23 Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said,
“Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, for they said,
“Our god has given our enemy into our hands,
Even the destroyer of our country,
Who has slain many of us.”
25 It so happened when [m]they were in high spirits, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may amuse us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he [n]entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars. 26 Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them.
Samson Is Avenged
28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord [o]God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he bent with [p]all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life. 31 Then his brothers and all his father’s household came down, took him, brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. Thus he had judged Israel twenty years.
This had to be the darkest day for Samson, or at least it looked that way. He had been maimed by his enemy, taking away his sight, and put into slavery. If that wasn’t enough, now the Philistines wanted his plight to amuse them, so they put him right in the middle of their celebration feast.
Remember, the whole reason for this celebration was that they believed Dagon had delivered Samson into their hands. They were in the middle of praising their God and reveling in their victory when they called Samson to amuse them further.
But God wasn’t done with Samson, and He certainly wasn’t going to let their idol worship go unnoticed. Thus it was, that right in the middle of Samson’s darkest day, he called out to God, and God answered in a big way. One might think, “but Samson still died!” But did he? We are eternal beings, and though our physical body dies, we live on, and Samson trusted in God. While no one on this earth knows for sure, I suspect Samson went that moment to wait with Abraham for the promised redeemer.
At any rate, the lesson is this. We shouldn’t wait until our darkest time to call out for God, but even when we do, if we believe in Him truly, He will answer. Maybe not the way we think He should, but He will not abandon us.