Delilah's Lap: Unsafe for the Strongest Man
What is it about strong, smart guys who seem to lose their strength in relationships with women? Some seem to understand their destiny from birth, and appear to be striding toward success; yet they lose their confidence and their moral integrity when they fall in love.
Samson was gifted with supernatural strength, and he had two great advantages:
- a divine calling on his life
- two religious parents who offered him guidance.
Plus, his experience from a previous marriage should have give him strength to manage his relationships; instead, but he was pure weakness.
There’s a Samson in every man. Not because every man is destined to lose his power, God forbid; but because every man (or woman) is vulnerable without a strong spiritual connection with the Source of Strength.
Excerpt from The Story of Samson and Delilah
Delilah (pouting): How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!”
(She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.)
Samson: My hair has never been cut, for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.
(Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. . . His strength left him.)
-- Judges 16:15-17; 19 NLT
From Barna Research
In May 2008, the Barna Research Group interviewed 1003 adults over 18 about which of the following eight behaviors they had engaged in over the past week. The men outdid the women in all areas except gossiping (and the women won gossiping only by an insignificant statistical difference).
- using profanity in public
- engaging in premarital or extramarital sex
- retaliating against someone
- getting drunk
Why Take Chances?
Delilah had deceived Samson three times already, and her motive was no secret.
- First time, he told her to tie him up with seven bowstrings;
- second time, to tie him up with brand new ropes;
- third time, to weave seven braids of his long hair into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle.
Each time, Delilah called the Philistines to capture him while he was bound. What makes a man take so many chances?
She was motivated by money; he was stupefied by his desire for personal pleasure.
Is Love Really Blind?
Samson loved Delilah, or perhaps was infatuated by her charms. He obviously felt compassion for her. Gesenius’ Lexicon translates her name as “feeble,” “pining with desire,” “weak, delicate.”
Delilah never confessed love for Samson. Was he too blind to see that, or did he think that after a few displays of his strength, she would come around? But wait a minute! His first wife had also betrayed him. Samson had given a riddle to the men at his bachelor party; she asked him for the answer and gave it to them.
What made him think that Delilah another Philistine woman, had any different motive for playing the same game?
When love is focused on physical attraction, then it really is blind to the true character of the other person. It does not even notice inappropriate responses to the lover's expressions.
How Reliable is Face Value?
”One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “I want to marry her. Get her for me.” (14: 1,2). Obviously, he relied on face value. His parents objected because the woman was from a different culture and a different faith, but Samson insisted that the woman he saw was the woman he wanted.
Men weaken their own moral and spiritual strength when they allow what they see to influence them more than what they know. Pretty girls are in abundance, and their beauty is no indication of their character. Traits like deception and greed show up in conduct, not in countenance.
Who Can Resist Those Tears?
Some women believe that tears are the direct path to a some men's sympathy. Samson fell for it twice.
“So Samson’s first wife came to him in tears and said, “You don’t love me; you hate me! . . . So she cried whenever she was with him and kept it up for the rest of the celebration. . At last, on the seventh day he told her the answer [to the riddle]. (Judges 14: 16, 17)
Then came Delilah, another wife, also tormenting and nagging him every day. What a pitiful sight she must have been, pouting and crying!
However, a 2011 report on a study of women’s tears showed that the smell of their tears did not arouse empathy in men. The sight of a crying woman is no excuse for a man to take a woman in his arms, or lay his head in her lap, especially when she shows obvious signs of deception. He is fooled because he allows himself to be.
Is It an Ego Problem?
Samson had killed a lion with his bare hands, and a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass. Delilah and the Philistine men were no match for his physical strength, so did his superhuman strength meddle his ego? Did he forget that his strength was tied to his obedience to the Nazirite vow?
That vow was to ensure that he maintained spiritual, mental and physical strength, but he had breached it repeatedly by:
- marrying a Philistine woman,
- drinking wine,
- touching the carcass of a dead animal,
- sleeping with a prostitute.
Now, he was allowing his head to be shaved, another practice which the vow disallowed. His strength was for a divine purpose, not for personal pleasure.
If a man rates his ability to escape temptation based on the number of risks he has taken and survived, he might be tempted to take one more chance. Then, when he gets comfortable enough to lay his head in the lap of a woman who has not confessed love or loyalty, he is likely to lose everything it stands for: his self-worth, his judgment, his moral stamina, his spiritual insight, and even the physical strength to move it.
Samson's Story in a Nutshell
Fortunately, Samson fulfilled the purpose for which he was born, and is listed in the Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11); but nobody mentions him in association with a life of joy.
Young men with strength of character are candidates for true love and happiness. Just be careful where you lay your head!
© 2012 Dora Isaac Weithers
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