"And the lords of the Philistines came to her (Delilah) and said to her, 'Entice him and see in what his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him.'" Judges 16: 5, Amplified Bible
"Don't Dabble with Delilah"
"My child, flee from every evil and everything that resembleth it." Didache
Would I recognize "Delilah" if she or he walked into my life?
How would I define "Delilah" in my life?
"There is no evil that does not promise inducements. Avarice promises money; luxury a varied assortment of pleasures; ambition, a purple robe and applause. Vices tempt you by the rewards they offer." Seneca
"Evil is only good perverted." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The serpent was watching from a perch in a tree -- a beautiful, wily serpent. Patiently waiting for a moment to strike. Observing every move and persistently hunting for that vulnerable weakness when with her guard down, the unsuspecting Eve would fall into a well-set trap.
No wonder the Apostle Peter left us with this cautionary warning: "Be well balanced, temperate, sober of mind, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, in fierce hunger, seeking someone to seize upon and devour" (I Peter 5: 8, Amplified Bible).
Sadly, since that heartbreaking day in the Garden of Eden when God's two perfectly created children fell for the serpent's lies, God's precious kids have been succumbing ever after to the promises our enemy, the devil, throws out there. Like bait to a fish, we grab onto some tasty morsel and before you know it we ourselves are hooked by one of the serpent's lies.
Having ignored God's warning not to go to the Valley of Sorek and participate in the forbidden, Samson decided that dabbling with Delilah carried little risk. And this got me to thinking and asking my favorite question. "Why?" Why did Samson feel so secure, so strong, so self-assured.
I tell you why. Samson was strong. Time and again the Bible tells us that the power of God came upon him and he was able to take down a lion and snap the ropes that bound him as though they were little strings. Somewhere along the way, Samson began to believe his own press release! He began to believe his strength was his alone. He could rely on his own muscles and power. So coming up against Delilah, a woman no less, was a joke to Samson. He'd been able to conquer anyone else who had gotten in his way, he was certain he could make quick work against Delilah, too.
But what a terrible mis-judgment on the part of Samson, for Delilah was not like the other women for whom Samson had shown utter contempt. Delilah was different and tomorrow, we will find out that she was well-chosen.
In order to better understand what Samson was up against, I went to my Hebrew dictionary to find out what Delilah's name meant. In Biblical times, a great deal of effort was given to choosing a name for a child. Often names were given which described the child's calling from God. Other times names seemed to carry an almost prophetic description of a child's future. What I found out about Delilah supports the fact that the meaning of her name fittingly described her effect on those she met.
The Hebrew meaning of Delilah is "languishing." I didn't really understand exactly what this word meant so I checked my trusty Webster's Dictionary and was in for a surprise. "Languishing" means to become weak or feeble. To waste away. To exist in miserable and disheartening conditions. I couldn't believe what I was reading, however, I realized immediately that the reason God told Samson to stay away from the Valley of Sorek, the Valley of the Vine, was not that God was trying to be arbitrary or demanding or narrow. It was that God knew that Delilah lived in that Valley. God knew that "weakness" resided in the Valley of the Vine and God understood, even when Samson didn't, that on forbidden territory, Samson's strength would be turned into weakness. Blinded by his love for Delilah, Samson became weak -- unable to resist and flee.
As I read about the meaning of Delilah's name, I asked myself, "How many Delilahs foster weakness in my life?" For remember this, Delilah isn't just a woman in Judges. Delilah is anything in my life that weakens me and makes me feeble or causes me to "waste" my life -- a life that has a purpose, planned for me by my heavenly Father.
Frankly, I'd be very depressed right now as I think about Eve who was enticed, and Samson who was enticed, if the disciple Peter hadn't left us some of the most encouraging words in Scripture. Peter had his own "Delilah's" that brought him to his knees and caused him to realize we can't rely on our own strength. After telling us that the devil is seeking whom he may devour, Peter reminded us to "stay rooted in God." But rather than telling us we must depend on our own strength, Peter says, "...the God of all grace, who imparts all blessings and favor, Who has called you to His own eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be...." (1 Peter 5: 10, Amplified Bible).
What a relief! When you and I choose to put our faith in our Father, rather than foolishly depending on our own muscles and strength, we don't have to take on Delilah, for a wall of heavenly protection surrounds us as long as we walk on the path our Father has laid out before us.
If you and I don't want to languish in Delilah's clutches, then let's follow our Dad's advice and stay out of the Valley of Sorek! In the words of the Apostle James: "So let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and He'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin" (James 4: 7,8, The Message).
Don't dabble with Delilah!
"Let your love be sincere, a real thing; hate what is evil, loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness, but hold fast to that which is good." Romans 12: 9 Amplified Bible
"O Lord, Seek Us"
O Lord, seek us, O Lord find us In Thy patient care; By Thy love before, behind us, Round us everywhere; Lest the god of this world blind us, Lest he speak us fair, Lest he forge a chain to bind us, Lest he bait a snare. Turn not from us, call to mind us, Find, embrace us, bear; Be Thy love before, behind us, Round us, everywhere." Christina Rossetti
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author When A Woman Meets Jesus
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