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Samson’s Eyes


Time: 1070 BC

Place: Land of Israel

Spirit of the Age: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. —Judges 21:25 NKJV

Growing Crisis: A group of people known as the Philistines have brought their foreign gods and influence into the land and culture of Israel.

Person of Interest: In a dark period of Jewish history, a childless couple find themselves in the story of God. An angelic messenger tells them they are going to give birth to a child who will begin to deliver their nation from their enemies. What they find out later is that this son, Samson, has superhuman strength from God but the weak eyes of his times.


We first meet Samson as he walks the road from his hometown of Zorah to the village of Timnah where a Philistine woman catches his eye.

According to the record of the Judges, Samson returns home and tells his parents, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” When his disappointed mother and father ask why he wouldn’t find a wife among his own people, he says, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes” (Judges 14:2-3 ESV).

The marriage doesn’t begin or end well. During the wedding festivities, Samson insults and intimidates 30 of his young Philistine hosts, who eventually kill the bride and her father for getting them involved with Samson.

Seeking revenge, Samson becomes a one-man army. With superhuman strength, he uses the jawbone of a donkey to kill 1,000 Philistines.

Samson becomes the hero of Israel for the next 20 years. But he doesn’t grow in the ways of God. At some point, he goes down to Gaza, sees a prostitute, and spends the night with her. Later he falls in love with another Philistine by the name of Delilah.

Delilah is Samson’s undoing. She pries out of him that the secret of his strength is in the uncut hair that signifies his dedication to God. Then she betrays his trust. As Samson lays sleeping with his head in her lap, she takes a razor to his hair and calls in the Philistines. When they find that the strong man who has terrorized them is no longer a threat, they take out their vengeance by blinding him.

A broken Samson then calls out to God for one last act of strength to avenge his eyes. With heaven’s help, he pulls down a huge pagan temple killing more Philistines in death than during the days of his life.


Time: AD 30

Place: Land of Israel

Spirit of the Age: This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet . . . . Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. —Luke 11:29, 35 NKJV

Growing Crisis: Israel still remains under the heel of external control and occupation. This time it’s the Roman Empire. Yet the Jewish people remain unaware that the real enemy lies within.

Person of Interest: Once again an angelic messenger announces the birth of a son. His name is to be called Jesus, and His first concern is to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).


Instead of leading a revolt to kill Roman soldiers, Jesus confronts the eyes and hearts of Israel’s religious leaders. According to Him, they are the real oppressors of God’s people. They have eyes only for themselves and their own interests (Luke 7:31-35).

Jesus shows how differently He sees Israel’s problems. As He sits at the table of a local religious leader, a woman with a reputation for being a public sinner bursts into the room. Standing behind Jesus, she begins to cry. Then she falls down and begins washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair.

The Pharisee watches in disgust and disbelief that a prophet would let a sinner touch Him. Jesus shows no shame. Instead, He tenderly assures the woman that her sins are forgiven. Then He honors the woman by telling a story that shows how those who know they have been forgiven much love much (Luke 7:36-50).

This isn’t the last time Jesus looks at a woman in a way unlike the rest of His generation. After His death and resurrection, the first person He shows Himself to is Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons (Mark 16:9). Though Jewish women were not respected enough to give witness in a court of law, Jesus honors Mary by sending her back to His followers with the first news of His resurrection (John 20:11-18).

Who would have thought that by looking at women differently than Samson and other men did, Jesus would show that He has His Father’s eyes?

Father in heaven, we remember that Samson’s last prayer was for the strength to avenge his eyes. Thank You for the Son who, with eyes wide open, looked on those who had nailed Him to a cross and said to You, with us in mind, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” —Mart DeHaan

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11 Responses to “Samson’s Eyes”

  1. bubbles says:

    Wow, Mart. Thank you for this post.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    I have always said in my opinion Samson was a failure as a man and squandered his gift and calling. Finishing his life no better than today’s suicide bombers.

    I always thought the only thing to glean from the story was how not to be.

    In looking at the story in this light Mart you once again show that where there is light there is also darkness, Jesus is indeed the opposite of Samson in most every way.

    I wonder how we are seen as more opposite to Jesus in our lives and actions as well.

    I dare say one could put anyone up against Jesus and fail miserably in every instance, as bad if not worse that Samson.

    Don’t like the story of Samson so I’ll stay away today. Matt, Glenna and I have to do some traveling anyway so it will be tomorrow before I look in again. Had to start the morning shoveling and plowing again.

    Bruce it is said in Job that the soul of every living thing is in the hand of God (Job 12:10), please be comforted in this at the loss of your family member.


  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart —

    The taste of tragedy has always been there for me in the story of Samson. He had, as far as I can tell, no mercy for his enemies — except the one Philistine who intended to ruin him. There is his hubris and ultimate downfall — this Bible story could be played on the stage as a tragedy — like Othello or Les Miserables.

    Yet, the Bible indicates that the Spirit of God was with both Samson and Jesus of Nazareth. The only explanation is that our God works through humans. This is seen in both lives. This is how God chooses to manifest God’s Being in the world.

