Samson was learning the hard way. There he was in prison, grinding the wheat with the mill, going around in circles. His eyes were gone. His hair was shaved. But it was starting to grow back.
One day the Philistines were having a big, drunken feast in the temple to worship their false god Dagon. Then some of the Philistines had an idea. They called for Samson to be brought out for entertainment. So they brought up Samson, who was being led by the hand by a young servant.
Then Samson said to the servant, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them” (Judges 16:26 NLT). The servant brought him over, and Samson put one hand on one pillar and one hand on the other. Then Samson prayed, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes” (verse 28 NLT).
Samson pushed, and the pillars came apart. The floor above collapsed, and thousands of Philistines who were partying away, worshipping a false god, fell to their deaths. Samson ended up killing more Philistines in the end than he killed during the rest of his lifetime. In a way it was a victory. But the sad part is that he died with the Philistines. God had said that Samson would begin to deliver Israel. Unfortunately, Samson didn’t finish the job he started. He had a great beginning, but not a great ending. Yet God did give him a second chance.
Let’s learn the lesson of Samson. It isn’t enough to know what is right or even to be used by God for a time. We need to finish what we started.
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