live life out for myself, making bad decision after bad decision and being lead by my wants and desires. BUT as in Samson's hair, God never left me. In fact, when I was at my lowest point instead of forsaking me when my choices led me away from Him, when I chose to "shave my hair" and give up my crown for the affections of people, God did something wonderful … He remained. He didn't abandon me. When I fell distraught upon His knees He didn't punish me because of my lack of trust in Him, He didn't betray, He provided respite, He provided counsel, He provided love unabashed! I have been both a Samson and a Delilah, selling out for so much less than I am called to. And the reality is that daily I sell out. In some capacity, big or little, I shave my head or accept small treasures in place of God's love and affection and sacrifice. I can't be offended or judge Samson or Delilah because I have been them and yet I know that the Spirit of the Lord will never leave me, in all my un-deservedness He will remain with me. Prayerful that each day as I press into the Lord, I lose more of the Samson and Delilah parts, that like Samson's amazing strength I remember I too am strong, because the spirit of the Lord IS WITH ME and that like Delilah, despite her choice, I have the strength to say "No. No, nothing is worth that betrayal…nothing". That I daily choose my calling, my crown, my Christ! ~ B

  • Stephanie

    How much is your price? Struck me today.
    How quickly do I revert to silence when my Lord is being mocked, how quickly do I stop talking when it becomes clear that it is quite uncomfortable. Abba forgive me for selling out, and help me to do better. Help me to stand firm for You and with You.

  • The thought of being linked to either of the characters in judges 16, Samson or Delilah, is horrifying! But as was explained, there remains in my own journey some of those elements that make them (and me) a poor example of a witness for Jesus. I love my savior dearly, and want only to serve Him more and more; my struggle is somewhat more like Samson’s however. As much as he could have been a great leader and used his advantages through the empowerment of the Lord for amazing things, he spent his life recklessly in rebellion and wasted precious th time that could have been better spent in devotion to the Lord Almighty. Samson and I, I’m afraid, realize our misuse of time a little too late. Praise the Lord for His new mercies every morning which allows me more time even today to live out His calling and will in my life! Hallelujah!

  • Christina

    Hebrews 11:32-34

    And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.

    How on earth (my human mind thinks) can Sampson have appeared in the Hall of Faith? And mentioned in the same sentence as Gideon, David, and Samuel at that! What a slap in the face to those great men! But again, I’m reminded of that tapestry from yesterday. Delilah may be a little scarlet thread woven among the thick, ugly burlap threads of Samuel’s unfaithfulness to comfort and encourage us that God is in the forgiveness business. He is faithful on our worst days and an encouragement to hand Him the pieces of our own brokenness at the nineth hour (but hopefully we are encouraged to hand Him all of us well before that!) God is not bound by our sin and lack of faith. His will will be accomplished, even if it is in an unlikely way.

    • Laura

      I tend to think along those same lines: he doesn’t deserve that, how is that possible? And then I remember that God calls ME his beloved daughter and I do not not will ever deserve that title. God’s grace.

      Love what you said that God is not bound by sin or our lack of faith – yes!

    • Cindy

      "Like"

    • PH413mama

      Yes, he is the one who "gained strength after being weak," ie repented of his sins – otherwise, would he have been included? Further evidence of redemptive grace.

  • Candacejo

    I think the saddest line in all of the scripture we read today is "But he did not know that the Lord had left him." When we think we "know it all", can control it all, and even fix it all by ourselves, without the Lord's help, we then begin a pattern of self-sufficiency. We sure don't need others and we think we are getting along pretty good without God too.

    Agreeing with others, control is what so many of us struggle with. Trusting Him enough to know that anything He asks me to do is for my good, my betterment and my protection.

    I sure wouldn't want the Lord to step back, hands up, and say, "Ok, you are on your own…let's see how you do." God, help us to realize our strength literally comes from You, we need You for every breath we inhale! Apart from You we can do nothing. I want to stay in relationship so that I don't have to worry about whether, like Samson, He will show up when I need a miracle. I want to KNOW He is living inside of me and it isn't all about what He can do FOR me but what He can do WITH me and IN me for His glory. ♥

    • Leenda324

      Amen

    • Gayle

      Amen and Amen. I always love to read your insight on the lessons.

    • Monica

      Gives me chills just to think that God would ever leave me, or abandon me; even for just a second! Thank you for this amazing insight. God has definitely been working this week to help me identifty the fact that I have put Him "up on a shelf" at times. Rejoicing and praising Him for opening my eyes this week.

