Nagging to Death

Bible Reading: Judges 13; 14; 15; 16

Samson's lover, Delilah, was on a mission to find out the secret of Samson's great strength so that her people could overpower and subdue him. "...With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told her everything..." (16:16-17a).

When I read this passage, I just kept thinking how utterly stupid Samson was for telling Delilah the secret of his strength. She nagged him constantly to tell her, and every time he made up something, she immediately betrayed his confidence and tried to steal away his strength. He had to know that, after he actually told her the truth, she was going to cut his hair and that his strength and God's Spirit would leave him. How could he be so stupid? Why didn't he just leave her when she nagged him relentlessly? Why was he even living there? Why did he let her wear him down to the point where he would give in to her persistent nagging and risk certain destruction?

Then I realized that I've done the same thing when I've been enticed by sin or when I've allowed Satan's lies to fill my head with doubt and unbelief. If I allow myself to remain in vulnerable situations instead of removing myself from the line of Satan's relentless attacks, the enemy's continual nagging can wear my resistance down to the point where I could easily give in to sin or self-pity and allow the destruction of my moral character or the impotence of my faith. When I feel vulnerable, I need to avoid weakening situations (if possible), confide in a friend who can encourage me and hold me accountable, and fill my mind with scriptures, readings and songs that will build up my defenses and encourage me to resist temptation and reject Satan's lies.

Samson's story still ended in victory. Though he never regained his sight, he did regain his strength, and God's Spirit returned to him so that his last victory was greater than all his other victories put together.

Even when we fall, God will not abandon us. In the very midst of our rebellion, "The Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion" (Is. 30:18). The chapter of our rebellion can end in victory if we will return to God in repentance and rest. "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it" (Is. 30:15). So often, we point a finger at God and blame him for the messes we got ourselves into. Yet, God longs for us to run back into his arms and curl up in his lap so he can quiet and strengthen our restless hearts with a renewed awareness of his love.

Lord, alert me to situations that make me susceptible to Satan's nagging. Give me the courage and determination to draw the line safely away from his bed of lies. Fill my mind with your life-giving truth so that I can easily recognize his deception and stand firmly against his schemes. Increase my strength as I rest in your love.