Samuel, Delilah and The Art of War

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Judges 16:4

Perhaps 2018 is the year of exploring unconventional women in the Bible, because Delilah is another lady who has a lesson to teach us, not just we modern women, but Christians generally.

Delilah is often demonised as an immoral woman, and we could delve into her character and behaviours to explore her betrayal of Samson – just to note: Delilah is often portrayed in paintings and iconography as the one who cut the hair of Samson, but she merely caused him to fall asleep on her knees and called the barber…so there’s something to say about where you fall asleep perhaps?

But regardless of how you view her, she was a human like you and I, and she had a price – eleven hundred pieces of sugar from each Philistine Lord.

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

Judges 16:4-5

Now we do not know (nor are we told) how many Lords there were but you can imagine that it was a lot of money!

There is a famous Chinese proverb, commonly attributed to Sun Tzu and derived from his magnus opus The Art of War – know thy enemy and know thyself and you shall win a thousand battles. The concept of ‘knowing oneself‘ can be traced back to Greek philosophers, and continues to be relevant in modern psychology.

In 2018, there remains a prevalent, yet sad saying that ‘everyone has a price‘, but I would qualify that with the clause ‘you need to know what your is‘.

All over the world, people do terrible things for money, oftentimes, relatively little money compared to the harm caused. Could Delilah have known how one simple action of hers would shape history?

But what about us?

What is your price?

Have you sold someone out before?

At what price?

At what cost to that person, your relationships, your friendships, your peace?

When people know your price, our relationships are cheapened. It is an indication that our loyalty can be brought and makes us susceptible to exploitation and blackmail. No matter what, do not put a price on your loyalty. If you have failed in this area before, ask God to forgive you, and all yourself time to forgive yourself.

Today Brothers and Sisters, my prayer is simply Lord, help us to cover our weaknesses and weigh up the true cost of making bad decisions.




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