“But the Philistines took him (Samson), and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with fetters of brass….”
Judges 16: 21, King James Version
“Blind But Now I See”
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Is there someone or something that has caught my eyes and drawn me into a place where I should not be?
“Guard your eyes since they are the windows through which sin enters into the soul.”
“Beauty is a simple passion, but, oh my friends, in the end you will dance the fire dance in iron shoes.”
If ever words applied to Samson, they are the words above, written thousands of years after Samson lived.
After falling asleep with his head in the lap of the hit-woman, Delilah, Samson found out too late what happens when the “lust of the eyes” dominates our decision-making and leads us into the path of folly and destruction.
Judges 16: 21 notes that three things happened to Samson when, not only his physical, but his mental being were under the control of Delilah. And I want to take a moment to explore each of these elements in the process that left Samson not only without sight but without liberty.
Happening Number 1: The Philistines put out his eyes. If we remember, it was looking at things and people that “pleased” him which got Samson into trouble in the first place. Where his eyes wandered, his feet followed and so did his mind. When Samson saw something he liked and wanted, he got it – by one way or another. He saw, he wanted, he took and he enjoyed – or so he thought. His life revolved around the satisfaction of the eye. And so what happened first, when the Philistines got ahold of Samson – they forever took away his ability to see the things and the people who drew him in to feast at their table of delicacies. Because of his spiritual blindness, Samson allowed his physical sight to wander into forbidden territory until in the lap of Delilah, he showed he had not only lost his spiritual sight, but he ended up losing his physical sight, as well.
Happening Number 2: In Judges 16: 1, we are told, Samson, on his own, went to “Gaza, and saw there an harlot and went in unto her.” But how the mighty fell! Just a few verses over in Judges 16: 21, it wasn’t the proud and haughty Samson who paraded his way into Gaza again into the bed of a local prostitute. Instead, it was the Philistines, the Bible tells us, “brought Samson down to Gaza.” And “bring him down” they certainly did. Blinded and unable to see where he was going, Samson now entered Gaza sightless and powerless. Remember, on his previous visit to Gaza, he left the city by using his God-given strength to lift the gates of the city off their two posts and then he dumped them on a hillside by Hebron. What a memorable feat, indeed. And now, this man who had chosen to allow his power to be stripped away, was led blind down into the city of Gaza.
Happening Number 3: The Philistines bound Samson with brass (iron) fetters. Rather than finding himself locked in a passionate embrace with a woman, Samson was now led in shackles into a grinding mill where without sight and liberty – he found he had not only lost his ability to see the beauty that had captured his attention and heart, but he also lost his liberty which allowed him to fulfill the purpose for which God called him. Chained to a grinding wheel, he was unable to be the person God wanted him to be. It was at this low point when Samson began to recognize what so many of us have had revealed to us in those moments of utter desperation in our own lives.
The Psalmist David, who found his liberty taken away when his eyes became locked on another man’s wife, came to realize that journeying on his heavenly Father’s pathway was the only way to freedom. After his repentance, David penned these instructional words in Psalm 119: 44, 45, “So shall I keep Thy law continually for ever and ever, and I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts.” (K.J.V.)
The great Apostle Paul, whose early life was charted by his own desire to “rub-out” the followers of Jesus Christ, encouraged his Christian friends in Galatia t “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5: 1, K.J.V.).
It was under the Philistine yoke of bondage and blindness that Samson began to see again. Little by little, day by day – not only his eyes but his heart were opened to the liberty that is ours when we choose to follow the path designed by our Father.
If you feel under the blindness and bondage of the Philistines in your life, then I invite you to accept the promise from Jesus, Himself; “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8: 36, K.J.V.). No more chains or shackles. No bondage and blindness. “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” John Newton
“Open my eyes that I may see,
Incline my heart that I may desire,
Order my steps that I may follow
The ways of your commandments.”
“Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hand the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
ready my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Clara H. Scott
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