The Power of Sight

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 17:6

If you look back on your life, odds are you will see some themes and patterns that repeat. The key to being a growing and maturing person is to be mindful of and repeat the good themes and patterns and turn away from the bad ones. This is the process of self-improvement, or what the Bible calls spiritual “sanctification.”

What is true of your life is also true of Samson’s life. In this week’s devotionals, we will discuss a series of themes and patterns in Samson’s life. Sadly, he is unaware of these themes, and he does not learn from them. As a result, his life ends in a tragedy. As we look at these themes, it would be good for you to invite the Holy Spirit to learn from both his life and your own.

There is a theme in the Bible encouraging God’s people to do what is right in His eyes. In previous times, Christians spoke of this with the Latin phrase coram deo, which means to live in the presence of our all-seeing God. In the days of the Judges, the people would have known the following Scriptures written by God through Moses for them:

●      Exodus 15:26: “do that which is right in his eyes”

●      Deuteronomy 6:18: “do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord”

●      Deuteronomy 12:25: “do what is right in the sight of the Lord”

●      Deuteronomy 12:28: “do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God”

●      Deuteronomy 13:18: “doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God”

●      Deuteronomy 21:9: “do what is right in the sight of the Lord”

To prepare His people to enter the Promised Land, just before the days of the Judges, God said in Deuteronomy 12:8, “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes[.]” Twice in Judges, we are told that everyone did this very thing: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

The world system is opposed to God and uses the temptation of our eyes to seduce us into sin of every sort – especially sexual sin. 1 John 2:15-17 says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.

In Samson’s life, his failure to devote his eyes to the Lord led to many of his painful problems. This theme of lust of the eyes is common in his life, and something that most everyone to this day also struggles with.

●      Judges 14:1: “Samson…saw one of the daughters of the Philistines.”

●      Judges 14:3: “Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.’”

●      Judges 14:7: “[S]he was right in Samson’s eyes.”

●      Judges 16:1: “Samson…saw a prostitute, and he went in to her.”

Later in life, in a tragic plot twist, Samson (who did what was right in his eyes but did not do what was right in God’s eyes) had his eyes gouged out. Judges 16:21 says, “the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes.” Samson’s dying prayer is recorded in Judges 16:28: “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.’”

Jesus may have had Samson on His mind when He said in Matthew 5:28-29:

I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.

If we are honest, we can all relate to Samson’s struggles with the eyes. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s devotional on the second theme.

How many times in your life have your eyes tempted your heart and led you into sin?

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