But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass…
The blind captive, led by a boy, and degraded to the office of a buffoon in the idolatrous services of the Philistines, is a sad spectacle. But inwardly he was nobler than when carrying the gates of Gaza. His soul's eye has opened, and he repents. The locks that had been shorn grow again, and with them, gradually and, apparently, unconsciously, his strength returns. The Divinely-offered opportunity. The last act an atonement.
I. GOD OFTEN SUFFERS HIS ENEMIES TO OVERLEAP THEMSELVES. Here they are exultant. They rejoice as over a foe utterly vanquished. They do not know that their festival, blasphemy against God, is to be the occasion of their destruction. "The green bay tree" may be nearer to the axe than insignificant fruit tree.
II. THERE IS AN "UNKNOWN QUANTITY," NOT TO BE CALCULATED UPON, IN THE REPENTANCE OF THE BACKSLIDER. Even the ruin of a believer may be the temple of the Holy Ghost. A short time with God's blessing may suffice to retrieve the errors of a lifetime. "Faith as a grain of mustard seed" can "remove mountains." How often has Satan been disappointed of his prey! Some of the greatest of God's servants have been won back from backsliding. Let the wicked beware then of their companion and laughing-stock, and let the believing Church work on; the poor useless wreck over which we despairingly weep may yet become a man again, a blessing and a comfort to many souls.
III. THE PRAYER OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH MAY RETRIEVE A SOUL'S RUIN. Can God give ear to this heart-touching cry, and shall he not listen to his captive children in the dungeons of sinful habit or the temples of superstition? "This once," "only this once." One prayer, one look at the Crucified, one grand effort in God's strength, how much it may do I
IV. EVEN THE WEAK ONES OF GOD ARE MIGHTIER THAN THE GREAT ONES OF THE WORLD. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the Philistines took him, 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.