The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/19

Posted on | January 19, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/19

Scripture reading: Matthew 5:27–30

Samson’s Eyes

When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. (Luke 11:34)

 

When most of us think of Samson (Judges 13–16), we think of pecs, abs and biceps. We love the stories of how he killed a lion bare-handed, tied the tails of three hundred foxes together, and killed one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. As a boy, I liked the stories of Samson better than those of Superman or Batman because I knew the stories about Sam- son were true, while those stories of other super-heroes were only make-believe.

The secret of Samson’s strength, however, was not in his biceps but in the God he served. It was the Holy Spirit who made him strong. Dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth, the vow of his commitment was symbolized by abstinence from alcohol and never allowing his hair to be cut. As long as he was true to his vow, God made him invincible.

But Samson was a tragic hero. There was a chink in his armor: he was a womanizer. Rather than controlling his lusts, they controlled him. The result was disastrous. Though mighty in battle against the Philistines, he crumbled like a house of cards when faced with sexual temptation. He moved from one dysfunctional relationship to another: from his disastrous marriage to a Philistine (14:1–20), to his visit to the prostitute at Gaza (16:1–3), to his affair with the woman who ultimately destroyed him, Delilah (16:4–22). How could the world’s strongest man be struck down by a woman? We know that the secret of Samson’s strength was in his hair. But what was the secret of his weakness? We find the clue in these Scriptures:

,. At Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. . . . Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes” (14:1–3) [emphasis mine].

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

The secret of Samson’s weakness was no secret at all. He never learned to control his eyes. He let them wander where they shouldn’t go, and he let them ponder forbidden fruit (see Genesis 3:6). This was the chink in his armor. For men, sexual temptation always begins with the lust of the eyes. But it doesn’t end there.

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:14–15).

It all begins with the look. Once the process of sexual temptation has begun, without divine intervention not even the strongest man in the world can stop the downward pull of sin.

Brothers beware. If mighty Samson could fall, so can you. The secret to victory over sexual temptation begins at the same place where the secret to failure begins: with the eyes. This is what prompted saintly Job to say, I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl (Job 31:1). Perhaps someone reading this devotional needs to make a similar commitment.

The chorus many of us learned in Sunday School as children is perhaps the best counsel anyone can ever give or receive in the battle of sexual temptation:

O be careful little eyes what you see, O be careful little eyes what you see;

For the Father up above is looking down in love, O be careful little eyes what you see.

 

 You can’t help it if a bird flies over your head, but you don’t need

to let him make a nest in your hair.— attributed to Martin Luther

 

point to ponder Why is God so concerned about our eyes?

prayer focus Ask God for help in making a covenant with your eyes. Ask again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

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