When the Reader at our Wednesday evening testimony meeting began reading the Bible’s account of Samson and Delilah, I prayed that God might provide me with new insight. In this story, Delilah feigns love for Samson while repeatedly enticing him to reveal the source of his great strength. For a time, Samson resists. When he finally caves in to her wishes, she betrays him into his enemies’ hands (see Judg. 16:4–21).
As I heard Delilah’s repeated suggestions read, I thought of how Nehemiah and Christ Jesus also faced repeated temptation. When Nehemiah was rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, local leaders Sanballat and Geshem doggedly sent messengers five times urging Nehemiah to meet with them and explain his objectives. Nehemiah recognized that they were intending to halt the building project, so he answered, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Neh. 6:3).
Jesus expressed profound discernment, persistence, and authority when, after fasting for 40 days in the wilderness, he faced three devilish temptations. Jesus denounced the insistent tempter with the command, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10).