She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it (v.16).
I’ve never stood in high places or wielded authority over the masses, but in my little corner of the world I’ve felt its pull. Whether I’m trying to keep my heart from pain, make my husband agree with me, or prevent my children from experiencing hardship, the root is the same—control. We all face (and at times succumb to) the temptation to grasp for power. While we may turn to Judges 16 to study Samson, the passage shows us that Delilah had some serious issues. Her story illustrates several lessons why we should resist the desire to control.First, control begins and ends with self. Delilah saw that betraying Samson would benefit her financially (vv.5-6) and help her to gain favor with others. Wrapping her lies in love, she used her affection to get what she wanted. In doing so, she defined Samson’s love for her based on whether or not her own needs were met. Ironically, she questions the authenticity of his love while planning his capture. Claiming love, she cared only about her own desires, even at someone else’s expense.Second, control blinds.
Quick to point out Samson’s deception, she remained unconcerned about her own web of lies (v.10). Holding Samson to a different standard than she was willing to follow, she fell into the trap of situational ethics as she let her circumstances determine her moral stance.Last, control destroys relationships. Using her lap, a symbol of comfort and nurture, Delilah seemed poised as a safe place—but in reality she was the danger. Control is no different. Pretending to guarantee safety, control instead brings bondage and betrayal.Jesus asks for our trust. Submitting to Him isn’t about losing power, but rather gaining freedom (Galatians 5:1).
Read Philippians 2:3. What does this passage teach us about what it means to walk in the power Christ offers?
Where are you facing the temptation to grasp for control? How can surrendering this area to the Lord bring about greater freedom in your life?