“The Philistine rulers held a great festival, offering sacrifices and praising their god, Dagon. They said, “Our god has given us victory over our enemy Samson!” When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy to us! The one who killed so many of us is now in our power!” Half drunk by now, the people demanded, “Bring out Samson so he can amuse us!” So he was brought from the prison to amuse them, and they had him stand between the pillars supporting the roof.” – Judges 16:23-25.
It must have been some party. They had reason to celebrate. A formidable enemy was in their clutches. So the Philistines assembled at Gaza, giving praise to Dagon their god. They got liquored up and called for Samson. They wanted entertainment and Samson’s humiliation was the main attraction for the jubilant party-goers. The Bible does not tells us the details, but it would seem that they probably threw things along with insults at Samson. It must have been an enjoyable spectacle for the Philistines, this blind enemy standing before them.
Samson’s humiliation was cruel, but fitting. It was Samson’s eyes that got him into so much trouble. Samson’s eyes were gouged out. Samson’s strength was used for his own purposes and glory, and now he was powerless to do them harm as he had often done. Samson thought himself invincible; now he was nothing but a subject for ridicule. Samson’s disobedience had finally caught up with him.
Yet, ironically, Samson seemed to see things more clearly than he had ever seen them before. He then 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.” God answered that prayer. Samson was positioned in such a way that he was able to exert pressure on both main supports. When these two supporting columns gave way, the entire building collapsed. The roof and supporting beams, along with the 3,000 people standing on the roof, came crashing down upon those assembled below. More Philistines were killed through Samson’s death than he killed during his life.
Have you ever wondered what pillars in your life you need to push down? You’ve got a pillar of pride in your life: “I can handle it.” Push it down. You’ve got a pillar of anger in your life: “I’m mad at the world; I’m mad at myself.” Push it down. You’ve got a pillar of bad relationships in your life. So pray and ask God to help you commit to better behaviors. You’ve got a pillar of debt in your life. Work to reduce it with God’s help. If we want to be closer to God then we need to push down the pillars that get in the way of God’s purposes daily.
Here’s the first pillar you need to push down: give up your life. Give it up to the one who has already given up His life for you. Give it up to the one who showed His love for us by dying not just for friends but for His enemies. Give your failures to him and say, “Jesus, forgive me for the things I have done wrong.” Then you let him lead you.
- What pillars exist in your life that need to be pushed down? How do we go about pushing those pillars down?
- What talents do we have that God can use in His church?
- How can we help others push down the pillars in their lives?
- What can we do this week to be more available to God?