“After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.”
Judges 16: 4
“Who Has Your Heart?”
“We cannot help conforming ourselves to what we love.”
Frances of Sales
Who have I given my heart and love to?
Was it worth it?
Who has all of my heart right now?
“All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
“The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.”
Throughout history, much has been written, painted and acted out regarding the relationship between Samson and Delilah.
Hailed by popular culture as a torrid love affair, this tale has been painted as the ultimate seduction of man by woman. The charms of Delilah have been fantasized about as beyond the abilities of any normal woman and out of reach of any normal man. Only a “Samson” could be enough to woo a “Delilah.”
However, before you and I find ourselves carried away by the folklore that surrounds this drama, let’s take a look through the prism of the Biblical account of Samson and Delilah, for by doing so, a reflection of many colors will be evident.
The first woman in Samson’s life, his mother, whom we named “Faithful,” possessed all the Godly qualities that should have served as an example to Samson of what he should desire in a lifelong mate. Devotion to God and a heart wholly committed to the obedience of her Father, certainly provided “Faithful” with the ability to set an exemplary example for her son.
Yet on his first visit to Timnah, rather than a Godly character being the distinguishing attribute that drew Samson to a girl he saw, the criteria he used to measure her value was this: “She pleaseth me well.” His lustful attraction was the basis of Samson’s demand to his parents that they should go and, “get her for me.” After the demise of his wife, you’d think Samson would take another look at the qualities that held his parent’s marriage together, but he didn’t. Instead, he chose to find his lustful satisfaction fulfilled in the arms of a prostitute.
But in Judges 16: 4, something very unusual happens in Samson’s life. The Bible says that, “After this,” there was a change! And I asked myself this question: “After what?” In the King James Version of the Bible this passage reads: “And it came to pass afterward.” If we go to the Hebrew we find this phrase translated means, “following this past history,” something different happened to Samson. After letting lust rule his romantic life, the Bible says “he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.” The word “loved” in the Hebrew in this verse was not some sensual craving. This word is the exact same word used in Deuteronomy 23: 5 when Moses told the children of Israel that their heavenly Father, God Himself, “The Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the Lord thy God loved thee.” Furthermore, it is the same word used in I Samuel 1: 5 to describe the love Elkanah had for Hannah his wife. And it is the identical form of the word used to describe the love Jonathan had for his friend David in I Samuel 18: 1, “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
I use these examples as only a small sampling of the times in the Old Testament where the same word “loved” is used. And I did this to emphasize exactly what the Bible highlights and it is this. After all his lechery, letting his passions rule his behavior, Samson fell in love. This insight should be of great comfort to those who look back over their lives and realize that the passions driving their choices, even when they are not in God’s way, do not have to be the final and unchangeable definition of who we are. God can take broken desires and lustful cravings and as the Psalmist David wrote more beautifully than anyone I know, God can: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation” (Psalm 51: 10-12, K.J.V.).
Just because Samson had a sordid past, didn’t mean he was incapable of love. Unfortunately, we find that the problem with Samson’s past, was that he allowed it to dictate his future behavior. He let his previous downward trend make it easier for his choices to be wrong when he fell in love. He let his past lead him outside the will of his heavenly Father. What a lesson for us!
When your past and mine have been less than stellar, and we have not measured up to our Father’s purpose for our lives, He still offers to renew and restore our spirit so we can love again. And it is at this point when we must ask ourselves, “Who will I choose to love? Who will I give my heart to?”
Like Samson, may we not venture to the Valley of Sorek and hand our hearts over to an untrustworthy recipient. Instead, as Jesus so touchingly shared in the story of the Prodigal Son, who gave away his own heart to the things this earth offered him, may you and I return to our Father who has drawn us with an unending love – a love that will hold us close and never let us go.
“Forgive the Prodigal Heart”
“Behold the prodigal! To Thee I come,
To hail my Father and to seek my home.
Nor refuge could I find, nor friend abroad.
Straying in vice and destitute of God.
O let thy terrors and my anguish end!
Be Thou my refuge and be Thou my friend;
Receive the (daughter) Thou didst so long reprove,
Thou that art the God of love!”
“The love of God is like the Amazon River flowing down to water one daisy.”
“I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.”
Jeremiah 31: 3, 4
From: The Hound of Heaven
“I fled him down the nights and down the days;
I fled him, down the arches of the years;
I fled him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat – and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet –
“All things betray thee, who betrayest me…”
“Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all.
Shade of his hand, outstretched caressingly?
“Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am he whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest me.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.com or email [email protected].
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.