Samson Part 4: Dating Dangerous Delilah
by Sophia Prinsloo with Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans
It was the weekend and a snowstorm kept everyone indoors with the freezing cold weather outside. Darryl, Andrew, Rocco, Ellen and Sandy played a game of Monopoly beside a cozy, warm fireplace. When Darryl won a second time in a row, the others got pretty bored and started longing for some excitement. They decided that they would rather play something more daring. Andrew suggested Truth or Dare.
The game began and soon Darryl was dared to crack an egg on his head. The cracking sound of the eggshell as it broke against his skull brought a burst of laughter from the others as yellow, gooey stuff dripped from his hair down, over his brow. What a mess!
Next, Ellen was dared to peel a banana with her bare feet. She made the funniest moves trying her best to avoid a mess but, no matter how hard she tried, the banana still ended up all all wet and mushy, squashed between her toes. Yuck!
Then Andrew was dared to act like a gorilla for one whole minute. Giving it his best, he danced around in a squatting position, scratching himself under his armpits while yelling, “Hooh hooh, heeh heeh, hah hah!” Everyone except Andrew cracked themselves up from laughter when Darryl teasingly said it suited him well and told him he should eat Ellen's banana.
Sandy chose “truth” and she had to tell whether she had ever kissed a boy on the lips before. Blushing, Sandy said, “No,” but the others didn't quite believe her because of how flustered she was.
Finally, Rocco was dared to go down the spiral staircase on a sled. He had a gut-feeling this could go wrong but ignored it. Instead, bravado got the better of him and, besides, he wanted everybody (especially the girls) to know that he — The Boss — feared nothing! Positioning the sled at the top of the staircase, he counted to three and let it fly.
The railing of the first turn down the staircase swished past him as he picked up speed. In a matter of seconds, he was going down so fast he could no longer control the sled. Bumping against the rail, it capsized, sending Rocco flying down the remaining stairs. Landing on his arm, he uttered a painful scream.
The others jumped to their feet to come to his aid. Mom and Dad, who also heard the scream, came rushing through the door.
Oh, no! Rocco's arm was broken and he had to go to the hospital to have it set. When he was finally back home, Dad decided to tell the kids a Bible story.
For twenty years, Samson judged the children of Israel during the day but, during the long and lonely nights, he longed for company — the company of a woman. Remember, his wife had been killed by the vengeful Philistines. Sadly, Samson relied on himself instead of seeking God in prayer about the longings of his heart. That caused a godly man like him, who decided the cases of other people, to make some pretty dumb decisions in his own life. One of them, was getting involved with the wrong women, dating dangerous dames who led him into sin.
Sinning is NEVER a good idea, because the consequences of sin are always either heartache, pain, bondage or even death. In fact, sin is plot from satan to destroy God's children. Never forget!
* * *
Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
keep you longer than you want to stay,
and cost you more than you want to pay.
* * *
Handsome Samson was trained by his parents to be a lifelong Nazarite, as God instructed, because God wanted to use him for a special purpose: To begin to deliver the children of Israel from the Philistines. That's why he couldn't touch or do any evil thing, and his hair was never ever to be cut during his lifetime. But the things of this world got the better of him, causing him to lose interest in God's purpose for his life which led him to use his power for his own purposes.
On one of those occasions, he daringly went down to Philistine country, to the town of Gaza. There he visited a woman who had a bad reputation. We can imagine the spirit of the Lord urging him from deep within his heart: “Samson, don't you dare to go there!”
The trouble was, Samson was too full of himself and too lonely to listen to God's warning. To make matters worse, he even decided to spend the night with the woman. Philistine spies noticed where Samson was. Mustering up an army, they surrounded the city, hoping to catch him in the morning, but Samson was too clever and too strong for them.
At midnight, while the soldiers were sleeping, Samson quietly got up and left the woman's place. When he reached the city gates, he found them locked. No problem! With bulging muscles and brute force, Samson broke off the gates with its posts and all. Then he carried the whole works all the way up a high mountain as if it were a piece of cake. Proud of his accomplishment and still having the strength the Lord had given him to escape enemy hands, Samson figured he was untouchable for God had overlooked his sin.
After that incident, our muscular superhero was not yet ready to give up the world with its sinful pleasures. He fell madly in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek. We don't know for sure if she was Hebrew or Philistine, but her Hebrew name, Delilah, means “faithless one.” Why in the world would Samson fall in love with such a woman — one without faith? Didn't he know that God seriously wanted him to be married to a woman of faith? Why did he fall for her?
Maybe Delilah was breathtakingly beautiful....
Maybe she lured him with delicious meals for his huge appetite and his sweet tooth....
Or maybe she reeled him in with sweet talk on the size of his huge muscles and his beautiful long hair....
