When Women Are His WeaknessThen she said to him, “How can you say, “I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything…Judges 16:15-17a
For context read Judges 16
Samson was a judge over Israel who was strong with a mighty power from the LORD. But he had a serious weakness: women. Of course, he was not the first man in history to have that weakness and he was definitely not the last. Unfortunately, though, he came across a woman who would manipulate that weakness to ruin him.
In Judges 16:4
, we read that Samson had fallen in love with a woman named Delilah. Now, according to Judges 14 and 15
, Delilah was not the first woman he fell for that sympathized with the enemies of Israel, the Philistines. So it seems likely that his enemies were on to his weakness with women. They knew that women held power over him. But they didn’t know how to make him physically weak.
So the rulers of the Philistines approached Delilah and asked her to work for them to extract the secret of his strength. They each offered to pay her eleven hundred pieces of silver if she could entice him to give her this information. She apparently didn’t love Samson as much as he loved her or as much as she loved money. She accepted the deal.
She began to badger him for the secret to his strength. In addition to his weakness for women, he seemed to have an affinity for riddles and games. But this was a game he should not have played. He pretended to tell her the truth three separate times and she attempted to trap him three times. He was always able to escape, but at this point, you would think Samson would have figured out that she didn’t have his best interests at heart as a lover should. He could not be deterred from returning to her day after day, putting himself in a vulnerable position.
Eventually, Delilah wore him down with her constant nagging and manipulation. He caved and told her that if his head was shaved, he would become as weak as any other man. Not really because his hair was his strength, but because God’s Spirit would leave him if he abandoned his Nazirite vow. Delilah took full advantage of the information. She lulled him to sleep, had his head shaved, and called for his enemies to come overpower him.
The mighty judge of Israel, Samson, was cut down to size. His eyes were gouged out and he was taken prisoner. But God did not completely abandon him. When Samson cried out to God for vengeance, He heard. One day, Samson was given the strength to knock down the pillars that held up the roof of a house that contained about 3,000 men and women, many of them Philistine nobility. Despite Delilah’s treachery, the ultimate victory belonged to God’s people.
The WORD about women in the story of Delilah is a warning of how we should NOT behave. Remember when God created Eve? He called her a helper to Adam. As women, we are called to help, not hurt, the men in our lives. We should never intentionally use a man’s weakness against him to cause him to stumble. Many a mighty man of God has been cut down by sexual sin and sometimes, a conniving, self-interested woman was involved. As Christian women, we should never be a part of that.