Day 24

Delilah



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

BY Raechel Myers

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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Post Comments (197)

197 thoughts on "Delilah"

  1. Mary Beth says:

    “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! :)

    1. Mary Beth Vernau says:

      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 ♡

  2. Hannah Neel says:

    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.

  3. Andrea Z. says:

    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!

  4. Jennifer says:

    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.

    1. Amanda Hopkins says:

      I struggle with this too. I hate to admit it.

  5. Kelsey says:

    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.

    1. Vickie says:

      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

  6. Wendy says:

    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.

  7. Robin says:

    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.

  8. AC says:

    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.

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