By: J.C. O’Hair –
READ JUDGES 13:1 – 7 ~ 13: 24 &25 ~ 16:20 – 22 ~ 16:29-31 ~ JEREMIAH 52:1-11 ~ ACTS 13:1 -15
In this lesson we read concerning three blind Jews, “Samson,” “Zedekiah” and “Bar-Jesus”
One of the most fascinating and yet pathetic stories in the Bible is the birth, life and death of Samson. He judged Israel for twenty years. He had a wonderful beginning, although like all of Adam’s children, he was conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity.
As in the births of Isaac, Benjamin and Joseph, Samuel, John the Baptist, and others, God undertook for a barren woman, and Samson was the promised son of his parents, born by special favor of God.
In Judges 13: I, we read of the wonderful opportunity, challenge and task for Samson. He was a Nazarite. His long hair was the symbol of his mighty power from God, as fold in Judges 13:24 and 25; 14:19- 15:15.
Note Judges 14: 6, ‘”The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him. “But something awful happened to Samson: and then note Judges 11: 20, “Samson wist not that the Lord was departed from him.” Then the Gentiles, the great enemies of Samson’s God, disgraced Samson and God’s nation. After his hair was cut off his power was gone. He failed in his God-given duty to the Gentiles. They put out his eyes, mocked him, and used him as a beast.
But later something happened to both Samson and the Gentiles. This we will note after we read about blind Zedekiah and blind Bar-Jesus.
Like Judge Samson, all of Israel’s kings, beginning with Jeroboam, were idolaters, not one good one in several hundred years. In 2 Kings 17:18 we read, “Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.”
Then note some time later, in 2 Kings 23: 26 and 27, that because of the terrible sins of Judah’s King Manasseh, God also cast off Judah (with Benjamin) about 600 B. C. Israel and Judah had dishonored and profaned the name of God in the presence of the Gentiles. Israel and Judah were cast off, politically, and “the times of the Gentiles,” politically, began with a blind Jew, Zedekiah.
The king of Babylon, the heathen had his men put out the eyes of Zedekiah, the king 2 Kings 25:5 to 7 & Jeremiah 52:1-11. From the day of Zedekiah’s blindness, politically, Israel has been the tail, not the head, in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 28: 13:36 and 44. The times of the Gentiles, politically, began with a blind Jew, and blind Israel. (Isaiah 6:9-11).
About twelve years after Israel had rejected Jesus, their Messiah in incarnation, (Acts 5: 29 and 30 – 13:23 – Matthew 21:42 – John 1: 11 they rejected Him in resurrection, and Paul said, we turn to the Gentiles. (Acts 13: 46). This was at the time God blinded a Jew, with a good name “Bar-jesus.” Then the blind Israel.
God sent blindness on Israel and the times of the Gentiles, spiritually, began about the middle of the first Christian century (Romans 11:6 to 9, 25 and 26). Read Acts 13:5 to15.
The Jew, “Bar-jesus” (“the child of Jehovah Saviour”) tried to keep the seeking Gentile, Paul, from hearing the Word of God from Saul. Paul believed Saul when God blinded “the child of Jehovah Saviour;” and Saul the apostle became Paul. “Bar-jesus” spoke of Israel, God’s child. (Romans 11:5 – 11).
Samson, with his hair growing again (Judges 16: 22), although blind, speaks of Israel today, still spiritually blind, but growing rapidly economically and politically. What happened to the Philistines when Samson took down their pillars? Read it in Judges 16:25 to 31.
This will happen to the pillars of Gentile civilization when Israel shall be thrust into the great tribulation, Then Israel’s Deliverer, Christ, will come. (Luke 21: 24. to 33 – Romans 11: 26). God again will make Israel the, head (Romans 11:21, 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-12).
Read Isaiah 62: 1-4- and the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh chapters of Ezekiel.