Gideon lived a good long life, leading Israel. But after he died, Israel forgot to obey God. Soon they were captured by the Philistines, a people who hated God. One day, an angel appeared to an Israelite woman, telling her she would have a son who would save Israel from the Philistines.
When the woman's son was born, she named him Samson. And he grew up to be the strongest man ever!
For years, Samson battled the Philistines. One time, he was attacked by them. Before the fight ended Samson killed 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey!
Samson loved a woman named Delilah. He didn't know thePhilistines had offered her money to trick him. "Why are you so strong, Samson?" she asked. And although she begged, Samson wouldn't tell. Finally, she cried, "You don't love me, Samson, or you would share your secret."
"It's my vow to God ," he whispered. "If my hair is cut, my strength will go." When he fell asleep, she called the Philistines, who paid her and cut his hair. Samson's strength was gone. The Philistines bound and blinded him. Later they threw a big party. But Samson prayed. And God gave him strength to push and collapse their temple. That day, thousands of Philistines died—along with Samson.
Victory before Death
Samson's hair was not the source of his power; it was simply an outward sign that his life was set apart for God's service. By the time Delilah had Samson's hair cut off, he had already betrayed his relationship with the LORD.
Samson had become pathetic at the end of what started to be a grand career. He seemed to be finished - his eyes were gone and he was bound like a captured animal.
Then an idea took shape in Samson's mind: Just one more mighty act for you, LORD, just one! Divine power surged through the strong man's limbs once again as he brought a greater disaster on Israel's enemies than ever before ever. It's never too late to seek God.