Eyeless in Gaza
God, show me how You see me today.
Read JUDGES 16:23–31
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,
“Our god has delivered our enemy
into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.
When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRegrets can paralyze us, or they can mobilize us for action. Take any that are crippling you to the cross of Christ.
Milton’s famous poem Samson Agonistes points us less to the manner of Samson’s dying but more to what had been going
through his mind during the days and hours of his blindness: his failures, his regrets, his wasted life. Where could he find redemption? It was never too late to turn to God and cast himself on God’s mercy.
There were precious few signs of repentance in Samson. Did he look back in those dark hours and wonder if he could have led his life differently? Taken his calling to serve God more seriously? Listened to the undoubted wisdom relayed to him through his parents?
The golden opportunity came unexpectedly and was embraced by him to the horror of his assembled gallery of spectators.
Maybe Samson’s death would be a sort of compensation for his life and would fulfill a part of the deliverance for his people that had always lived with him as God’s intention for his special calling. He also remembered to pray to the Lord, but even so his prayer was mingled with thoughts of revenge (28). He was hardly an example for others to follow.
What can you learn from your past mistakes to help develop your character for the future?
Lord, I too have a history of failure which brings me shame. Remember me and redeem me, just once more.