WHY, WHY, WHY DELILAH?
Worldliness: Unthinkingly adopting the perspectives, values, and attitudes of our culture without bringing them under the judgment of God’s word. (New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words.)
“Satan does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of tempting us to change our point of view.” Oswald Chambers
Most everyone is familiar with the expression, “You’re not from around these parts, are you?” We usually apply it to someone whose behavior seems a little peculiar to us and is noticeably different from our own. My husband and I once hosted a student who was from Sweden. While her behavior wasn’t extremely different from our own, there were a few differences that betrayed she wasn’t from around these parts. That’s just how it is when you’re in a place but not of that place. You’re going to be different, and it’s going to show. I noticed, however, that the longer she stayed here, the more she began to fit in. By the time she left, she felt right at home here. 1Peter 2:11 refers to Christians as, “aliens and strangers in the world,” even going so far as to call us, “peculiar people.” We’re not from around these parts, and it should show.
It usually doesn’t take long for us to realize that a person is from another country. We see it in how they look, we hear it in how they speak, we observe it by what they do. Their ways are not our ways, their customs are not our customs. In speaking of the reaction to a believer’s behavior, by those who are in the world, we are told, “They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.” (1Peter 4:4). You’re going to catch some flack for being a Christian in this world. In John 14:23, Jesus said of those who believed in him, “You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” I think we tend to forget that we’re not from around these parts anymore. In IICorinthians 5:20, Paul tells us, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” We are now citizens of the kingdom of God, and our purpose here is to be “ambassadors for Christ.” The definition of an ambassador is, “a representative or agent of another charged with a special mission.” Ambassadors live in a country, but they are not of that country. Paul then goes on to inform us as to what our mission here is, saying, “We implore you on God’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” That’s our mission here; imploring others to be reconciled to God through the receiving of his grace. If we’re living like we’re from God’s kingdom the world should find us a bit peculiar. If it doesn’t, it could be an indication that we’re beginning to fit right in. Unfortunately, that happens when we stay in a place long enough. We begin to slack up a little on the ways and customs of our country and take on some of the ways of another. In doing so, we can lose sight of who we are.
Samson could tell us a thing or two about “losing sight” of who you are. Samson was a Nazarite and a Nazarite took a vow at birth to be separate from the world for God’s purposes alone. There were noticeable differences that separated Nazarites from others. One of the more familiar differences was not shaving their heads. This was done as an outward sign of their commitment of separation unto the Lord. In Christ we are called to be spiritual Nazarites, wholly separated unto God. While we aren’t required to never cut our hair, we are called to show forth noticeable differences in our conduct that evidence our commitment to the Lord. Much like Samson, however, we too face the danger of falling prey to Delilah while living in this world. The name “Delilah” means, “slack off, ease up, lose intensity.” The Hebrew definition is “temptress.” She is the spirit of enticement. She tempts people to go against the convictions of their hearts by looking for weakness in character. Samson’s weakness was his attraction to Philistine women, even going so far as to marry one. The Philistines ruled over Israel at that time, and God was against them. Their ways were not God’s ways and Israel was to remain separate from them in conduct, much like we are called to do in the world today.
What ultimately brought Samson’s downfall, and will ours as well, was when the temptation of his flesh began to mean more to him than having the Spirit of God upon his life. Samson’s downfall began when he slacked off, eased up, and lost intensity of heart toward honoring the anointing of God upon his life. Once that happened, Satan didn’t have to tempt him to sin, he only needed to change his point of view about sin. Samson was easily deceived because he wanted to believe Delilah’s lies. Once we give ourselves over to what our flesh desires, it’s easy for Satan to deceive us into changing our point of view toward it. James 1:13 cautions us, “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” The NKJV Nelson Study Bible defines full-grown as “bringing a goal to completion.” Rather than having the character of God, we begin to take on the character of sin. When Samson’s sin became complete in him, it began to define his character. When we give in to sin and begin to take on the ways of the world, it will ours too.
