Women of the Bible: Delilah
The life of Delilah as one Christian writer puts it indicates that for beauty, personal charm, mental ability, self-command, nerve, she was quite a wonderful woman, a woman to be admired for some qualities which she exhibits, even while she is to be utterly disapproved.
She is to be outright disapproved because she was a 'mistress of the art of feigning love in spite of being quite untouched at heart.' The words of Solomon in the book of proverbs of the necessity of one inclining one's ears to wisdom and being attentive to understanding was almost missing from what we know of Samson's life in regards to an ungodly woman's course. The lips of a forbidden woman Solomon tells us drips honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end it is bitter as wormwood, or to bring the phrase more home to us, it is as bitter as eating a piece of log found amidst dogs faeces.
We know from the narrative (Judges 16) that Samson fell prey to Delilah's smooth words, her enticing lips and goddess like beauty were all exercised to the end of her desires which is money. Before we dive deep into Delilah's ungodly ways and the way she slew the anointed of God, let us paint a picture of Samson for it was because of his remarkable weakness for a woman's charm that Delilah is forever etched in the pages of Scripture.
Samson is the hero of God but can hardly be portrayed as an example to follow. Before his conception, he was to be set apart to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines. Divine instructions were given to his parents that no razor should come upon his head.The strength of Israel’s salvation was to be rooted in Samson's hair. If Israel was to be saved by Samson's hand then obedience was necessary on the part of his parents and eventually of Samson himself.
Samson had one fundamental sin. He could not rebuff a woman's charm. He was a man that opened himself to the lust of his heart. His election to embrace a woman was dictated by his eyes. If she was beautiful, if his eyes agreed so does his heart, despite all the counsels that bids him that such ways will lead him astray. Seeing a daughter of the Philistines in Timnah, Samson was immediately awed by her, so much so that he commanded his parents to go and fetch her to make him his wife. Parental guidance sought to avert him from such a path, but Samson settled that 'she was right in his eyes' and thus was resolved to adopt for no other. He was to have his uncircumcised bride and by uncircumcised we mean that she was not an Israelite. Even in Gaza Samson used a harlot in order to satisfy his desires. Such was the ways of the man that it is not surprising that his end should come at the hands of a forbidden woman.
We are first introduced to Delilah as a woman that Samson loved who lived in the Valley of Sorek. I suspect that she was a friend of the Philistines and known by them, for after they noticed that Samson's heart had been captured by Delilah, they came at once to her as the individual who could execute successfully their evil plans. In loving Delilah Samson ushered in his death. Her honey dripping lips will finally bring about his ruination.
Delilah loved money; and for a pretense in displaying love as to having true affections, she is willing to play the actress. “Seduce him,” asked the Philistines “and find out where his great strength lies and we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver”. This was a far greater price than what Judas sold his Christ for but both had the same treacherous heart, namely a love for money. To bring down one man who so foolishly was already eating breadcrumbs from her hands was a worthy sacrifice for her reward which will forever give her a life of luxury. Resolved to betray Samson, Delilah inaugurated her script.
At first she said plainly, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one can subdue you.” Samson played the part and three times consecutively he kept hidden from her the secret of his strength. Feeling that Samson had not fallen yet completely to her to reveal his secret, she unleashed her choicest bait. She pretended writes one author that she had been neglected and trifled with by an unrequiting love. From her enticing lips she said, “How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” What a hypocritical women that she dared say to Samson that 'how can you say that you love me when your heart is not with me.' What a serpent! Is her heart with Samson? Nay, it is for money, it is for gain; and for the treasures of this world she is willing to kill a man. Indeed, although Samson was not slain by her hands yet his death was all to obvious when he 'told her all his heart.'
At this revelation she called up the Philistines whom she had kept hidden in an inner chamber to take away their spoil of war. Before the Philistines took him away, she made Samson sleep on her knees and tormented him. What a wicked woman! Wicked Delilah, O wicked Delilah blessed with beauty and charm only to use it for destruction. And is this not the heart of many women today. Their feminine beauty is but an asset to trap a man. Outwardly they profess to be angels but inwardly their heart is no different to the devil's.
Men be careful of a pressing women for Delilah too pressed Samson until his soul was vexed to death. Be wise in your choice, for a woman can so weaken you that you even give up your Christ for her. For there are many sad testimonies of a once believer who threw the faith into the trash in order to pursue a woman that he loved. And of course such women may have nothing of Delilah's character; and according to general morals these women may be very good, and thus shame only need be proclaimed upon that once believing man who threw it all away in order to kiss the lips of a woman.
A man ought to pour out his heart to his wife but be sure O man that she is made of trusting materials. Give all that is in your heart to a gossiping woman and you shall find the deep things of your heart scattered throughout the land; but say them to a trustworthy wife and she shall keep them locked up in her chamber until the day of her death.
When Delilah had sleeping Samson on her knees, Samson lost his hair, and with them lost God in him. 'Lust, severing from God the source of strength, makes the strongest powerless; only by waiting on the Lord, we, like Samson, renew the strength which was lost by self-indulgence and self-reliance.'
Delilah knew no remorse. Her job was accomplished and I imagine that Samson will not remain in her thoughts only on the cool evening musings that this poor Nazarite was the reason for her gain. But I must stay my pen and not condemn Delilah too severely for he who is without sin let them launch the first stone.
The evil of lust and perhaps the covetousness of riches is not too far from all of our hearts. David fell from his throne by committing adultery and Solomon, well Solomon had many wives and concubine which eventually led him astray from the living God. Samson is to be pitied and like God we ought to have mercy on each man or woman who have been led astray by the Delilah's of this world when they groan in repentance. And as a warming to women, restrain from the path of Delilah, do not sell love for money, do not play the part of the harlot. Do not use your feminine appeal to serve sinful ends but rather use it to glorify God.