Do you want to learn the lessons from the story of Samson and Delilah? If yes, you came to the right place. Discover how we can be better Christians by reading this post!
Samson and Delilah are among the most popular couples in the Bible. Sadly, not for the good reason, but for the bad. Though the relationship was sordid, ungodly, and depressing, thankfully, Samson had a happy ending. Yes, Samson died a tragic death, but he was still counted as one of the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).
In this blog, let us revisit the story of Samson and Delilah. Let us examine their relationship and see the important lessons we can learn – lessons that I would confidently say, will have a positive impact on our lives when applied.
Who was Samson?
Samson was a judge of Israel. He was the son of Manoah and he was miraculously conceived. He was to become a Nazirite unto God from his birth.
As a Nazirite, he was separated from other people and was consecrated to God. His vow involved abstaining from wine and strong drink, avoidance of dead body, and refraining from cutting his hair.
Samson was a hard-headed man. Though his life was full of mischievous actions, God still used Samson’s life to fulfill His purpose.
Who was Delilah?
Little is known about the background of Delilah. What was clear is that Delilah was a Philistine woman who dwelt in the valley of Sorek. Reading from the Judges account, she was an ungodly woman who receives bribes and deceives people.
Failed relationship one after the other
The story of Samson and Delilah was recorded in Judges 16:4-22.
At this point, Samson, who is considered to be the strongest man in the Bible, has a great weakness to women.
Samson has already married a Philistine woman from Timnath before (Judges 14:1-5).
This unnamed woman betrayed Samson. After she was given away to other men (Judges 14:20), Samson took revenge by burning the standing corn of the Philistines. Since they can’t kill Samson, the Philistines turned their anger to the Timnath woman by burning her and her father in fire (Judges 15:1-8).
After his failed relationship with the woman from Timnath, Samson went to Gaza where he met a harlot. Samson “went in to her” (Judges 16:1) and that’s the last thing we hear about this woman.
The Philistines who heard that Samson was in Gaza waited to kill Samson. They thought they had Samson cornered. But Samson, with supernatural strength, plucked the gate posts and doors and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron – affirming his superhero status to the Israelites.
The “love” story of Samson and Delilah
After having two failed relationships, you would think that Samson has already learned his lesson.
The problem is he didn’t.
After quite some time, he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek and the name of the woman? Yes, you guessed it, Delilah.
It is quite interesting that the book of Judges has actually named the woman unlike the woman from the previous relationship of Samson. Perhaps, the writer of Judges had seen that this woman will be the final fall of Samson and it is only fitting to name her.
We can’t say for certain if Delilah was a Philistine, but it is undeniable that she is a Philistine in heart. Some insinuate that Samson married Delilah, but I would think otherwise, because if he did, then we should be seeing Samson bringing her home.
Others also think that Samson was only courting her. However, I think there is more evidence that Samson is living in sin with this woman and there are more things that are happening than just courting.
Judges 16:4 tells us that Samson “loved” Delilah. While we can say that Samson could have truly loved Delilah, his affection led to a lot of problems – problems that can’t be reversed anymore.
However, it is more convincing to think that Samson’s love could have only been fueled by sinful lust and desire. He should have asked God for guidance and see whether this is the right relationship for him or not.
His insatiable desire for Delilah had blinded him, not being able to see the great deception laid down in front of him. Maybe, Samson has seen through the deception, but still chose to look away and ignore the red flags.
A lesson we learn from relationships outside the church
Both of the previous relationships of Samson were actually in bad taste. They are a perfect example of what would happen if you follow your will rather than the will of God when choosing a lifetime companion.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God (II Corinthians 6:11-16).
This verse, along with others, is telling us the danger of being “yoked together with unbelievers.” This is exactly the biggest mistake of Samson – mistakes he could have avoided if he was able to control his unstable emotion and lust.
Having a relationship with unbelievers in marriage is self-destructive. Marriage is among the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your life. It is so IMPORTANT that you shouldn’t simply trust your heart.
When choosing a spouse, you must trust God.
Samson didn’t trust God that He will provide a godly wife for him. Instead, he gave in to his carnal desires, became too short-sighted. He wasn’t able to see the danger of the relationship he was about to get into.
As a Christian, we must let God write our love story.
We may think that we know better by having a relationship with someone outside of our faith, but it will ultimately lead to a lot of problems.
Think about this for a second: if you are about to get into a relationship with an unbeliever, how can you be so sure that he/she will be committed to you if, in fact, that person can’t even make a commitment to God?
Are you willing to take the risk of having a spouse who could not teach your children godly principles? Are you willing to have a spouse who won’t let you attend church services or would rather stay at home when you and your children go to church? Do you want to have a spouse who doesn’t even understand God’s plan of salvation?
May you not commit this mistake because Samson did and he paid a BIG PRICE for this wrong decision.
How cheap is your salvation?
The relationship of Samson with Delilah proves to be a story of deceit and betrayal.
Though Samson loved Delilah, the woman doesn’t – that is, Delilah loved money more than she might have loved Samson.
The Philistines saw an opportunity for them to get rid of Samson once and for all by bribing Delilah. In Judges 16:5, we read:
And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”
From here, you will see the importance of Samson’s capture. He is the most wanted man in Philistines and they are willing to pay a huge amount of money just to get rid of him.
Now, notice, it says, “Every one of us.” This means that EACH of the lords of the Philistines will give their share. Judges 3:3 tells us that there are at least five lords and that means Delilah will receive a total of 5,500 shekels of silver!
