And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, Remember me. Judges 16:28
In suffering and humiliation, a sport for the Philistines, Samson learned more of his own weakness than he had ever known before; and his afflictions led him to repentance. As his hair grew, his power gradually returned; but his enemies, regarding him as a fettered and helpless prisoner, felt no apprehensions.
The Philistines ascribed their victory to their gods; and, exulting, they defied the God of Israel. A feast was appointed in honor of Dagon, the fish god, “the protector of the sea.” From town and country throughout the Philistine plain the people and their lords assembled. Throngs of worshipers filled the vast temple and crowded the galleries about the roof. It was a scene of festivity and rejoicing. There was the pomp of the sacrificial service, followed by music and feasting. Then, as the crowning trophy of Dagon’s power, Samson was brought in. Shouts of exultation greeted his appearance. People and rulers mocked his misery and adored the god who had overthrown “the destroyer of their country.” After a time, as if weary, Samson asked permission to rest against the two central pillars which supported the temple roof. Then he silently uttered the prayer, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines.” With these words he encircled the pillars with his mighty arms; and crying, “Let me die with the Philistines!” he bowed himself, and the roof fell, destroying at one crash all that vast multitude. “So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”
The idol and its worshipers, priest and peasant, warrior and noble, were buried together beneath the ruins of Dagon’s temple. And among them was the giant form of him whom God had chosen to be the deliverer of His people.
The contest, instead of being between Samson and the Philistines, was now between Jehovah and Dagon, and thus the Lord was moved to assert His almighty power and His supreme authority.
Conflict and Courage p. 136
—–Pray for some very important decisions and God’s leading. Marie
—–This is for my first cousin he is studying with the __’s he is really searching for answers to the bible and does not want to be mislead. he will not take any literature from me but he will take Scriptures from the bible. please keep him in prayer he is the last of the clan besides myself and my kid brother and sister. his name is Eddie please pray that he will lose interest in the __’s thanks Mary
—–Breann, the young gal we have been praying for was able to return to college in time for the semester to start and on her way down someone crashed into her and took the whole front bumper section of her car off. Amazing the luck that family has had this year, but they said to tell you again how grateful they are for keeping her on the prayer chain.
—–Please pray for Shannon who is having surgery today. Esther
Oh, the love of our Heavenly Father for us! He loves each one as though there were no other being in all of the universe. Our Dear Saviour gave us an illustration of that love in the parable of the prodigal son. “A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land, and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again, he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:11-24
Think of it! From the day that his son left home, that broken-hearted father watched for his son’s return. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year went by with no sign of the boy’s return. Yet, the lonely father did not give up hope. Finally, his vigil was rewarded and he rejoiced as fully as if his son were given back to him from the dead.
How often we are like that prodigal son. How often we break our Redeemer’s Great Heart of Love by leaving His presence and following the ways of the world. How few return to His outstretched arms. How many never return. Even when we break His heart, our Great Father in Heaven does not stop loving us. Indeed, He tenderly watches over us, longing, hoping, yearning, for us to return. He assures us, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.” Isa 49:15,16 “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 Wonderful Saviour!
Sadly, those who refuse to come to Him, must be destroyed. With breaking heart, our Great Creator thinks of what might have been if they had only listened to His loving voice, if they had only turned away from sin and accepted His Grace. As He walks through His beautiful creation of the earth made new, He thinks of those who would have so loved being there, but who chose to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season instead of choosing the inexpressible joy of His companionship throughout all eternity.
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Josh 24:15