Hidden Nuggets Series #14 – “…and every one of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” – Judges 16:5
Would you abandon your morals for one million dollars? Would it make a difference for $10 million? $100 million?
Even thinking about that question makes us feel dirty. We try to convince ourselves it would be impossible to forsake our core principles and beliefs for money. Deep inside, however, we know there would be serious temptation, especially if our financial situation was dire.
Such is the nature of our humanity.
Of course the scenario I set forth Hollywood has already made into a movie – the 1993 not-so-critically-acclaimed drama Indecent Proposal. (Kids need not apply to watch!) It’s not an original story line however, because the theme of someone taking money over love dates back much further than that.
She Took Money Over Love
For about a 400 year time period before the kings began to reign in ancient Israel, God used a series of judges to guide the people. One of the latter serving judges, Samson, was unique in that God had blessed him with incredible, superhuman strength. Samson’s only requirement for keeping that strength was never to cut his hair. Funny, I know.
Samson’s feats of strength were legendary. Unfortunately his desire for heathen women was equally renowned. And his undoing would come at the hands of a Philistine woman named Delilah.
When the five lords of the Philistines learned that Samson had fallen in love with Delilah, they approached her with a proposition. Find out the secret of his strength and your reward will be 1,100 pieces of silver from each of us. That’s 5,500 pieces of silver to betray the one you love. Financially speaking, that would set her up quite nicely.
I believe Delilah loved Samson because the Bible does not give us an indication otherwise. It does say in Judges 16:4 that Samson loved her so it’s reasonable to conclude she loved him back, at least for short time. Regardless, the financial proposal proved very enticing. The love of money became too powerful for Delilah to ignore.
So she went to work, and with her feminine wiles in full action it didn’t take long. How could it when you live with a persistent and whiny woman who whips out guilt-producing lines like, “How can you say you love me if you won’t tell me your secret?” Samson had no chance when faced with this type of nagging day in and day out.
So he told her. And while he slept one night she cut off his hair. God’s strength left Samson, the Philistine lords captured him and Delilah received her reward. She opted for money over love.
I have a simple takeaway from this story: money is a powerful motivator. It can disrupt us, make us rationalize decisions and lead us to compromise values. We are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe that. And, in our denial, we may just be setting ourselves up to follow the route of Delilah.
Questions: Do you believe your morals/beliefs are strong enough to control money’s power and influence in your life? What’s the closest you’ve come to compromising your standards for money? Would you ever take money over love?
Prior Post: Dealing With My Daughter’s Big Milestone