trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Judginator

Playing to an audience.

Judges 16:4–9 (ESV)

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”

Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.

Imagine that you’re a football running-back who has a remarkable ability to break tackles. You slip a tackler’s grasp almost every time. So, imagine further that someone asks you the secret to your tackle breaking. What do you say?

Now imagine further that the person asking is on the team you’re playing against next weekend. Furthermore, he tells you he needs to know so he can tackle you. What do you say now?

I’d say something flip like, “Go barefoot,” or, “Rub Vaseline on your hands.”

That’s exactly what happens with Samson’s response to Delilah’s ridiculous question. He feeds her baloney. But what on earth could get her to ask such a stupid question in the first place?

She can’t be serious; no one’s that stupid. So let’s try to puzzle out a credible guess.

First of all, to put us in the right mindset, imagine this as a movie. Of course, the lead is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (in his prime, right after making The Terminator). Samson isn’t just a Nazarite on steroids; he’s the “Judginator.” Now picture Marilyn Monroe playing Delilah. This gives the story the right romantic action film feel. It is, after all, a love story, despite all the action.

The Hebrew word  in verse 5 translated as “seduce” (פַּתִּ֣י, pah-tee) is based on the verb that means to be simple. Here it means to make another simple—to deceive. But Delilah isn’t deceptive at all. Why?

Recall how the Philistines treated Samson’s wife earlier. Delilah can’t just tell them to buzz off; they’re one nasty bunch. Still, her obedience to their orders isn’t all that impressive either.

It seems that her heart’s not in it.

This scene is going to play out over and over. Neither Delilah nor Samson are being serious.

They’re under the watchful eye of a bunch of thugs, and it looks like they’re just playing to the audience.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

Latest from Mike Slay

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.