Saturday, March 14, 2009

Delilah's Deadly Beauty

Let’s face it. A woman with great looks wields great power. It gives her all the tools necessary to get a man to do almost anything.

And with power comes great accountability.

Holy Scripture provides us with many examples of beautiful women who loved God above all and their beauty was His to use. We think of Queen Esther and Judith. Their beauty served God well.

But then there’s Delilah. A real hottie, and her beauty wasn’t lost on Samson.

Samson was a judge in Israel, gifted by God with great power, something like God’s super-hero. The Philistines just couldn’t “get” why this guy was so strong. They had to know his secret. What would be akin to kryptonite for this guy? Did he have an Achilles’ heel?

But every man has a weakness, and Samson’s was a pretty face.

Delilah wooed him and when he was most vulnerable, she asked him to tell her the secret. Why are you so strong, my love?

When he wouldn’t tell her the truth (after pleading three times), she pouts. You don’t really love me, do you!

And so, in one of the dumbest acts in human history, Samson tells Delilah the secret he shares with God alone. He has a covenant with God; Samson can never cut his hair. To cut his hair is to break covenant with God.

When Samson is asleep, Delilah shaves his head, and when he awakens, the Philistines are upon him. Only this time, God’s favor is gone.

It was a difficult lesson. Years pass, and Samson is used and abused by the enemy. One day, the Philistines have a great party. They bring out Samson and chain him to the pillars, to get a laugh at Samson’s expense. He is old and blind. Humbled beyond recognition. But God has watched Samson, and He is ready to bless him once again.

Samson lifts a prayer to God, one more time. Bless me this one last time, Oh Lord.

And the power of God comes upon him, and he tosses back his head and shakes his hair like a lion in mid-roar.

He grips the pillars, and with a mighty effort, he pulls them to the ground.

The building falls and the enemy is crushed. Samson is among the dead.

We don’t know if Delilah is there. We aren’t told what happens to her. But we have seen pretty faces come and go. We can almost imagine her fate. We’ve known women with good looks (and an evil heart) and we’ve seen how miserable they are later in life. We can almost imagine Delilah after about a decade or two. Her beauty fades, and she is considered replaceable by the kind of men that gravitate to her. Eventually, all she has left are the bitter memories.

But it doesn’t end there. Imagine Delilah as she stands before God. . . and gives an accounting of what she did with the only gift she had.

Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)


No comments:

Post a Comment