Nothing else in all of life is quite like looking into the face of my baby girl. Nothing else produces that beautiful mix of ferocious tenderness I feel as I watch her navigating life and making her way one brave step at a time. She doesn’t let life simply go by . . . she pulls it up close and lives all the minutes with everything she has. Time with her Jesus is no exception. She steps into every syllable of His Word and fully expects Him to the be the God who shows her great and unsearchable things she does not know . . . to be the Savior who will show Himself to her and the Spirit that will lead her into all truth. True to His promise to be found by those who seek Him, He consistently reveals Himself to be the God of More to her and my heart is never more full than when I receive the 6 a.m. or the midnight text saying, “Mom, you won’t believe what He has let me see!” Those moments for me are truly a glimpse of His glory and I thank my God for the gift of her every time.
Glimpsed Glory Welcomes
Tom & Jerry Is Just a Cartoon
(Or What Delilah Taught Me about Perspective, Forgiveness, and Life)
By Britt Biddinger Stechly (carbohydratequeen.blogspot.com)
(To really understand this post, I’d recommend reading Judges 16 – the account of Samson and Delilah – but no pressure)
In ninth grade, my teacher (the regular author of this blog/my mom) had me do an exercise for Language Arts; in it, we read the same story twice. In the first version a starving cat chased down an interloping mouse. In the second, a mouse sought shelter from a harsh world only to be scared away by a cruel feline.
I think the story of Samson and Delilah has always been a cat and mouse story to me. The mean seductress (cat) lures the simple strong-man (mouse) into her arms, only to betray him at a moment’s notice!
Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe the cat isn’t wicked, maybe the mouse isn’t scared, maybe things aren’t as black and white as they once appeared and our characters are all dressed in layers of gray.
Delilah was, likely, a prostitute. Samson was “in love.”
Delilah isn’t Samson’s wife and she’s never recorded as having said, “Samson, I love you so much! Tell me how you can be bound so that I can help you guard against it, darling!” Nope.
Samson just keeps falling asleep at her place, likely after sex he paid for; despite the fact that he’s leaving himself pretty much defenseless. Delilah doesn’t seem like she’s even trying to be particularly sneaky.
He tells her how to bind him.
He wakes up bound exactly that way.
He keeps coming back to her.
I don’t think he returns out of love, but arrogance – I believe he forgot where his strength came from and thought no one could take him down, particularly not some random girl.
According to the Word, Samson had never known a life void of blessing. Literally, from the womb he was called and celebrated. I think it went to his head; he thought he was strong, but the truth is (ready? I’m about to blow your mind)
Samson was never strong – GOD is strong.
Delilah repeatedly asks Samson, “Why do you mock me?” but the only one Samson mocked is God. Samson continues spitting in the face of his calling over and over, utterly unafraid of the consequences.
In Samson’s story, Delilah is surely the living embodiment of the Woman Folly Proverbs warns against (Proverbs 9),
but she is not the villain – Samson’s pride is.
In her story, Delilah was almost certainly not a prostitute by choice. She was most likely sold into sex trafficking by her own family, to pay off their debt. She was in a horrible situation that wasn’t her design, in a godless country, and suddenly an opportunity to make so much money off just another dopey John falls into her lap and she takes it – maybe it was even enough money that she got to go home afterward. We’re not told that.
But one thing is for sure: Delilah was shown that money is the most important thing – certainly more important than her life – so why wouldn’t it be more important than some random guy? Sure he “loved” her, but it isn’t unlikely that a lot of men had “loved” her. She probably didn’t even know about his calling – he wasn’t acting like a Judge set apart to lead God’s people and she clearly didn’t know the Nazarite Vows. All she definitely knew about him was that he was freakishly strong and, if she could be responsible for his capture, he was her meal ticket.
She’s more than a prop in Samson’s story; she’s Rahab if God hadn’t intervened. She’s a poor, scared, probably teenaged girl who desperately wants out of a life that she didn’t choose.
Delilah isn’t a villain; she’s a victim.
She was taken advantage of by countless men – including one who was world renowned for his strength – so she took advantage right back.
I’m not saying Delilah did a good thing, but I truly believe that she wasn’t the one outside the will of God; Samson was.
In fact, if she were the “hero” of the story, it might even have been said that God used a sinful, wayward man to lift her out of a life of slavery and poverty. But she’s the “villain” so we don’t get to know what happens to her.
Maybe she was an evil temptress; but no one is born that way. Maybe she was a corrupt opportunist; but can someone who is a victim of a corrupted system, trapped at the whim of any man with enough money, ruined in the eyes of her society, really be blamed for this particular situation?
Or should it be the Judge of Israel, anointed by God and blessed with greater physical strength than any man, be held accountable for his arrogance, stupidity, and weakness of character?
In any case, God loves “Delilahs” and “Samsons”.
He loves all mess-ups and ragamuffins. We can place blame anywhere we like, but Christ covered it all with forgiveness.
So pray for the Delilahs in your life because with God’s healing they can become Rahabs. Never forget that no one but the Devil is a villain; everyone else is a soul God wants to see saved and
He can and will redeem any story.
Even Delilah. Even Samson. Even me. Even you.
But never let the Devil trick you, my love – you are not a Delilah. If you are a victim of circumstances far outside your control or have done things you are not proud of, you are still a Rahab!
You are chosen.
You are loved.
You are called.
I’m going to say this again,
God’s faithfulness CAN and WILL redeem ANY story.
Lean into that.
Let Him love you, rather than take advantage of you. Let Him take care of you, rather than use you. Let Him redeem you, instead of defile you.
You are worthy & you are loved & you are beautiful & you are enough & God has a plan for YOUR good, sweet lady. Let that sink into your very bones; allow it to fill you up and comfort you like a really good latte.
The world isn’t black and white, you’re not a cat or a mouse, you’re a complex and wild creation of the Author who longs to lavish you with a plotline far beyond your dreams or fantasies. It might not be easy but, because of God’s faithfulness, you can be assured of a happily ever after.
*Thank you to BibleGateway for making the word accessible from one generation to another!