    How could any two men be more different? Samson served his people for 20 years — Jesus has a place at the right hand of God forever. As the people of Israel looked to Samson in the day, so we look to Christ as the fulfillment of God’s profound love among all peoples. The New Covenant made in Jesus’ death and resurrection is the ultimate, not a temporary sign of God’s desire for fellowship with us — on God’s terms.

    Jesus’ purity and his unique appreciation for women is one aspect of his divine ability to see as God sees. Trust and faith are needed so that we may see as He sees.


  4. poohpity says:

    Such a good example of parents that allow an only child to have his way in everything. Even though Samson lived to please Samson, God still used him to accomplish His will. I would guess that God knew what Samson would be like but still found purpose for his life and I do not know whether everything that Samson did was not orchestrated by God that fit right into a sign of the times to make a statement. So many lessons in the life of Samson that we can learn from.

    Most people have eyes for only themselves and their own interests sounds a lot like it is today. I pray that we can look at others through the eyes of God and that sure would help us to be more considerate, kind, patient and grace filled.

    Jesus caused people to not only look at women differently, He caused us to look at God differently. I am so thankful for all that He has done and continues to do in the lives of those who love Him. The best example of love that has ever been given or will ever be given.

  5. BruceC says:

    Thank you Steve for your kind words.

    Samson definitely was a tragic story. Without Christ; so is ours. I see some similarities in the storty/life of Samson and that of Christ. Not comparing the two as there is no comparison at all. Samson was a sinner; Christ was sinless. Well here goes. Samson was not fearful of being near a woman(although for sinful motives) that Jewish society considered unclean. Just as Jesus was open to all and made the Pharisees look down on Him for it. I think the pagan temple of the Philistines also could be a picture of false worship, self-righteousness, salvation by human works. and the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Samson lost his “wordly eyes” and therefore could not look upon the pagan temple. His lost his life, but the false worship was destroyed and for a short while saved his people from the pagans, and their sinful ways. Jesus never had wordly eyes. He never saw things throught he “eyes of the world” but through the eyes of His Father. When He gave His life He was destroying the power of death and satan and false worship; and in so doing enabled “His people” to worship God the Father in spirit and truth.
    Just another way to see it. All things in the OT somehow can be seen as pointing to Christ and their fulfillment in Him. But then again I could be all wet.

    I will have a new ISP by tonight and new e-mail(satellite internet) so I will have to go throughthe reg. process I guess or edit it. So you may not see me for a day or so until I get it figured out. Tech and I are like oil and water.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. saled says:

    I agree with bubbles- Wow! What a beautiful, beautiful post. I so appreciate the way Mart puts stories from the Old Testament alongside those from the New, thereby creating deeper meaning from them both. There is so much in today’s post that I had never considered, not the least of which is the difference in Sampson’s view of women and the way that Jesus looked at us.

  7. ichance66 says:

    Thank you Mart, for a fresh perspective on the story of Sampson and how it Juxtapose, (if that’s the right wording,) with Jesus’ ministry. I pray our eyes will see as Jesus sees and not how Sampson did, lest we become blinded (spiritually.)

  8. bernhe says:

    The title should be “Jesus had his father’s eyes.

  9. migun says:

    Amen. Thank you Mart, for your inspired insights.

  10. firstbehonest says:

    Sampson relied on his power to try to control others around him. God used Sampson to smite the Philistines even though Sampson was not seeking to follow God’s will in his own life. Like most of mankind, Sampson focused on the external, ignoring the need for change in his own heart and spirit.

    Jesus did not seek to control the evil culture around Him. Jesus relied on the power from His Father in heaven to save souls, ONE PERSON AT A TIME. As Christians we can either seek to force change on an evil society (like Sampson) through acts of power and control, or we can (like Jesus) focus on the individual “divine appointments” that God brings us each day to minister love and grace to ONE PERSON AT A TIME.

  11. hamer says:

    Who’s eyes do we see through, whose eyes should we be looking through?
    This story in Samson points to a women yet this woman is symbol for all we lust for and in today’s world the list is endless as it was then.
    If we were to see as Jesus sees would we be able to comprehend it and more importantly could we would we react in the loving ways of our Lord?
    Judges 21:25 (NKJV) 25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
    Today’s world: If it feels good do it!
    17When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? Mark 8:17-18
    What about the women in Luke, a symbol of humanity. We burst into the room standing behind Jesus because of our sinfulness and being in the present of Christ brings us to tears. Through those tear striking at the feet and on the feet of Christ, he turns to us and honor us with His full attention. Then through His loving kindness for His eyes see what only God can see, He assures us our sins are forgiven.
    Since we are a Resurrection Easter Sunday people are we then expectantly and ready and willing to be as Mary was, honored by Christ to go tell of the Good News of His resurrection. We are if we have accepted the heal salve to heal our eyes, and heard the word “Ephphatha” (Be Opened) so our ears may hear and have received and accepted the heart of flesh that God alone gives, then and maybe then our minds will be transformed. Then by God’s Grace and Mercy may we will realize and act upon the illuminating light that is essential for one to see, the Light of Christ of which there is no darkness. For if all your senses are in proper working order yet if there is no light they are useless, like the blind leading the blind, or humanity be led by the world.

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