Tag: Judges 16:28

Eyes gouged out?

Scripture reading for March 12: Judges 13-16

The story of Samson is a mix of the supernatural power and anointing of God and the lowest of our carnal nature.  Samson was born by supernatural intervention to a couple who was childless.  His parents carefully listened to the instructions of an angel and raised this boy as a Nazarite, one set apart to God.  (Numbers 6:1-21) God’s Spirit began to stir Samson early in his life.  God was going to use him to deliver the Israelites from forty years of bondage to the Philistines.  This bondage was a result of Israel breaking her covenant relationship with God through idolatry and immorality. (Judges 13:1)

As Samson grew, he was attracted to a Philistine woman in the town of Timnah.  He asked his parents to get her for him.  The Bible states that this was from the Lord, although his parents did not understand and sought to direct him to get a bride from his own people. (Judges 14:3-4)   This is difficult to understand because God specifically warns us not to intermarry with those outside the faith. (2 Corinthians 6:14) In this instance, God used Samson’s carnal tendencies to accomplish His purposes in defeating the enemies of His people.  It is not meant to be an example to follow!

Samson’s marriage to this woman never happened.  She was given to one of his friends in the bridal company!  His anger and impulsiveness moved him to get even.  God used this, but how much better to follow the Lord by prayer and listening to His instructions!  Samson impulsively ate honey out of a lion’s carcass, a violation of the Nazarite vow.  I believe this was a metaphor of his attraction to prostitutes and carnal women.  How like Israel was Sampson in his unfaithfulness to covenant and God’s Word! Through yielding to temptation, he had his eyes gouged out!  

Samson was in captivity, both of his eyes gouged out and mocked at a gathering of Philistine officials.  Sampson regained his spiritual sight and his first recorded prayer asks for God’s help. “O Sovereign Lord, remember me.  O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28) God faithfully answered the cry of this man and used him to do His will. Even though sin had blinded him physically, God restored his life-purpose and answered!

Why did Samson, under a Nazarite vow, desire to have a pagan for his wife? Why did God tell the Israelites (and believers) not to marry unbelievers? What do we learn about God’s grace through Sampson?

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