    • Maxine_R

      Amen! Love that last line! <3

    • carlybenson

      Amen. That line, "But he did not know that the Lord had left him," stood out to me to, and while I struggle with control the thought of God leaving me to do it on my own terrifies me. I'm so glad he is faithful even when we are not!

    • Diane

      I concur that "not knowing that the Lord had left him" are the saddest state, because Samson's relationship with God had grown so distant that he couldn't feel the absence of God. Samson reduced the time with God to calling on Him when he needed strength for the task while totally ignoring the blessing of a full, vibrant, dynamic friendship and fellowship with the Creator. How often we do the same….call on God when we've exhausted our resources, only to blow Him off once we've been rescued. Lord, help us to draw so close to You that we immediately know we've moved too far away to feel Your presence. Amen.

  • What is my price? That question in itself is mind blowing!

  • Kelly_Smith

    If we were all sitting in the room together, I think there would be a collective sucking in of breath and complete quiet as THE question hung in the air: What is my price? That question. It will roll around in my mind today. I am sure there is more than one answer, for my sin has so many facets. My initial answer to THE question is control. Control is that thing that "feels worth forsaking my Savior" (and oh how ugly that feels when I have to write it down). I like to be in charge of myself, my space, and my people. It is a struggle to hold those things in an open hand and admit they were never mine to hold anyway. If I can trust Him with my eternity, I can trust Him with today.

    • Cat

      “If I can trust Him with my eternity, I can trust Him with today.” Thank you, Kelly. I too struggle with control issues…if the house is clean and the to do list is checked off and the kids & husband are happy then all is well. But, oh my soul! I pray that today I would give Him my list and my heart and lay down that need for control. He is worth far more!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      yes! I can trust Him with today!! ……I *WILL* trust Him with today!

    • Raechel Myers

      Hey Kelly! Man, it's so tough to answer out loud, isn't it? Seeing our "price" and looking it in the face is the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit convicting us. It's good that it hurts, because it means it's honest! Thanks for your honesty today, girl. xo-Raechel

    • Such a heart breaking and though provoking question. Working on open hands, right along with you, Kelly!

    • JennyB

      You are not alone Dear Kelly. I too struggle with control. I love this prayer that talks about opening our hands…"Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me. And what you want to give me is love— unconditional, everlasting love. Amen."
      A prayer by Henri Nouwen

    • carlybenson

      Kelly, I am with you in the struggle with control. Your last sentence really challenges me- "If I can trust Him with my eternity, I can trust Him with today." I know I can, but so often I fail to and think I know better. I really need to lay down that need to be in control.

    • Sheryl

      That is exactly how I feel as well Kelly. I feel if I say it out loud or write it down it takes some of my control away. Oh Lord, help me to unclench my hands of the things and people I hold too tightly too! Let me let go and trust YOU LORD!

  • Oh wow.

    The story of Samson is a favorite for me even though I love and love to hate it at the same time. It is so surreal and I always feel like glaring at Samson and telling him a few home truths about life and women.

    Seriously, how could he do all he stupidly did? What was the main attraction between him -a chosen one and an infidel and a prostitute? Why didn't he see beyond the aching of his heart and loins? Could he not think straight all of those times? Was he under some kind of spell / bewitched? How could he fall a fourth time even with all the facts from three previous failed attempts staring him right in the face?.

    But have I been totally upright? Have I not also fallen short of divine ideals in my daily interactions? Have I not been guilty of elevating my desires and longings above my Maker in some ways? Have I not been guilty of also selling out?

    I sure am glad to have a fresh perspective from all the surface issues that always leap at me as I ponder on the story.

    Blessings, sisters.

    • Spon on, friend! I hate to think how many times I've fallen short and how embarrassingly short-sided those fallings seem from the outside. I'm every bit as guilty and, thankfully, every bit as forgiven. <3

  • carlybenson

    Romans 12:21 really stood out to me- "don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good"- it's not just stopping doing wrong things or resisting evil but it's actively choosing good. The Ephesians passage gives several examples of this. For me, like Hannah, the thing I need to fight against is paying more attention to my worries and anxieties than to God's truth so this challenges me to actively focus on God rather than giving in to worry.
    Both Samson and Delilah were in positions of Influence. Delilah had influence over Samson and Samson had influence over the nation of Israel, and both of them sinned in a way that had a huge impact on others. It challenges me that my sin doesn't only affect me but that it influences others too, and it's important to deal with it so that I can encourage others and influence them in a good way, rather than leading them astray like Delilah did to Samson.

