Saturday, September 17, 2011

Samson's Victory

By Mary Vee
Judges 16


A Philistine Lad's Thoughts


Last night  I had been summoned to serve at the great celebration in honor of Dagon, our Philistine god. Thousands of the greatest Philistines would attend. I couldn't wait.


I must admit life had been boring since the mighty Hebrew Samson had been captured. I heard he'd lost his strength when the Philistine lords tricked him then shaved off his hair. 


We needed something exciting to happen, perhaps something will at the celebration


The night's event was to be the biggest ever. All the important Philistines and their wives had been invited. Those who hadn't been invited, that's me, would have to serve.I didn't mind. I wanted to see the important leaders up close. Maybe one would talk to me. 


From my work station I could see the guests parade into the temple. Some went to the roof where table had been set up to dine under the stars. There must have been thousands of people!


The highest ranking lords and their wives sat on the dais. When they ate, others ate. When the head lord spoke, everyone listened. After the meal the head lord raised his wine glass to honor our Philistine god, Dagon.  The crowd cheered. 


Then he said, "Our god has delivered into our hands Samson, our enemy!" The crowd cheered again saying, "Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy. The destroyer of our land. And the one who multiplied our dead."


The lords drank wine and had their cups refilled again and again. After a while, the head lord shouted, "Call for Samson that he may perform for us."


Prison guards dragged Samson like a dog.  He couldn't see where to go since they took out his eyes. Samson stumbled and tripped. The crowds laughed louder with each mistake Samson made.


One prison guard called me to help him. "Lead Samson around. Don't worry, lad. He's as weak as a newborn cub."  Then he walked a few feet away to get a drink.


I wondered how this weak looking man could have done what the people said. His body had been beaten and his head hung low. Samson shifted his feet like he was feeling his way. 


Samson leaned forward and said, "Lad, let me touch the pillars which support the temple so that I can lean on them." 


I didn't see anything wrong with his request. He couldn't hurt anyone by leaning on the pillars. I tugged his hand to take him in the correct direction. "Here are the support pillars. You can lean on them."


Samson raised the palms of his hands and pressed them between the two pillars. Maybe he needed to stretch his arms. The muscles in his arms tightened as he stretched. 


Samson raised his head toward the sky and said, "O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!"


He pushed against the pillars, straightening his arms stiff. The crowd laughed again.


But I didn't. Samson's muscles grew larger. Something weird was happening.


He filled his lungs with air and pushed against the pillars. He shouted, "Let me die with the Philistines!" 


The pillar cracked. Pieces chipped.


He pushed harder. The sound scared me. I--I think Samson had his strength again!


I ran through the crowds like a rabbit to get away from the temple as fast as I could. The temple pillars cracked louder. Why weren't the people running with me? Could they see his strength had come back?


The Philistine Lords stood there watching, not moving. I ran faster, away from the screaming crowds. Outside the temple grounds I turned back and watched our temple smash into ruins. 


Samson didn't walk away. The temple fell on him, too. 


The mighty Samson called on his God to help him destroy Dagon's temple and killed the Philistine lords. His God answered his prayer. 


********************
1.  What were the Philistine lords celebrating?
2.  Who did they call to perform at the celebration?
3.  Who did they make fun of?
4.  What did Samson want the boy to do?
5.  What did Samson pray the first time?
6.  What did he pray the second time?  Why do you think he prayed this?
7.  What did God give Samson at this celebration?
8.  What happened to the temple?
9.  What did you learn from this story?





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