Judges 16:20-31 (JDV)
Judges 16:20 Then she cried, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” When he woke up from his sleep, he said, “I will escape like I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that Yahveh had left him.
Judges 16:21 The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles, and he was forced to grind grain in the prison.
Judges 16:22 But his hair began to grow back after it had been shaved.
Judges 16:23 Now the Philistine leaders gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon. They rejoiced and said: Our god has handed over our enemy Samson to us.
Judges 16:24 When the people saw him, they praised their god and said: Our god has handed over to us our enemy who destroyed our land and who multiplied our dead.
Judges 16:25 When they were in a happy mood, they said, “Bring Samson here to entertain us.” So they brought Samson from prison, and he entertained them. They had him stand between the pillars.
Judges 16:26 Samson said to the young man who was leading him by the hand, “Lead me where I can feel the pillars supporting the temple, so I can lean against them.”
Judges 16:27 The temple was full of men and women; all the leaders of the Philistines were there, and about three thousand men and women were on the roof watching Samson entertain them.
Judges 16:28 He called out to Yahveh: “Lord Yahveh, please remember me. Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.”
Judges 16:29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left.
Judges 16:30 Samson said, “Let my throat die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the leaders and all the people in it. And those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed in his life.
Judges 16:31 Then his brothers and all his father’s family came down, carried him back, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. So he had judged Israel twenty years.
The sad story of Samson is one of loss after loss, revenge and more revenge. But behind it all, our God was doing what he had promised to do. He was delivering his people who had prayed for rescue. The Lord indeed does work in mysterious ways, and Samson’s life story is an example of that work.
The next time you encounter an event or learn about a happening that defies logic, remember that our omnipotent God is present even there — even in the unexplainable.
LORD, thank you for the mysterious ways you perform your wonders among us.