    • Kim

      Thank you for the perspective of how our sin can affect others and the potential to lead others astray. The Ephesians passage has challenged my heart today on what am I actually saying when I speak. Are my words encouraging to others, building them up, pointing to Jesus or are they "endless dripping". So many things to ponder and pray about this morning!

  • One of the many things that came to mind when I read Samson’s story was a little further down the chapter from where our scheduled reading ended. It says how he humbled himself and prayed to God to visit him one last time. I saw contrition on Samson’s part. A recognition that he was in that position of his own doing. And a humble request for God to grant him His presence one last time. And I saw redemption. Even when we look at this story and think, come on Samson! God looked at his story and saw a soul that was lost. And once Samson invited God back into the picture, there He was…faithful as ever. Yes, sin may snag us now and again, we may face the consequences as evidenced by our gouged out spiritual eyes…but if we confess our sins, He is faithful. He is just. He will bring us back to Him. Our wonderful faithful God!

    • churchmouse

      May I just say wow. Thanks for sharing your insight to “the rest of the story.”

    • Cindy

      What a Redeemer!

    • Kim

      Wow, love this insight. Feeling convicted from the "how do I sell out?" question. Love this reminder of God being there, faithful as ever. A beautiful reminder of who He is in the midst of human messiness

  • This was so good. I had never really thought about the connection between Samson and Jesus. I agree with Sarah and Hannah, feeling convicted, yet blessed and loved by a God who sees my unfaithfulness and loves me still. Nearer to the thee oh Lord I pray, teach my wondering heart to stay.

  • Raechel, this is SO good! I love the parallels between Samson and Jesus. It reminded me of Joseph, another deliverer in Israel's history, and another shadow of Jesus who was also sold by a loved one for silver.
    But more than that, I love the question "What is my price?" What shiny object would cause me to betray my first love? I hope no price would be high enough to prompt me to abandon Him completely. But your question got me thinking about all the little ways I "sell out" throughout the day. All the ways I assign a higher value to my fears than to His goodness towards me, for example. Because really, giving way to fear is saying "My anxious thoughts are worth more than your thoughts toward me". And that's just one example of how I assign a higher value to my perspective, and devalue His.
    Wow. This is an amazing revelation into this passage! Thanks for posing a question I really needed to ask myself today!

    • Sarah Lahoda

      Hannah, thank you so much for your honesty in answering the question and taking us even deeper still…I needed to hear that today. I needed to ask myself, “Am I assigning a higher value to my fears than to His goodness?” Or in my case, Am I assigning a higher value to my fears than to His faithfulness? Thank you, Rachael, for this beautiful reflection and to you, Hannah, for taking it even a bit deeper by sharing your own response. I feel convicted and blessed…

    • Ifi

      Great perspective, Hannah! I agree, today’s post has been like a huge spotlight on my heart. Thankful for this community and the chance to always see these passages in a new light every time. And thankful for God’s word that never changes but is new every time!

    • sweetdes2014

      Hannah, thank you for helping me identify my price. I too, value my fears more than His goodness towards me. Now that I recognize this I can begin to change.

    • churchmouse

      Thought provoking devotion, SRT and your comment as well, Hannah. Thank you to both for giving me something to really ponder today

    • Dee

      So true Hannah,

      How many times have I put the value of my time (laundry, vacuuming,etc.), above time with God. I often thought, if I can just get this or that completed first, then I can sit and have time with Him…time with my Father. Only to discover that everything else has eaten up SO much of my time that I'm left with little time to spend in his word. I desire to give him more, so I must place less value on those things and more value on time spent with HIM…MY HEAVENLY FATHER.

    • aolani

      Amen! Thank you for explaining, unfolding, revealing. Thank You Holy Spirit!

    • ChristineM

      Hannah,
      Thank you for your insightful comment about anxious thoughts. Very insightful.

    • JennyBC

      Great perspective. I just got a mental image of the things I put as priority over God. Not pretty. When I do that, I rob myself of the opportunity to see His faithfulness and goodness to me. I also then rob my children of seeing that as well.

    • lwilson6

      I struggle from anxiety and have been in an anxious funk all day long, I finally decided to read my She Reads Truth devo today, and these words have definitely put my anxiety in perspective, thank you so much for sharing!

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