Samson thought he could have forbidden pleasure and still keep his anointing, but he was wrong. The more he yielded to his flesh, the closer he came to losing his anointing. Sin finally became full-grown in him and he awoke one day in the lap of Delilah to find that his anointing was gone. Samson’s downfall didn’t actually happen overnight, it was a gradual thing. Although he returned to Delilah time and time again, God continued to show him mercy and give him strength, so he assumed the anointing of God would not leave him. It might take a while, but the more we give in to the spirit of Delilah, the closer we come to sin becoming full-grown in us, and to losing our anointing. The cutting of Samson’s hair wasn’t what made him weak; losing the anointing of God did. Samson’s strength wasn’t in his hair, it was in his separation. When his hair was cut, it signified that he had not remained separate unto the Lord, and it was noticeable. As a result, the anointing of God upon him was lost. When Christians begin to take on the ways of the world, it’s like walking around with a shaved head. It’s noticeable! And it will cause us to lose the anointing of God upon us. Just as Sampson’s strength was in his separation from the world, so too is ours, and our enemy uses the same spirit of Delilah against us. He tempts us to ease up, slack off, and lose intensity for the ways of God, because he wants us to lose our anointing. He tempts our separation from the world, with the pleasures of the world, because he knows that “friendship with the world is enmity with God.” (James 4:4). He tempts us from being separated unto God, in order to separate us from God.
Samson didn’t realize the anointing of God was no longer on him until it was too late. He didn’t realize his choice to continue in sin would eventually lead to losing the anointing of God upon his life. God is long-suffering with us when we sin, just as he was with Samson. But, the more we continue to sin, choosing the temptations of our flesh over the anointing of God upon our lives, the closer we come to losing the anointing of God upon us. When we fall asleep in the lap of Delilah, when we slack off, ease up, and lose intensity of heart for the ways of God, it will end up costing us dearly. Samson not only lost his strength, he lost his sight. His enemy, the Philistines, gouged out his eyes. God didn’t take his sight, the enemy did, but Samson made it possible for him to. When we give ourselves over to the spirit of Delilah, it won’t be long before our enemy robs us of our spiritual sight, also. When Samson lost his sight, he was put into bondage, led around by his enemy, and used by them to serve their purpose. When we lose sight of who we are and where we are from, our enemy does the same to us. Only when Samson confessed his sin and repented of it, asking God to enable him to prevail against his enemy, did God grant him victory over his enemy again. Judges 16:22 says, “But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.” I love the hope that is in that one line! His hair began to grow again, meaning the anointing of God began to return upon him. When we confess and repent of our sins, God will always cause us to prevail over our enemy, but like Samson, we might suffer in our flesh from the consequences of our choices before that happens. Samson suffered physically, emotionally and spiritually as a result of giving himself over to the spirit of Delilah. If he could speak to us today, I think he would warn us, “Be on guard against the spirit of Delilah. Don’t slack up, don’t ease up, don’t lose intensity of heart toward the anointing of God upon your life. If you lay your head in the lap of the world, you might lay down full of pleasure, but you will wake up full of regret.”
In Matthew 25:32, Jesus spoke of another type of separation. This separation would be done by him at his coming. He said, “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. John 2:5 distinguishes between those who are in Christ and those who are not, saying, “This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” God will separate those who are his from those who are not, and how we walk in this world will indicate which one we are. We are called to give evidence of where we are from. If we are from his kingdom, God instructs us to “come out from among them and be separate, touch no unclean thing.” (IICorinthians 6:17). We can either separate ourselves now, or wait for him to do it later. The choice is up to us, but in the end the final separation will be up to him. So, “Why, why, why Delilah?” Because it’s who she is, and she’s very, very good at it.
LAP OF DELILAH
In the lap of Delilah many now do sleep
She has shorn them of their power
and their strength she has made weak
Awaken my Beloved! Of her embrace you must shake free
For she will blind you of your sight and bring you to your knees
Hear me my Beloved and do not be deceived
For I have called you out of this world to be separate unto Me
No, I will not share you with this world and its ways
So you must choose to follow me and my word you must obey
I have given you great strength, Delilah’s temptations to withstand
And if you will choose to resist her you will find you can
So heed the error of Samson and my words do not forget
“Though you lay down in pleasure, you will wake up in regret”
You do not belong to this world, I have called you to be my own
And I am coming back again to take my children home
But I cannot take you with me if you are holding onto sin
So you must separate yourselves now that I not do it then
But if you will rise up from the lap of Delilah
and your faithfulness to me show
I will restore your strength and cause your hair to grow
(Judges 16:22 – But the hair on his head began to grow after it had been shaved.)