16 23 The Philistine rulers came together to celebrate. They were going to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon.g They said, “Our god helped us defeat Samson our enemy.” 24 When the Philistines saw Samson, they praised their god. They said,
“This man destroyed our people!
He killed many of our people!
But our god helped us take our enemy!”
25The people were having a good time at the celebration. So they said, “Bring Samson out. We want to make fun of him.” So they brought Samson from the prison and made fun of him. They made him stand between the columns in the temple of the god Dagon. 26 A servant was holding his hand. Samson said to him, “Put me where I can feel the columns that hold this temple up. I want to lean against them.”
27 The temple was crowded with men and women. All the Philistine rulers were there. There were about 3000 men and women on the roof of the temple. They were laughing and making fun of Samson. 28 Then Samson said a prayer to the Lord, “Lord All-Powerful, remember me. God, please give me strength one more time. Let me do this one thing to punish these Philistines for tearing out both of my eyes!” 29 Then Samson took hold of the two columns in the center of the temple that supported the whole temple. He braced himself between the two columns. One column was at his right side and the other at his left side. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with these Philistines!” Then he pushed as hard as he could, and the temple fell on the rulers and everyone in it. In this way Samson killed many more Philistines when he died than when he was alive.
“I would slide down a rainbow. I would have a new baby brother. I would pet a lizard.” Rebekah, 6
“Build a rainbow, build a world and make it rain.” Kagid, 6
“I would make summer last forever because that’s the only season I like.” Marshall, 9
“If a boy or girl got hurt, then I will heal them. I would help God by watching people.” Victoria, age unknown
Samson was a very powerful man when he obeyed God. But when he disobeyed God, he lost his power and was captured by his enemies. At a big party, Samson asked God to let him be powerful one last time. He wanted to show the Philistines, the enemies of Israel, that the true God was more powerful than their false god, Dagon. For the last minutes of Samson’s life, God gave him great power to pull down the pillars of the building and destroy the enemy.
You might not be strong enough to do something like this. If you have trusted the Lord Jesus as your savior, God’s spiritual power lives in you. God has promised us that “Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do” (Philippians 4:13).
If you obey God, you will see his power at work in your life every day. God wants to be our strength and our protection. When we depend on him, we are strong. When we are proud, we depend on ourselves and are weak. “God is against the proud, but he is kind to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
God gave Samson an opportunity to glorify him in his death. But what God really wants is for us to glorify him in our lives. We might not be able to push apart the pillars of a huge building. But we can push away the things and people that pull us away from obeying God.
Think About This: God wants you to use your special gifts and talents for him. If you don’t have much to give, God will use whatever you have.
Memorize This Scripture: “Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do” (Philippians 4:13).