Why would she want to woo Samson? Was it because she wanted someone to take care of her? Or did she want to be known as the woman with the most handsome, strongest and most important man in Israel? Would she be faithful to Samson or did she have hidden, evil motives?
Soon her motives became clear as day when five conniving Philistine lords secretly visited Delilah. Approaching her with a special job offer, they said, “Delilah, we'll each give you 1,100 pieces of silver if you'll turn Samson over to us.” In those days, that was a whole lot of money and greedy Delilah couldn't resist the offer. This dangerous woman didn't think twice about betraying Samson. His life meant nothing to her, as long as she could get what she wanted.
That night, before Samson arrived, she put on her best clothes and made Samson's favorite meal. After a long day's work, Samson was pleased to have such a lovely lady to look at, while eating her delicious meal. Being satisfied, after eating his fill, he became sleepy so went to lie down on her bed.
While massaging his muscular shoulders, Delilah playfully asked him, “Oh, Samson dear! You're the strongest man I've ever known and ever admired. No one on earth can compare to you. But what makes you so incredibly strong? Is there any way someone could subdue you?”
The spirit of the Lord deep within his heart must have warned him: “Samson, leave this place and this woman at once!”
But Samson didn't listen to the warning, because dangerous Delilah had him completely in her grip. Besides, he thought he was special and strong enough to withstand anything, especially someone as delicate as a woman. He let down his guard because he felt completely safe with her. Although he probably remembered how his first wife had betrayed him, he felt certain that this time he was clever enough not to give away his secret that easily.
Instead of leaving, Samson lied and teasingly said, “Oh, darling Delilah! If they tie me up with new, fresh, still moist strings from sheep guts, then I'll be weak as any other man.”
Secretly, deceitful Delilah let the Philistine lords know what Samson had said and they brought her seven new, fresh bowstrings. While Samson was sleeping like a log, she tied him up with those seven strings. Philistine soldiers waited in the next room. As soon as Samson was bound, she exclaimed, “SAMSON! The Philistines are upon you!”
Her piercing cry woke up Samson. He jumped from where he was sleeping and, as his muscles tightened, the strings broke off him like pieces of cotton thread catching fire. No one could touch him. This time, Samson won and his secret stayed hidden.
Delilah was not happy with him at all and complained, “Samson, you made fun of me and told me a lie! Now tell me the truth. How can you be captured?” This time she wasn't playing games.
Shrugging off all cautions from deep within his heart, Samson turned a deaf ear to God. Yet he still wasn't prepared to disclose his secret or let go of the purposes God had for him. Even worse, he wasn't prepared to leave Delilah and his worldly pleasures behind, so he tried compromising with yet another lie. He replied, “Darling Delilah, if they bind me with fresh new ropes, which have never been used, I'll be as weak as any other man.”
So when Samson fell sound asleep again, she bound him with fresh new, unused ropes. Again she had soldiers waiting hush-hush in the next room. Then she yelled as before, “SAMSON! The Philistines are upon you!”
Her blood-curdling cry woke Samson from his deep sleep. Jumping to his feet, he easily snapped the ropes as though they had been just spiderwebs.
By now, Delilah was fuming inside. Thinking of still missing out on the promised money, she complained, “Why are you playing games with me, Samson? Stop fooling around and tell me the real truth of how you can be captured.”
Delilah's fury was beginning to get to Samson, because he didn't want to lose her. Again, he silenced the voice of the Lord inside him that was telling him to leave. Instead he drew closer to revealing his secret. He replied, “Darling Delilah, if you weave my hair into your weaver's loom, I'll be as weak as any other man.”
So while Samson was sleeping with his head on her lap, Delilah wove his hair in her loom and fastened it with a pin. As soldiers hid in the next room, she again screamed at the top of her voice, “SAMSON! The Philistines are upon you!”
Delilah's high-pitched scream woke Samson and, with a yank of his head, he broke the loom to pieces and freed his hair.
When Delilah saw that he broke her expensive loom which she used to weave magnificent rugs, she burst into tears. Samson had lied to her again. “You don't love me as you say you do, Samson. Why else would you make a fool of me three times in a row? Only a heartless man would do something like that!”
For the next couple of days, Delilah kept pressuring Samson. Over and over again, she nearly drove him crazy until he became so irritated to the point that he could almost die. Mind you, Samson could have left her at any time out of his own free will, but he didn't want to. Satan had him just where he wanted and planned to break down all Samson's strength and resistance in order to enslave him. By now, the voice of the Lord in his heart was completely silenced. Pretty soon, Samson would discover that being a friend of this world would make him God's enemy, removing him from God's protection.
