Hi all. Welcome back!
We are finishing up the month of August and our journey through Leviticus-Ruth.
Our story today comes from the book of Judges, in chapters 13-16.
As always, these stories are how i generally tell them to my children, who are preschoolers.
Recap: The Israelites had been living in the promised land…the land God had promised them long ago and through many miracles, had brought them to. He led them and provided for them. But, the Israelites (like all of us), would follow God, and then forget, then they’d follow Him, and then forget. So, God appointed judges (people who make decisions) to lead the Israelites. When they had a judge, they obeyed God and worshiped Him. When a judge would die, they would turn around and disobey God and forget everything He’d taught them. Then God would have to punish them, and then He would send another judge/leader. Last time, we learned about Gideon leading the people out of the hands of the Midianites.
This time, the Israelites had done it again. After Gideon died, they again made bad choices and forgot to follow God’s rules. He in turn, gave them to the Philistines, who didn’t like the Israelites, and they were mean to them.
One day, an angel from God came to an Israelite man named Manoah, and his wife. The angel told them they would have a baby. A special baby. This baby would save Israel from the Philistines who were controlling them. BUT, the baby boy could not drink wine, or eat food God said was yucky, or ever ever cut his hair.
The mommy and daddy had a boy and they named him Samson. He didn’t drink wine, he didn’t eat food God said was yucky, and he never cut his hair.
When Samson was a grown up, though, he made some bad choices. He married one of the Philistine women (even though God had said not to). They didn’t stay married though and Samson actually liked a lot of the Philistine women…this got him in a lot of trouble.
Now God had given Samson superhero strength. One day, a lion came to attack him, and he defeated the lion with just his hands…no sword, no bow and arrow, just his hands. Another time, the Philistines were mad at Samson and he defeated 1000 of them all by himself! (Because God gave him strength).
The Philistines knew they needed a way to get rid of Samson. They found a beautiful woman named Delilah and said they would give her a LOT of money if she would find out what made Samson so strong.
Samson though Delilah was very beautiful and he fell in love with her. She tried to get him to tell her what made him so strong, but he said, “If anyone ties me up with seven strings, then I will lose my strength.” So while he was sleeping, she tied him up and yelled “The Philistines are here!”…but he broke through the strings.
Delilah was mad and said, “No really! You made me look silly! Please tell me what makes you so strong?”
Samson answered, “If you tie my hair into the fabric you’re making and stick a pin in it, then I will lose my strength.”
So while he slept, Delilah wove his hair into the fabric and put a pin in it, then she yelled, “The Philistines are here!”…but he got up and broke away…he still had his strength.
Delilah was really VERY mad now and she whined and she cried and she whined and she cried. “How can you say you love me if you won’t tell me what makes you strong?! Pleeeeeease Samson! Pleeeeeease!” Well, she bugged him enough, he was finally so sick of it, he said, “Fine! My strength comes from my hair. As long as I obey God and don’t cut my hair, then I am strong.”
So while he slept, she cut his hair and she called the Philistine leaders. This time when she yelled, he had no strength left and the Philistines took him away to jail and beat him up.
He was there a long time, and they made him work hard…but his hair started growing back.
The Philistine leaders had gotten together to have a party for one of their pretend gods, and they called Samson to come put on a show for them. “Lift this heavy thing! Push this heavy thing! Hold all these heavy things!”
Then they put Samson next to the big pillars (like giant boards) that were holding up the building.
Samson prayed to God and asked Him for more strength. “Just one more time, please. Let me be strong again so I can defeat these Philistines.”
God gave him strength and Samson pushed and pulled on the pillars and the whole building came crashing down. The Philistines died, and so did Samson.
Samson didn’t always obey God. He loved the Philistine women, instead of the Israelite women. He chose to give his power to Delilah instead of keeping it for God. And he had a bad consequence…he was in jail and beaten up. But, God remembered Samson, and He still used him to do a great thing. The Bible says that Samson did more for God when he died than the whole time he was alive, because when he died, he saved the Israelites from the Philistines…but while he was alive…he really only made the choices HE wanted to make, instead of what God wanted him to do.
We can remember that God can always use us to do big things, even if we make mistakes. It is also important to remember to obey God…He always knows what is best for us. We can also know that our strength only comes from God.
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
For our craft today, we drew Samson’s face and then added a LOT of yarn hair.
We also watched this video posted by Godcast.
Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!
Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!