Now, that’s a huge amount of money. In today’s market value, it could reach as high as $100,000.
This leads us to a question, “What’s your selling point?”
“How much do you value your salvation?”
“What are you willing to give in exchange for the Kingdom of God?”
Delilah’s selling point is 5,500 shekels of silver. The price of her love and loyalty to Samson is only 5,500 shekels of silver. She exchanged the chance of getting happily married to the hero of Israel for material wealth.
For us Christians, do we see our salvation as priceless?
Or are we willing to give it up for the temporary pleasures of sin?
Are we willing to give up our salvation for the wealth this world has to offer?
Are we willing to exchange the temporary things for the eternal things?
Are we willing to forsake our eternal life because we found a “better” bargain during this lifetime?
Let us remember that we were bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:20). I Peter 1:17-19 tells us:
“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Our salvation isn’t cheap. In fact, it is priceless.
You can’t put a price tag on eternal life. It has to be paid with the very blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ or Yahshua the Messiah.
Even if you combine all the wealth in the world or all the fine things in this life, they pale into comparison with what Yahweh, our heavenly Father, have to give up just to gain us.
May we have the right perspective and realize that giving up your salvation for anything in this world is anything but foolish.
In the end, it isn’t worth it.
Where do you place your confidence?
Samson saw in his life that even if he disobeyed God over and over again, he would still be delivered from danger. He thought that his constant living in sin won’t have any effect on his relationship with God.
Samson committed a fatal mistake: he puts his confidence in himself rather than in God.
As you can see, his relationship with Delilah was a tragedy. Delilah was bribed by the lords of the Philistines. She would persuade Samson to divulge the secret of his superhuman strength.
Delilah attempted to discover Samson’s source of strength, not once but four times! Every time she thought Samson told her the truth, she would immediately call the Philistines to arrest Samson. She would exclaim, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson (Judges 16:8, 12, 14, 20)!”
If you were Samson, you might have thought of leaving Delilah during the first attempt, but no, he simply tolerated Delilah’s inexcusable betrayal. We don’t exactly know why Samson still chose to live with Delilah even if it was obvious that Delilah didn’t love him.
His utter stupidity would soon lead to his death.
However, if there’s one thing that we should notice in the life of Samson, he is too self-confident. He places his confidence in himself. With his superhuman strength, he thought that he is invincible and nothing can hurt him.
The problem was, “He did not know that the LORD had departed from him” (Judges 16:20).
Samson told Delilah, “If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man” (Judges 16:17). After someone shaved his seven locks of hair, he thought he can still escape like he did before. To his surprise and dismay, true enough, he became as weak as any man.
Now that Samson is left by himself, he can’t do anything.
Samson forgot that the source of his strength is God and not himself. He thought that he can still commit sin and get away with it.
It is worth pointing out that his hair isn’t really the source of his strength. The cutting of his hair was only the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The compound consequences of his sin are now here to inject its fatal poison.
His constant disobedience caused God to depart from him.
The truth is that the source of Samson’s strength isn’t his hair, but it is the Spirit of the LORD. Now, that God departed from him, Samson won’t be able to enjoy God’s divine gift to him.
If you want to stay spiritually strong, put your trust and confidence in God. Depend on Him rather than depending on your human frailties. When you do, God will give His spirit to you and you will be counted as one of His children.
How to be stronger than Samson?
There’s no doubt, that Samson is the strongest man recorded in the Bible.
He killed a thousand Philistine warriors with a donkey’s jawbone.
He carried a heavy gate along with its post on top of a hill.
He ripped open a lion with his bare hands.
When tied up with strong ropes, he simply “broke them off his arms like a thread” (Judges 16:12).
He wasn’t just strong, but fast. He caught 300 foxes and lit their tails to burn the crops of the Philistines.
But do you know that you can be stronger than Samson? Not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.
Samson is indeed a strong man, but he is weak.
Samson’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness.
Because he is physically strong, he heavily relied on it to the point that he forgot that his strength comes from the LORD.
So, how can you be stronger than Samson? The answer is by avoiding the same mistakes that Samson committed. Instead, we must:
- Honor our father and mother (Exodus 20:12).
- Avoid marrying the wrong person and let God choose a spouse for you (II Corinthians 6:11-16).
- We must draw near to God (James 4:8).
- Realize that you can’t escape the consequences of sin (Colossians 3:5-6).
Apart from these points I already mentioned, I want to present one more strategy so that we can be sure that we are stronger than Samson.
What is it? It is by putting on the armor of God.
Notice Ephesians 6:10-11:
Finally, BE STRONG IN THE LORD and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6 then lists all the different elements that make up the armor of God. If you want to overcome Satan’s influence and sin, then you need God’s armor. I highly recommend that you do an in-depth Bible study of Ephesians 6:10-20.
And this is how you and I can become stronger than Samson.
Don’t let anyone take your crown
The Bible tells us:
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
Samson almost lost his crown. He almost lost it through the deceitful charm and beauty of Delilah.
As Christians, we need to identify the people or things that can potentially take our crown from us. In a world full of temptation, it is only fitting for us to stand strong and be on our constant guard.
May we all have the wisdom to learn the lessons from the life of Samson and Delilah. May we not simply inculcate these lessons in our minds, but make sure we apply them in our lives.
Before I end this blog, let me leave you an inspiring verse:
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).