The Death of Samson

When he was an attorney, Abraham Lincoln was once approached by a man who insisted on bringing a suit for $2.50 against poor debtor who couldn’t pay. Lincoln tried to talk him out of it, but this man wanted his revenge. Finally, Lincoln took the case and charged the man legal fee … More

Revenge

Samson was the laughing stock of the Philistines (vv. 23-25). The Philistines celebrated Samson’s imprisonment by assembling to worship Dagon their fish-god. Dagon was given all the glory, not the God of Israel. There was a temple to Dagon and he appears to have been the chief deity of the Philistines. Samson, a man who the Philistines at one time had not dared to approach, was led in by a single attendant to entertain them (v. 26).

Samson evidently repented of his sin and God gave him one more opportunity to demonstrate his strength in one last victory over the Philistines (vv. 27-30). Calling on his God Samson seized the two middle pillars of the building where they were meeting and pulled them from their foundation. The building tottered and crashed into ruin. The exact number of casualties is not stated but it is said to have been more than the number killed by Samson in his lifetime. A conservative estimate would have been in the vicinity of eleven hundred. God had answered his prayer, but in defeating others he took his own life.

Samson, the judge, paid with his own life for his greatest victory over the enemies of Israel. He is remembered more for what he destroyed than for what he built up. He failed to check the impulse that began early in his career and twenty years later they killed him. His brothers and the rest of his family went to Gaza and took his body back home (v. 31). They buried him in his father’s tomb, which was located between Zorah and Eshtaol. Samson was a leader of Israel for twenty years.

Application

Samson had a wonderful start in life but he allowed his fleshly desires to take over. It would be very easy for this to happen to me unless I stay close to the Lord and in His Word every day.

Judges 16:23-31 (English Standard Version)


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