Delilah kept on nagging Samson. Finally, he got so sick of her constant nagging that he gave in and told Delilah the whole truth, saying, “From my birth, I've lived as a Nazarite unto the Lord and, therefore, a razor has never touched my head. If my hair is shaved off, I will be as weak as any other man.”
From his whole body language and the tone of his voice, as well as the mere mention of the Lord's Name, which he had never used in vain during his lifetime, Delilah realized that Samson was finally telling the truth. Unscrupulously and without any regard for Samson's life, Delilah let the Philistine lords know that Samson revealed his true secret to her. They came hastily and brought the promised money with them.
As before, Philistine spies hid in the darkness of the next room but, this time, there was a barber also hiding with them. Exhausted and finally relieved that Delilah stopped harassing him, Samson fell asleep with his head on her lap, totally unaware of the danger looming around him.
* * *
Sin had lulled Samson into a deep sleep and into thinking
that he was still strong enough to handle anything.
* * *
As soon as Samson began snoring, Delilah motioned for the men in the next room to come. The barber tiptoed into the room and took out his sharpened razor. Everyone held their breath in absolute silence as the blade flickered in the dim lamplight. Being extremely careful not to wake him, the barber skillfully cut off Samson's seven braids. Samson never felt a thing.
Suddenly, Delilah's piercing scream entered his dreamless sleep: “SAMSON! The Philistines are upon you!”
Samson woke up, thinking he would be able to free himself as before. But this time, something was different. It was clear that the anointing of the Lord had left him because, hard as he tried, he remained powerless when the Philistine soldiers grabbed him. They didn't kill him, but the cruel, gleeful faces of the Philistine soldiers and the expressionless face of Delilah were the last things Samson would ever see, because those wicked Philistines gouged out his eyes and took him down to the prison in Gaza. There they bound him in two bronze fetters and made him grind at the mill in the prison, doing the work of a donkey.
Amazingly, despite everything Samson did wrong and all the punishment he suffered from it, he soon found out that God wasn't done with him. As long as Samson still had breath, there was hope and God could still use him.
“You see,” Dad said, “sometimes we may be enticed by people or circumstances to do or say something dangerous or foolish just for the sake of having some fun. Your lives are precious in God's eyes and He has a purpose for you to fulfill, but Satan doesn't want you to fulfill it. Determine in your heart now to walk away when faced with the temptation to sin or when challenged with a dangerous dare rather than put yourself or the purpose God has for you in harm's way. It is far better to be safe than sorry. Prepare yourself now to be on high alert to the dangers of drugs, alcohol, smoking, relations with the wrong people and anything that would draw you away from God. Today, I give you a “Truth AND Dare” challenge.
“Truth and Dare?” the kids asked?
“Yes,” said Dad. “Dare someone to give his or her life to Christ. Dare to tell the Truth about God and Jesus. Dare to trust fully in God. Dare to be a blessing to others. Dare to surprise someone with something nice. Dare to be truthful and faithful to God. Dare to know the Truth of the Bible and dare to live it out.
* * *
Dare to live in such a way that your life attracts others to God.
* * *
“Can you think of more dare challenges?”
Even heroes need to obey and be faithful to God. With the Lord's help, choose your friends wisely and don't let pleasures or people lure you into sin.
1. What was the outward sign that Samson was a Nazarite?
2. What does Delilah's name mean?
3. What did the Philistine lords promise her?
4. How many times did Samson lie to her?
5. What made Samson fall for Delilah's tricks?
6. What good advice would you have given him?
A VERSE TO LEARN
“Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4b).
ALTERNATIVE VERSES TO LEARN
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10).
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Do you know how to catch a mouse? Have you ever been lured into doing the wrong things by a sibling or a friend? Did they try to convince you that there wouldn't be any consequences and you wouldn't get punished? Were you able to resist the temptation or did you refuse to listen to your conscience and sin? Were you punished or did you get away with it? How could you avoid making the same mistakes Samson did?
[After discussion:] Always listen to your conscience and learn what the Word of the Lord says about living a righteous life. Remember, temptations will come your way like they did with Samson. Even Jesus was tempted in the desert by Satan but, although He was tempted, He didn't sin. That's why He's able to help you resist temptation. Read the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength and wisdom. God will help you to resist and conquer the temptation to sin.
Heavenly Father, teach me to rely on You to make me
wise and alert so I won't be deceived by evil people
or sin. Help me live my life in such a way that it
attracts others to You. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
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When Mr. Satan knocks at my heart's door,
And says, "May I come in?"
I say, "No! No!" for Jesus loves me so,
And He took away my sin.
Then he turns around and runs away.
I hope he's gone away to stay.
When Mr. Satan knocks at my heart's door,
I just say, "No! No! No!"
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