Delilah, betrayal, and work cultures

For Jesus and the culture

Dear Reader, 

We all know the story of Samson and Delilah. There are two interesting parts about the story to me: 1. She’s the only woman who gets named in the story and 2. He actually wife-d her. Samson, an Israelite, loved/and/or married Delilah, the Philistine. She then took a bribe from the Philistines to help them get rid of her lover/husband. Whether they were married or lovers is much debated but it’s safe to say they were close. Overall, it sounds like the stuff of spy movies. 

Delilah seems like a double agent. On the one hand, she kinda likes Samson but on the other hand her bosses need Samson out of the picture. The Bible does not say that Delilah intended for Samson to die. This betrayal is not like Judas who knew that the Pharisees intended to kill Jesus. Perhaps she thought they just wanted Samson weak or to get Samson to flee. 

We also never find out what happened to Delilah. After she got paid, did she feel guilty? Did these men send her on anymore spy missions? 

While the story of Delilah can be interpreted as a caution against foreigners—which so many people have interpreted it that way–, I think there’s another lesson here… about ruthless work cultures. 

Delilah did her job. In fact, she had three chances to get it right and one might think any one of those times she could’ve given up and said she is not doing this. But we have to think of the time. Marriage was currency. A man was currency. When the Philistines sought to get rid of Samson, they were going to get rid of Delilah’s source of income. Delilah knew how bloodthirsty these men were so maybe she figured it would happen with or without her and she needed to take part and get paid,  so that she would be able to survive. 

Maybe you’re out here doing your job right now and thinking this is not the job for you. This job that you have is incongruous with your morals, values, or  with who you are. Maybe it’s not even where God wanted you to be in the first place, or second place, or any place. In that case, maybe you do not have to do the job. If it’s gonna happen with or without you, let it happen without you. 

In Delilah’s case, Samson’s demise probably could not have happened without her. The Bible says that Samson was in love with her … they could not have sent anyone else to find out his secret. She was the only one who could have done the job. 

Maybe you are the only one who can do a job… your history, your experiences, your unique abilities add up to something. Instead of letting it add up to something terrible, let’s seek where it adds up to something that gives God glory.