The Philistines took Samson prisoner.
They hurt him.
They mistreated him.
They chained him to the huge stone wheel pulled along a trough to grind grain into flour.
Around and around, all day long, every day.
Samson was doing the job that an ox would do.
Around and around, all day, every day, never to rest.
Often, he was on display to allow the Philistines to mock him.
They scorned their once mighty enemy.
It was bad for Samson.
One day, Samson realized that his hair was growing back.
His strength was beginning to return.
He heard that there was going to be a huge festival to honor the false god Dagon.
They were honoring Dagon for the capture of Samson.
Samson knew there would be heads of state at the festival.
He knew there would be military leaders at the festival.
He knew there would be about 3,000 people there.
After the celebration was going on for a while, the people got drunk.
They demanded that Samson be brought out so they could make fun of him.
He was brought from the prison.
He was made to stand between two huge pillars that supported the roof.
Samson said to the boy that brought him out, " Place my hands against the pillars. I want to rest them."
Samson stood between the pillars.
The people laughed at him.
They spit on him.
They mocked him.
He prayed to the Lord, " God, remember me? Please be with me one more time, the final time."
Then Samson pushed against the pillars with all his might.
He prayed, "Let me die with the Philistines."
The temple crashed in around him.
Huge stones tumbled down.
Dust and noise.
Then it was quiet.
They were all gone.
God forgave Samson when he repented.
The good for Israel that Samson brought about at the moment of his death was greater than the good he had done in all of his life.
The Philistines lost their greatest leaders.
They became weak.
Eventually the Israelites were able to overcome the Philistines.
Eventually they removed the Philistines from the land that God had given them.
Go to Ruth and Naomi
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