Hola Divas! Welcome to week five of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs. Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“. You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s Wife, Lot’s Wife and the Woman at the Well.
Unlike Mrs. P (Potiphar’s Wife), Lot’s Wife and the Woman at the Well, this week’s bad girl has a name. Her name is Delilah and her story is directly intertwined with a man named Samson.
Samson was a Nazarite. Angels predicted his birth to his mother and gave her specific instructions: she was not to drink any alcohol while she was pregnant or eat any unclean foods. Once Samson was born, she was instructed to never cut his hair because he had super strength. Samson had a call on his life from birth to deliver Israel from Philistine oppression. He used his brute strength to tear apart lions with his bare hands and kill thousands.
Yet, his kryptonite was women.
By the time we get to chapter sixteen of the book of Judges, Sammy Boy had already been jilted at the altar by a woman from Timnath (Judges 14:1-2).
Perhaps that is why we find him with a prostitute when chapter 16 opens. (YES a prostitute. I am so not making this stuff up! Read your bible…it’s in there.)
One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. (Judges 16:1)
Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. (Judges 16:4)
If y’all are counting, we are already at three women in only a few chapters..his betrothed, a prostitute or harlot as some texts call her, and our dear bad girl…Delilah.
The Word says Samson fell in love with Delilah. There is no mention of her falling in love with him. There is also no mention of a wedding.
“Friends with benefits” Bible-style.
The Philistines noticed that Samson was hanging out with Delilah. So the Philistines approached Delilah with a business deal.
The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver. (Judges 16:5)
Eleven hundred shekels of silver in today’s money would be about $750,000.00. As such, Delilah was very direct:
“Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” (Judges 16:6)
When Samson played games with her and told her lies about where his strength came from, she used Mrs. P’s tactic….persistence. The Bible implies that Delilah whined and cried daily. When she needed to , she used the age-old line “If you loved me you would ______________”.
So Samson told her.
When he was sleeping in her lap, (doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how our bad girl got him to go to sleep so soundly), Delilah called the Philistines to cut Samson’s hair. When Samson awakened he found himself without his strength.
Subdued and weak, Samson was captured. The Philistines gouged out his eyes and put him in prison.
Why didn’t Samson catch on to Delilah’s ways? Because Samson is just like us. We rely on our own strength and dance with temptation instead of fleeing. We get too close to the fire and the “sin-smoke” makes the truth impossible to see.
Sightless and powerless, Samson was humbled and he turned his heart to the Lord. In his final act of revenge, he sacrificed himself and killed more Philistines than he ever had by knocking down their temple.
Not sure what happened to bad-to-the-bone Delilah.
From Samson and Delilah, we can glean a life lesson summed up best in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Homework for this week: Read chapters 4 & 5 (Woman at the Well and Delilah)