So Delilah said to Samson, 'Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.'
Samson answered her, 'If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.'
Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
Then Delilah said to Samson, 'You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.'
He said, 'If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.'
So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
Delilah then said to Samson, 'All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.'
He replied, 'If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.' So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric and tightened it with the pin.
Again she called to him, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.” (Judges 16:4-14) Last week, we saw an example of how Samson was a womanizer, and that idea is continued in this week’s passage when Samson falls in love with Delilah. Delilah is from the Valley of Sorek, and interestingly Sorek means “choice wine.” Remember that Nazirite vow that Samson had on his life? He was not allowed to have wine or strong drink. Could this perhaps be a foreshadowing of what was to come, that he should not be pursuing a relationship with Delilah? Stay tuned. We know that Delilah was geographically near Samson since the Valley of Sorek wasn’t far away. But with the occupation of the Philistines, the Israelites and Philistines often lived in close proximity, so we do not know from the text whether Delilah was an Israelite or a Philistine. From her close relationship with the Philistine leaders, we can guess that she was likely a Philistine - again, someone Samson should not associate with, simply because he was an Israelite. So in this first story we see about Delilah, she is trying to get Samson to divulge a secret. Does that sound familiar? It should. That’s exactly what happened back at his wedding to the woman from Timnah, where his new wife got him to divulge a secret, ultimately causing Samson to lose his wife. Delilah was promised a fortune for figuring out the secret to Samson’s strength. The Philistines didn’t want to kill Samson, they just wanted to harness his strength for their side. If you knew a person who had extreme strength, you’d definitely want them to be for you rather than against you, right? So Delilah persistently tries to get Samson to reveal his secret. Samson, however, knows what she’s up to and 3 times he lies to her and tells her the wrong thing. Each time, of course, she tries it and finds out that he was not truthful with her. Samson is amused by this little game he’s playing, but Delilah gets more and more frustrated and agitated with him. This was not a good foundation for a relationship between Samson and Delilah. Relationships need to be built on trust, and there’s no trust when one person is always lying to the other - especially when they’re being found out. Samson thought this game of lying to Delilah was amusing, but it would not stay that way. Samson knew better (for now) than to reveal his secret, but he wasn’t helping things by giving false information. Lying will only cause trouble down the road, whether it’s with a romantic partner, a friend, or anyone for that matter. Eventually your lies will get found out and you’ll be discovered, and the consequences could be major. What lies have you told, or are you tempted to tell in your life? Even if you think it’s a sure thing that no one will ever find out you lied, first of all that’s likely not the case, but more importantly God knows that you’ve lied. Remember God’s natural law and how we’ll reap what we sow? That counts for lying too. At some point, you will have to face the consequences for not telling the truth. This week, ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to tell the truth in all situations.
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