Samson’s eyes

The life of Samson is recorded in Judges 13-16 .  God revealed to Samson’s parents that they would have a son.  They were not to cut his hair and he would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.  He would begin the job but King David would be the one who completed it.  Samson is famous for his strength but his parents were never told anything about this.  The discovery of how strong he was likely came as a surprise both to him and to his parents.

Here is the first incident recorded after he became an adult.

Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.”

But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?”

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”  (Joshua 14:1-3)

He saw a Philistine woman and wanted to marry her.  His parents tried to dissuade him but he was influenced more by what he saw than by their arguments.

Samson’s desire prevailed over that of his parents.  On the way to Timnah for his wedding the following incident took place.

And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring.Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat.  (Judges 14:5,6)

While it is not stated in the Bible, I believe that this was when Samson discovered the great strength that God had given him.

His marriage was the first of a series of events that led to his overcoming the Philistines and becoming a judge.

And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.  (Judges 15:20)

This is probably the high point of Samson’s life.  After this he begins to drift away from obedience to God.

Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her.  (Judges 16:1)

He began to stray because of what he saw.  What happened to him next was even worse.

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.  (Judges 16:4)

We aren’t told how he met Delilah, but in the light of all that happened before it is likely that the relationship began with his seeing her someplace.  The rulers of the Philistines were quick to take advantage.

And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”  (Judges 16:5)

There were five lords.  If each one gave her 1,100 pieces of silver she would receive a total of 5,500 pieces.  She made a much better bargain than Judas, who only got 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus.

When Delilah asked the secret of his strength Samson told her he would be as weak as any other man if he were tied up with seven fresh bowstrings.  She tied him up but when the Philistines tried to capture him he snapped the bowstrings easily.

It would seem that at this point Samson would have realized what Delilah was trying to do and would have had nothing more to do with her.  That didn’t happen.  He continued for a while to put her off with false answers but finally told her the truth; his strength would leave him if his hair was cut.  She called in a man to shave his head and the Philistines were finally able to capture him.

The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.  (Judges 16:21)

The Philistines thought that by gouging out Samson’s eyes they were ensuring that he could never escape from them.  In fact they were destroying the source of his weakness that had kept him from serving God fully.  Samson was no longer able to look at women with his physical eyes but was forced to look to God with his spiritual eyes, and God responded.

The hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.  (Judges 16:22)

The Philistines offered sacrifices to their God Dagon to celebrate their victory over Samson and they brought Samson to the temple.

Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other.And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.”

Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.  (Judges 16:28-30)

God chose Samson to begin delivering Israel from the Philistines and Samson accomplished that work in spite of his times of disobedience.  But what would have happened if Samson had been faithful and not disobeyed?  He would probably have accomplished the work without suffering blindness and enslavement.  His life would have been better if he had obeyed the words of this children’s song.

O be careful little eyes what you see,
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
He’s looking down in love,
So, be careful little eyes what you see.

O be careful little ears, what you hear
O be careful little ears, what you hear
For the Father up above is
He’s looking down in love,
So, be careful little ears, what you hear.

O be careful, little tongue what you say
O be careful, little tongue what you say
For the Father up above
He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little tongue what you say.

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
For the Father up above
He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do.

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
For the Father up above
He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go.

O be careful little heart whom you trust
O be careful little heart whom you trust
For the Father up above
He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little heart whom you trust.

Posted on August 8, 2018, in Bible study and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Very good sermon! I had never thought about Samson’s eyes being his weakness, but surely they were!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very insightful. Thank you, Clyde.

    Liked by 1 person

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