I read the tragic story of Samson recently, and could not help but think of how he was betrayed twice by women he loved. These were relationships he should have avoided from the beginning. They were worldly, ungodly women whose people were the enemies of God. His parents tried to warn him, but he would not listen.
As I read the sad account, I found it interesting that both women used the same tactic to break him down, and get him to “Let down his guard”, reveal his secrets, and compromise the integrity and work God had given him to do. How did they do it? They challenged him to prove his love for them, then they continually asked, begged, cried, and accused him of not loving them. Strangely, they didn’t say,”I love you so much.” They said in essence,”How can you say you love me if you won’t do this for me?” Delilah’s words were, “How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?” The Bible says, “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart…”. (You can read the entire account in Judges 14-16). He became so weary of their crying, and so desperate to prove his love, that he chose to reject God’s commands and his own caution. He decided to risk revealing what should have been kept secret and to make himself vulnerable to his enemies in order to appease these women. He attempted to prove his “love” for them, while actually proving his lack of love for God. The strongest man in the world was weak when and where it counted most. “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.” (Pro. 7:26) Sadly, he discovered that while he may have loved them, they never loved him. What is more, his capitulation did not gain their love, their appreciation, their respect, or their approval; rather, he ended up losing everything. He lost his strength, his sight, and his spiritual power. He ended up being a slave and the laughingstock of his enemies. I can just imagine Delilah, the woman he loved, mocking him as he attempted to fight the Philistines and slowly realized that his strength was gone.
We should take heed to the lessons of Samson, and there are many to be learned. Here are just a few:
1. Avoid unholy alliances. “Love not the world….” “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” (I Jn. 2:15; Jas. 4:4; I Cor. 5:8-11)
2. Listen to godly counsel. If Samson would have listened to his parents, he would have avoided a lot of heartache. “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Pro. 23:22)
3. Don’t lose focus of God’s purpose for your life, and don’t let any relationship come before or between your relationship with the Lord. (Mk. 12:30; Lk. 14:26)
4. Be very careful about sharing your heart. “Keep thy heart with all diligence…” (Pro. 4:23)
5. Don’t ever be tempted to “prove your love” by compromising your integrity. (Pro. 31:11) Love can be given, but trust must be earned, not coerced. Those who seek to compel or seduce you to “prove your love” by asking you to compromise what God has entrusted to you are not motivated by love themselves. They are manipulating you for their own selfish purposes. Their motivation may be fear (like Samson’s first wife), money, personal gain, revenge, lust, or a number of other things, but be assured it is not love. “Charity….seeketh not her own….” (I Cor. 13) May we learn the lessons of Samson by example, not by experience.
Mrs. Niki Lott
Christian Mother, Author, composer, and pastor’s wife