Text: “But the Philistines took him (Samson), and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.”
“And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”
Good morning, desolate and afflicted Christian! Upon receiving this Bible Lesson, one part of you feels no desire to read it; nothing but fear and dread floods quickly into your sin-sick soul - for you are, perhaps, out of true fellowship with God and with your fellow Christian brethren, and the eyes of your faith are unseeing of God’s Light.
If this describes YOU today, beloved friend in Christ Jesus, read on - for I have good news from a far country for your never-dying soul. Jesus KNOWS your need. Turn again unto Him, He is waiting right now to hear your cry of repentance, and your confession of Spiritually blinding sin. Hear the Psalmist’s cry:
Verse 16. “Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. His own eyes were fixed upon God, but he feared that the Lord had averted His face from him in anger. Ofentimes unbelief suggests that God has turned His back upon us. If we know that we turn to God, we need not fear that He will turn from us, but may boldly cry, ‘Turn Thee unto me’.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 129)
Our double-Bible text for this morning reminds us of the plight of God’s strong man, Samson. We should all be most familiar with this stirring story of a judge raised up by God from the tribe of Dan to lead his people through perilous and dangerous times while under Philistine domination.
When Samson walked in obedience to the Living Lord God, he was of all men, the strongest in the land; and revealed that God-given strength time and time again to the greater glory of the Lord. His strength, therefore, was clearly NOT his own, he went forth in the strength of the Living God Jehovah. Praise His Almighty Name!
“I am the Vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him/her, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
However, we all know the poignant story of the great Samson. He was a mere man - just like you and me, Christian friend - and he had an old nature within his breast that just would not lie down under God’s Spiritual leading and direction. The apostle Paul, another great champion of the Lord God, was no different. Hear his cry:
“For the good that I would (do) I do not; but the evil which I would not (do), that I do. Now if I do that I would not (do), it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man (his born again nature); but I see another law in my members (his old carnal nature), warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Romans 7:19-25)
Only Christ can deliver the sinner from our sinful nature - Samson was no different than Paul; and you and I today are no different, we are born sinners. Sin blinds our Spiritual sight. Praise God, grace enlightens our eyes once more.
“And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead (enemies of the Lord) which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” (Judges 16:30)
When we, as regenerate Christians, sin (not IF!) a dark cloud of separation comes between us and our Holy Lord God; a shadow of the Almighty’s wrath against all sin.
However, the Lord has provided us means to ‘progressively sanctify’ ourselves in our daily State; genuine repentance and confession of our sin to Him, brings His face to shine upon us afresh, and brings us into our glorious Standing in Christ once more. This is known as State and Standing theology reference our sinful nature.
Verse 16. “Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. Let no good man be surprised that his affliction is great and to him of an unaccountable character. It has always been so with God’s people. The road to Heaven is soaked with the tears and blood of the saints.” (William S. Plumer 1802-1880)