I Was Just Thinking About - - -
Scripture records these words about the deceptiveness and oppressiveness of darkness: “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” I John 1:5-7 (ESV).
It is not unusual for some people to have an innate dread or fear of darkness. There is the uncertainty of the unknown. Every sound or shadow increases the level of a person’s anxiety. The apprehension is based upon the thought that something or someone is lurking in the darkness and will possibly cause personal harm. While attending college, I worked part time on weekends as a night watchman in a women’s dormitory. The responsibility entailed making rounds each hour at twelve designated check points. At a designated hour, lights were to be out in all of the rooms throughout the building. One night, an older staff member returned to the building at a later hour. I was struck by her obvious fear of walking down the dimly lighted hallway to her room. She requested that I escort her to her room, turn the lights on, check under the bed and in the closet before she was willing to enter her room. As I left her room, I was requested to wait by her door until she had secured the locks. While this is an unusual case, there are people who have an abject fear of the darkness.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes reference to the distinction between light and darkness. The words of Jesus in Matthew 6:22-23 (ESV) are: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” One commentator, an English art critic of the Victorian era, mused about darkness when he wrote: “Seeing falsely is worse than blindness. A man who is too dim-sighted to discern the road from the ditch, may feel which is which; but if the ditch appears manifestly to him to be the road, and the road to be the ditch, what shall become of him? False seeing is unseeing, on the negative side of blindness" (John Ruskin, Modern Painters, 1843). A comment attributed to Helen Keller states: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Judges 16 records the misspent life-choices of Samson. He had been a man of considerable strength and great accomplishments. The narrative has considerable impact when consideration is given to how Samson used his sight. At first, it was used to seek and destroy the enemies of God. In his pursuit for carrying out the Lord’s assignment, he allowed himself the momentary pleasure of gazing upon and desiring an attractive woman. She would become his nemesis as she sought for his deepest secrets and the source of his strength. There are very sad words about the lustful desires of Samson in Judges 16:18-19, “When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying: Come up again, for he has told me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.”The sad commentary about Samson is given in Judges 16:20-21, “He did not know that the Lord had left him. And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles." He would spend the remaining days of his life in the oppressive darkness of his blindness. He would never again carelessly gaze upon an attractive woman or anything else in God’s creation. As Jesus said: “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Consider these things with me!