I stare at the notes I’ve written for this interview and shiver, not from cold but the foreboding in my spirit. Worries of how this session will play out resurface. Why can’t I just relax?
You know why.
What could God possibly want me to share about Delilah’s story? The woman labeled as the naughty girl of the Bible couldn’t possibly have anything to teach us. Could she?
I rub my arms in an attempt to soothe the angst welling in my soul. Why did you lay her on my heart, Lord?
The door opens, interrupting my thoughts. All heads turn to catch a glimpse of the raven-haired beauty. Dressed in a coral gown revealing ample cleavage to entice every man to stare, she sashays through the café, winking as she passes each table.
Their mouths drop, stopping all conversations. I can almost see the drool forming.
I push the bile in my throat down, regret filling my heart for scheduling this interview. I say a prayer asking for guidance and stand to greet the temptress.
Forgive me, Lord.
I mentally kick myself for my judgmental attitude. Wasn’t I just preaching a few weeks ago about how we need to look on the inside?
Shame on me.
“Hi Delilah. Thanks for coming.”
“Glad to be here, love.” She waves to the men at the next table. “Wow, you have a lot of handsome men here.”
“Do you mind if I tape our conversation?” I say, changing the subject.
“You like to get right down to it, don’t you? Of course not.” She pulls a compact from her clutch purse and checks her makeup.
Wow…this is going to be tough. Give me strength, Lord.
“Tell us about yourself. What was it like growing up in your area?”
Her velvet brown eyes darken. “Not much to tell. I learned at a young age that to make it in life and get ahead, I had to stand out.”
“What do you mean?”
“I think you can catch my drift.”
I raise my brow.
“I wasn’t prepared to sit back and let the men rule like my mother did. I wanted to be rich, so the only way to do that was to sell my body.” She leans forward. “And I was the best in the business.”
The waitress appears to take our order. I’m thankful for the interruption, clearing my thoughts of disgust.
I shuffle my papers and decide to move on to another topic.
“Tell us about Samson. What was he like?”
“Strong, courageous, handsome.”
“Even though he knew your profession, he kept coming back. Why?”
“He fell in love.” Her smile brightens.
“How did you feel about him?”
“He was just another client.” She shifts in her chair.
Her words don’t match her actions. Why would she lie? Did she feel more?
I glance at my next question. How will she respond? I tap my pen, wondering how best to word it without casting judgment.
“Why were you determined to double cross Samson and turn him over to his enemies?”
“For the money of course.”
My jaw drops. She didn’t even think about her response. I take a sip of my coffee, gripping my mug tight to curb the anger threatening to surface.
How could she be so callous?
“You were only in it for the money?”
“The Philistine officials were offering an exorbitant amount of riches, love. Wouldn’t you?” She drinks her tea, letting the question linger in the air.
She tilts her head. “Really?”
“Really. When you asked him where his strength came from, he tricked you three times. How did that make you feel?”
“Like a fool!” She slams her hand on the table. “How could he do that to me? He said he loved me.”
“He was toying with you.”
“I thought he was different from the others.” Her gaze follows a young couple leaving the café holding hands.
Is that longing in her eyes? Perhaps there’s more to her story than she’s sharing.
A question pops into my mind. One that isn’t on my list.
“Did you regret betraying him?”
Tears well in her eyes. She wraps a cloak around her shoulders, covering herself as if she’s trying to undo everything she did.
“After they beat him and took him away, I realized how much I cared for him,” she whispered. “But it was too late. The damage had been done.”
I search her face for deceit. Could she be manipulating me like she did him? No, the assertive, flirty woman who entered the café no longer sat across from me.
Compassion fills my heart and I place my hand on top of hers. “God loves you and used you for a bigger plan.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Yes. His plan involved Samson bringing down a temple filled with thousands of Philistines. You see, He can use any one of us for anything.”
Her smile brightens.
I get it, Lord.
Even though she used her beauty to betray him, You used her for Your bigger plan. We need to trust in that.
Perhaps she did love him. We may never know, but God loves us even when we sin. Even when we go ahead of Him and try to manipulate our own path, He will set us straight and steer us back because He loves us.
We just need to ask for His forgiveness and step back onto the trail He’s routed for us.
I squeeze her hand, smiling at the naughty girl of the Bible.
Yes, we can learn from her story.
What do you think? Is there anything else Delilah’s story can teach us? Share your thoughts.
Psalm 119:105 (The VOICE)
Your word is a lamp for my steps; it lights the path before me.