this: Everyone was feeling high and
someone said, "Get Samson! Let him
show us his stuff!" They got Samson
from the prison and he put on a show for them.
They had him standing between the
pillars. Samson said to the young man
who was acting as his guide, "Put me where I can touch the pillars that
hold up the temple so I can rest against them." The building was packed with men and women,
including all the Philistine tyrants.
And there were at least three thousand in the stands watching Samson's
(28) And Samson
cried out to God:
Oh, please, look on me again,
Oh, please, give me strength yet
With one avenging blow let me be
On the Philistines for my two
(29-30) Then Samson
reached out to the two central pillars that held up the building and pushed
against them, one with his right arm, the other with his left. Saying, "Let me die with the
Philistines," Samson pushed hard with all his might. The building crashed on the tyrants and all
the people in it. He killed more people
in his death than he had killed in his life.
THINK: What stands out to you about Samson's
dramatic action and the ending of his life?
Do you resonate with his deep desire for justice to be served? What do you observe about how he acted on
that desire for revenge?
PRAY: Read the passage a second time, looking
specifically for a word or phrase about Samson's desire for revenge or justice
that is meaningful to you. Maybe his act
angers you, or you feel a similar desire.
When you finish reading, close your eyes. Recall the word or phrase and sit quietly,
mulling it over. Let it stimulate you
into a dialogue with God.
LIVE: Read the passage a third time, watching how
God interacts with Samson and with the Philistines: Although God does not directly act or speak
in the passage, he grants Samson's request to avenge himself, and he allows the
Philistines to lose their lives. What
stands out to you about God's involvement (or lack of involvement)? Talk with him about your perception of him in
this passage. Be open to what he may be
showing you through what you read.
I am not going to do
much with this passage. To be honest, I
feel rather ambivalent about it. On one
hand, I want to pray for vengeance and that our family would be the ones to be
able to make it come about. On the other
hand, Samson lost his own life in the process.
And he had been disobedient to the point of getting himself into the
position he was in, whereas we have not.
How can I pray that God would allow us to have vengeance if it would
cost us our lives? How can I pray that
God would allow us to have vengeance when it is likely that the vengeance we
would seek might prevent those against whom we want revenge might not turn to
God? I must have faith that God will
handle this in the manner that will restore our family and bring about justice
at the same time. I do have that
faith. I know that He is the only one
that can do that kind of work. And
because He is, I will leave the vengeance-taking to God, trusting that I will
be taken care of in the process.