“And the rulers of the Philistines went to her (Delilah) and said, “Seduce him. Discover what’s behind his great strength and how we can tie him up and humble him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
Judges 16: 4,5
“How To Get Rich Quick”
By Delilah of Sorek
“When money speaks, the truth is silent.”
How much money would induce me to act like Delilah?
“A high standard of living is usually accompanied by a low standard of thinking.”
“People who think money can do anything may very well be suspected of doing anything for money.”
Mary Pettibone Poole
I’m constantly amazed as we study God’s Word together how timely the Scriptures are. You would think the story of Delilah was written yesterday, especially the part about money for services rendered.
In a world which is more focused on money and how to get it than ever before, how appropriate it is for us to be looking at the motivating factor behind Delilah’s seduction of Samson.
While Judges 16: 4 notes that Samson “loved” Delilah, there is absolutely no such evidence that Samson’s heartfelt affection was reciprocated by Delilah.
Just the opposite. If we go back a few chapters in Judges, we find the Philistines were not a large nation -- they were, however, a strategic nation. Capitalizing on the weaknesses of the Israelites who were not well-organized nor a cohesive group of tribes, the Philistines infiltrated Israelite territory, picking off the weaker tribes until the day came these enemies of God had completely surrounded all the tribes of Israel. This military coup was successfully undertaken and completed under the guidance of five main “Lords of the Philistines.”
However, there was still one thorn in the side of the Philistines and his name was Samson. Having watched and waited, these “Lords” were fed at the buffet of Samson’s weaknesses. He wasn’t the least bit discreet in trying to keep his passions hidden. In fact, Samson flaunted his behavior, bragging about his ability and luring the Philistines into his own web of falsehoods.
Unsuccessful in their first few attempts to get to the bottom of the secret of Samson’s strength, these fellows decided they needed a real professional. And in Delilah they found someone who fit the bill. She was a heartless vixen who was not motivated by love. What a perfect candidate to be the Philistine’s “woman for hire.”
The “Lords,” we are told, came to Delilah with an offer that sounded too good to be true – however, it wasn’t, if you just look at the monetary end of the deal. Each of the “Lords” – five of them – offered Delilah 1,100 shekels of silver for a total of 5,500 shekels of silver.
To put this payment into perspective, Joseph’s brothers, in Genesis 37: 28, sold him to Midianite merchantmen for 20 shekels of silver and in the New Testament, Judas Iscariot sold the Son of God for a paltry 30 pieces of silver.
Along comes our lady Delilah who was offered 5500 pieces of silver. Excuse me, but this is a lot of money. And before we blast this girl for being a money-grabbing, greed-filled shrew, let’s step back in time and look at some of the elements that may have been involved in Delilah’s decision-making process to become the lure that reeled in the big fish -- Samson
First, it is likely Delilah had heard about Samson’s Timnah experience. We girls stick together. And I doubt there were any women who were pleased with the fact that Samson’s revengeful, out-of-control response in Timnah caused his wife and her father to be burned alive. Frankly, this abusive behavior by the Philistines and also by Samson’s act of retaliation is repulsive to me. Obviously, because the Philistines had spies watching Samson, I’m sure they also told Delilah about Samson’s “sleep over” with a prostitute. If you and I were in Delilah’s place, I’d think Samson was a real cad! A jerk! A user! I might easily feel that if for no other reason than the way women in my nation had been disrespected by this creep, I’d like to help take this guy down. And if the money was right – wow, that was a bonus!
Here’s the essence of Delilah’s story. And it is confined to one question which we all need to ask ourselves. “What is the price I am willing to charge for my services?” We all have a price, you know! And the price for each of us is something different! Sadly, for many of God’s daughters, the price we put on ourselves is way too low. If we think we have even one flaw – we quickly drop the price and allow someone to pay so little, it’s pathetic.
One thing about Delilah, if she were going to be used, the Philistine lords were going to pay well – and believe me they did. But so did Samson. For the price he paid, dealing with a professional hit woman like Delilah, was his life. Samson wasted God-given opportunities. And his life was cut-short, all because he ventured into the Valley of Sorek where the Philistines took advantage of his weaknesses and used a woman whose greed made her the perfect temptress to tap into Samson’s uncontrolled passions.
In a world where it’s easy to fall into the trap of selling ourselves for a bowl of lentils, as Esau did, it would do us well in this age of avarice and greed to rethink the price we put on ourselves. Especially in light of the fact that our heavenly Father turned the universe inside out and upside down by counting you and me so valuable He sent the dearest person in the world to our planet, His Son Jesus Christ. And he did this because one person is worth that much to Him. If the price my Father has set for me is that high, why would any of us ever, ever, measure our worth in terms of silver coins, no matter how many we were offered.
One of the saddest records in the Scripture is left for us in Luke 21: 3, “But then Satan entered into Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve Apostles. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Him (Jesus) and deliver Him up to them. And they were delighted and pledged themselves to give him money. So he agreed to this” (Luke 22: 3-6, Amplified Bible). Joseph’s brothers had a price. Delilah had a price. Judas had a price. And the price was way too costly. When you sell your soul to the devil, you’ve lost everything!
Take a lesson from Delilah. No amount of silver is worth selling ourselves when all our Father asks us to give Him is the freewill gift of our hearts.
“What can I give Him,
Poor as I am;
If I were a shepherd,
I would give Him a lamb;
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part.
But what can I give Him?
I will give my heart.”
“Lord Jesus Christ. My memory, my understanding, and my will, all that I have and cherish, You have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by Your will. Your grace and Your love are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.”
Ignatius of Loyola
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