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From Eternity Past

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    Samson's Final Repentance and Tragic Victory

    The Philistines, exulting, defied the God of Israel. A feast was appointed in honor of Dagon, the fish god. Throngs of Philistine worshipers filled the vast temple and crowded the galleries about the roof. It was a scene of festivity and rejoicing.EP 409.3

    Then, as the crowning trophy of Dagon's power, Samson was brought in. 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.EP 409.4

    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 all they which he slew in his life.”EP 409.5

    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.EP 409.6

    Tidings were carried to the land of Israel, and Samson's kinsmen, unopposed, rescued the body of the fallen hero. They “buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, in the burying place of Manoah his father.”EP 410.1

    How dark and terrible the record of that life which might have been a praise to God and a glory to the nation! Had Samson been true to his divine calling, the purpose of God could have been accomplished. But he yielded to temptation, and his mission was fulfilled in bondage and death.EP 410.2

    Physically, Samson was the strongest man upon the earth, but in self-control, integrity, and firmness, he was one of the weakest. He who is mastered by his passions is a weak man. Real greatness is measured by the power of the feelings that a man controls, not by those that control him.EP 410.3

    Those who in the way of duty are brought into trial may be sure that God will preserve them; but if men willfully place themselves under the power of temptation, they will fall, sooner or later. Satan attacks us at our weak points, working through defects in the character to gain control of the whole man. He knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed.EP 410.4

    But none need be overcome. Help will be given to every soul who really desires it. Angels of God that ascend and descend the ladder which Jacob saw in vision will help every soul who will, to climb even to the highest heaven.EP 410.5

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