Long before Judas Iscariot sold out Jesus for some pieces of silver, there was Delilah, the woman who sold out Samson to the Philistines.
Before Samson was born, an angel of the Lord appeared to his mother and father and told them that he was to be dedicated to God from birth as a Nazirite. He explained that their child would lead Israel against the Philistines, whom the Lord had allowed to rule over the Israelites for forty years as punishment for the Israelites’ wickedness. (Judges 13)
Samson was born and grew into a strong man, exceptionally strong, especially when he’d call upon the Lord to help him exact revenge.
Samson didn’t set out to be the hero of the Israelites. He was a man possessed by hatred for the people whom he perceived to have wronged him, and he took revenge on those people, the Philistines, through wanton murder and destruction, which inadvertently served Israel’s greater good. The Israelites then put Samson in charge of them, and he led them against the Philistines for twenty years.
Now, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The Philistine leaders recognized in her an opportunity to learn the secret of Samson’s great strength, so they offered her 1,100 pieces of silver from each of them in return for her discovering and revealing to them what it would take to defeat Samson. (Judges 16:4,5)
Four times she asked Samson the source of his power. The first three times he gave her false answers, but the fourth time he revealed to her that because his hair had never been touched by a razor, the Lord rewarded him with strength.
Delilah told the Philistines. When Samson fell asleep on her lap, she called to those Philistines who lay in wait, and they shaved Samson’s seven braids. He awoke and discovered in trying to repel the Philistine attack that his great strength was gone along with his hair.
The Philistines gouged out Samson’s eyes and took him prisoner, as he would remain until his hair grew back to the point that his strength returned, and in one final dramatic act of revenge, he collapsed the temple where the Philistine leaders and thousands more had gathered in celebration, killing himself and striking a mortal blow to his lifelong enemies. (Judges 16)
How many of us are, in our own ways, just like Delilah? How corruptible are we made by the offer of money?
It doesn’t take thousands of pieces of silver to sell your soul to the devil. Any time you do what you know to be wrong, any time you compromise your morals or principles for a single cedi or even for a favor, you have committed a sin against God no less than that perpetrated by Delilah against Samson.
And bear in mind that for all the carnage Samson brought down upon the Philistines out of revenge, that’s nothing compared to the spirit of vengeance that is the Lord.