TEMPTATION IS A SLOW DRIP TACTIC
15. Then Delilah pouted, “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!”
16. She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17. Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “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.”
Judges 16: 15–17 NLT
So, I have a confession to make. Usually, as I’m reading through Today’s Passage, whatever it may be, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to say about it or any clue as to what Today’s Lesson is going to be. That being said, the second I’d read Verses 15–17, I immediately knew what Today’s Lesson had to be.
But before we get to that, let me give a little bit of context about what is going on here. Sampson is a Judge of Israel, a title that comes with certain obligations and constraints. From his birth, he has been dedicated to God to order the trajectory of Israel’s rise in the region and protect them from outside forces that wished to see them destroyed.
However, Sampson never really lived up to his potential because he was far more interested in fulfilling his own physical lusts than following God’s Designs for his life. That led him to make some glaring mistakes in his role as protector and leader.
In fact, it can be argued that Sampson never led the Israelites anywhere but into more drama. Still, we cannot forget that all of what Sampson did was initiated and instigated by God to punish His enemies. So even given the tragic outcomes for all involved, Sampson was doing what God designed him to do, at least in part.
We do not know how much of his actions were Guided and Directed by God; we can only speculate, but it is widely regarded that Sampson squandered God’s Power to an enormous degree. He could have been so much more, but Sampson was saddled by his lusts.
A Cautionary Tale, to be sure, but as we break down the specific mistakes Sampson made, we would be remiss if we didn’t look at how the enemy targeted and ultimately broke his will. Delilah gives us the perfect illustration of what the devil does when he tempts us.
To find Today’s Lesson, we have to look at the specific tactics Delilah used to break a man who no other individual, group, or approach seemed capable of. The precise strategy she used is crucial to recognize because it is the same scheme employed by Satan and his minions against us daily!
Delilah has asked Sampson what the Source of his Strength is. In response, Sampson has lied repeatedly to her, concealing the Truth and keeping his secrets to himself, which was wise. Sampson knew Delilah was out to get him because she tested his theory every time, he told her another lie.
Delilah had men hiding in her chambers to take Sampson by force the moment he showed even the slightest moment of weakness. So, he’d have known she was not to be trusted. It was evident Delilah did not love Sampson, but the Text in Verse 4 of this Chapter says that he loved her.
And that is the setup for Today’s Lesson. When he attacks us, the enemy will always utilize the thing we love to leverage against us. But that is only his opening tactic. The true genius of his strategy is its persistence. To get a clear view, as Christians, of who and what we deal with when it comes to Satan, look at Delilah.
She nagged Sampson so constantly, she pestered him so incessantly, that he told her the Truth about the Source of his Power. He admitted to her that he was a Nazarite and that his hair had never been cut. If it were, he’d be as weak as any other man.
Now, why did Sampson cave? Why did he tell this clearly untrustworthy woman something she could use against him? There are two reasons, and we need to be clear on them because it gives us ammunition when it’s time to fight against the of our souls.
The first reason Sampson caved, and Today’s First Lesson was because he loved Delilah. Sampson’s lust had driven him into the arms of a woman who couldn’t care less about his wellbeing. All she had eyes for was the windfall the Lords of the Philistines had promised her if she betrayed him.
Sampson was bearing his heart to a viper! She’d bite him just as soon as kiss him; there couldn’t have been a worse person for him to have trusted. That oversight is why the Bible tells us not to be “unequally yoked with unbelievers.” However, we cannot forget that God is in control of everything, and even Sampson’s missteps will be turned around for Israel’s good, if not his own.
The second reason Sampson caved, and Today’s Second Lesson was Delilah’s ceaseless, unremitting, nonstop nagging! It seems inane to consider because in our real lives, with human beings, most of us would never entertain this kind of thing for even a day, let alone long enough for us to be “vexed unto death!”
But the enemy of our souls IS Delilah! He is alluring, he’s attractive, and he’ll draw you in with pleasant desires promised to be fulfilled. But then, once you’re comfortable, he begins to tempt you. It’s easy to resist at first. No big deal, all you have to do is say, “No!” right?
But as time goes on, and those pretty things begin to grow on you, his leverage increases because he uses those things you love against you. You attach their value to him and believe that if he leaves, so do they. But God is the Source of Love, so that is a lie! But the second you fall for the lie, that’s when the attacks really ramp up!
Satan will keep throwing the same thing at you over and over again until you are so run down and tired of fighting that you give in, even when you know the consequences are likely to be dire. That is how Delilah broke Sampson, and it’s how he breaks Christinas and non-Christians alike every day!
To fight the devil, you have to recognize his tactics, and this is his most utilized and effective one. He uses it so often that he’s become an expert at subtly introducing a minor sin. Before you know it, you’ve begun to do things you’d never have done before his temptation was initiated and succumbed to.
The Story of Sampson is indeed a Cautionary Tale, but it is so much more! Sampson’s Story is a Blueprint for Satan’s Tactics, and we’d be foolish to ignore it. We have to know what we’re fighting against to defend ourselves against its assaults. That is how battles are won, and that is the war we fight. Are you prepared for war?
Have a Phenomenal Friday And Prepare For War, Because Your Enemy Is!