Biblical Last Words: Samson Prays

Biblical Last Words: Samson Prays

Biblical Last Words: Samson Prays.

“Then Samson called to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord God remember me I pray you, and strengthen me, I pray you, only this once, O God. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes!” And Samson cried, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!'” (Judges 16:28-30).

When discussing a perplexing character like Samson, where do you start? With the special Angel of Yahweh coming to earth to announce to his parents that their boy will be a unique son, his life dedicated to serving the Lord? Or maybe with his tendency to participate in violence and sexual adventures? Or how about Samson’s faithful leadership over Israel for twenty years? Maybe we could add a rather significant tribute to his life: Samson was included in the Hebrew Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11:32. Despite his many failings, Samson was a certified biblical hero.

Since Samson lived such a dramatic life, it makes sense that his days on earth came to end with some sensational drama as well. Samson loved the deceitful Delilah, who was in cahoots with the dreaded Philistines and told them of Samson’s secret for his superhuman strength… His long hair that had never been cut. His hair was an extension, a living symbol, of his dedication to God, and so Samson would have God’s blessing of strength as long as he enjoyed his uncut hair. Delilah betrayed Samson by divulging that secret to the enemies of Israel, the Philistines. and soon Samson found himself captured by them with his first haircut.

Samson had been a major thorn in their side for many years, so the Philistines wanted to show off their famous prisoner. They paraded him into a massive pagan temple to celebrate Samson’s capture. The Philistines wanted to offer a sacrifice to their god Dagon in gratitude for their military victory over Samson. Their pagan temples were like our theaters nowadays. They used their temples for worshipping Dagon their chief god, and also for entertainment. They would pack the temples to enjoy blood sport, worship, and even human sacrifice. Perhaps the Philistines even were planning on sacrificing Samson after jeering at him and making a sport of humiliating him in front of all the people. Little did they know that Samson had other plans for the 3,000 Philistines in attendance. Samson asked God for just one more burst of strength, so he could push the two pillars holding up the temple and topple the whole structure.

Sure enough, God complied with Samson’s last request and down came the temple. Everyone in attendance died, including Samson, and he ended up killing more Philistines with his final act than he did during his whole lifetime. Samson died a hero, but he wasn’t a saint. He obviously had mixed motives in bringing down the temple. He wanted to slay as many Philistines as possible, yes. But he also wanted revenge for their gouging out his eyes. He was a tainted saint. But what other kind is there? He didn’t have pure motives, whether during his time in leadership or at the bitter end. But who does? We’re all mixed bags, aren’t we? And who could better typify that fact than Samson. He nonetheless kept the faith till the end, and his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness.

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