“'Entice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle…' Samson’s wife wept before him … He told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people." – Judges 14:15-17 NASB
Samson fell in love with Delilah and wanted to marry her. However, his father was concerned because she was a Philistine, one of Israel’s enemies. But he went along with his son’s demands.
On the way to the wedding, Samson killed a lion. He then toyed with the Philistines, telling them a riddle based on his conquest. Unable to find a solution, the Philistines challenged Delilah to find the source of Samson’s strength and the answer to the riddle. Several times she went back to him seeking the answer.
Eventually Delilah got the information she wanted. First, she was asked to “entice” Samson. Through words and actions, she sought to manipulate and deceive him. She “wept before him,” exploiting his vulnerable thoughts and emotions. She “pressed him so hard,” causing him distress. She made life difficult.
From our vantage point, Samson clearly should have known better. But he had lost perspective and wasn’t able to resist her manipulation.
This is a warning to all of us to be sensitive to the ways we might be vulnerable. Be on guard against the possibility of manipulation. How can you avoid the manipulation trap? Develop a strong relationship with God. Pray about the choices you face. Learn to be more sensitive to His Spirit, follow His leading, and listen to His warnings. Fill your heart and mind with His Word. Practice making it the foundation of your life.
Father, help me to make the right decisions. Keep me from being manipulated. In Jesus’ name, amen.