During my Bible reading this morning, a thought struck me about Samson.  He was blind long before the Philistines put out his eyes.  What do I mean?  Well, as we read through Judges 16, we can see several areas where Samson was blind.  Take a look.

1) He was blind to his weakness. - From the very beginning, Samson had a woman problem.  When it came to picking his "better half," Samson had all the wisdom of a turnip.  His first wife left him for his best friend.  Nice!  After that, he turned to harlots.  Lovely!  Then, of course, there was Delilah (we'll talk more about her in a minute).  But Samson didn't see the pattern.  He seemed clueless to the fact that his lust for women was leading him to his own destruction, so he continued down that path until it ultimately led to his death.

2) He was blind to Delilah's true nature. - All I can say is that Delilah must have been quite a looker because, from what the Bible says about her, she had no other redeeming qualities.  She was greedy.  She was manipulative.  And honestly, how blind did Samson have to be not to realize what she was doing when she kept asking him about how to defeat him?  Didn't he think that was a rather odd question?  And didn't he further think it strange when each night he was subjected to the "binding" that would cause him to lose his strength?  Talk about clueless!  He was so blinded by love or lust or something that he spilled his secret and wound up a prisoner of the Philistines.

3) He was blind to the fact that the power of the Lord was no longer with him. - And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. (Judges 16:20)
I don't know about you, but it sounds to me like Samson had a bit of a pride problem too.  Did you catch his response to Delilah?  "No big deal.  I'll just go out and defeat them like I always do."  Hmm, the only problem was that Samson wasn't the one who had defeated the enemy before.  It was God working through him, and God wasn't taking part in this particular fight.  Unfortunately, Samson was too full of himself to notice that he was fighting the battle all alone.

Obviously, the results of Samson's blindness to these things led to his literal blindness and incarceration.  He spent the rest of his days as a slave, ridiculed and mistreated.  Fortunately, in the end, Samson began to see things clearly.  While he had been blind to so many things, he wasn't blind to the fact that God is good, merciful and forgiving.

And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. - Judges 16:28-30

Despite all that Samson had done, the Lord still heard and honored his request.  He gave Samson one more moment of glory.  He lent Samson His strength to win one last battle.  As He has done so often in our lives, God proved Himself gracious and merciful.  What a blessing!

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. - Psalm 86:5