Bible Lesson: Samson (Judges 13-16)

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This lesson concludes a study in the Book of Judges.  As students examine Samson’s life they will discover that sin hinders God’s power in the life of a believer.  Confession of sin cleanses a believer’s life and enables the Holy Spirit’s power to be seen. The lesson was prepared for older elementary students and is only a guide.  Please adapt for the needs of your ministry.

Bible Passage: Judges 13-16
Bible Story Title: Samson
Target Age Group:  Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Image Credits:  Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media

Supply List:  Bibles, activity sheets, pens/pencils,
Learning Goal:  Students will learn that sin hinders God’s power in the life of a believer.
Learning Activity #1:  Activity pages about Samson
Memory Verse:  1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Introduction to Bible Lesson:
(Begin with prayer)
What should I do when I sin?
I should ask God for forgiveness.
Sin is doing anything that disobeys God.  God gave Adam many trees that he could eat from and only instructed him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen. 2:15-17)  If Adam disobeyed he would die.  Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world and every person born after them is born with a heart that is sinful and disobeys God.  (Psalm 51:5)
Sin separates us from a holy God.  He is perfect and without sin. We have no power to get rid of our sinful heart.  God knew that without a Savior every person born would be separated from Him and would live a life full of sin and after death on this earth people would be eternally separated from him.  From the very beginning God had a plan to send a Savior to rescue men, women, boys and girls from the devastation of sin.  (Gen. 3:15; Revelation 13:8)
Jesus, God’s Son came into this world and lived among men, women, boys and girls.  He taught people how to live a life that pleases God.  He lived a sinless obedient life.  He came to die.  He was nailed to a cross in our place to take the punishment that our sins deserved.  He died, was buried and raised to life on the third day.  All who believe by faith that Jesus is the Savior have passed from death to life.  We were once dead in our sins and destined to be punished by God for our sins. (Eph. 2:1-3) The moment we trusted in Jesus we were raised to life and will live eternally with God.  (Eph. 2:4-5)
Once we become believers/followers of Christ we are able to live a life that pleases God because His Holy Spirit lives inside our hearts and empowers us to say no to sin and yes to obeying God.
We will sin as long as we live in this earthly body.  That is why it is important to walk closely with the Lord Jesus.  This year what have we learned a believer must do to walk closely with Jesus? (Daily read and obeys His Word and prays) When we walk closely with Jesus we will immediately be convicted (our conscience will bother us) of sin.  When we sin we must immediately ask for forgiveness and help not to continue to sin. 1 John 1:9 promises us that when we sincerely come to God and confess, He will forgive us and cleanse us from our sin.
A believer doesn’t lose eternal life when he/she sins. (Heb. 10:1-18) Sin affects our closeness with the Lord Jesus.  Sin hinders His power in our lives and affects the choices we make and hurts the people in our lives.

 Bible Lesson: Samson

As we have been studying the life of the Israelites in the book of Judges we have seen them sin over and over and God deliver them again and again.  Review ABC’s (A-abandoned, B-bondage, C-cried to God, D-deliverer, E-ease)
One time it is mentioned that the people acknowledged their sin. (Judges 10:15-16 “But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned.  Do with us whatever you think is best, but please rescue us now.” Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD.  And He could bear Israel’s misery no longer.”) Other than that mention of confession of sin, it’s not clear that the people asked forgiveness for continuously sinning against God. What we can take away from studying the Israelites in the OT is “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Rom. 15:4
Our final lesson in Judges is going to be from chapters 13-16.  Let’s turn in our Bibles to Judges 13. Read 13:1. What ABC of Judges do you see in this verse? (A,B) How long were the Israelites in bondage to the Philistines? (40 years)
There is no record of the people crying out to God for a deliverer but God who is faithful even when His people are unfaithful prepared a deliverer for them.  This time He appeared to a man named Manoah and his wife who were not able to have children and told them they were going to have a son.  He told them that their son would be a Nazarite.  Let’s read the instructions given to Manoah’s wife regarding her pregnancy and her son that would be born.  Read 13:4-6.
In Numbers 6 there’s more information about what it means to be a Nazarite.  People could choose to take a Nazarite vow which was a period of time that the person was separated unto the Lord.  They could not drink wine or beer; couldn’t eat grapes or raisins, not shave their hair and not go near a dead body during their time of separation.
Samson was being set apart to the Lord from birth. God was going to use Samson as His deliverer from the Philistines.  What do you think it means to be set apart to the Lord? (Allow responses)
Let’s read 13:24-25.  In the OT the Holy Spirit had not been sent as a gift to all who placed their faith in Jesus.  Jesus had not been born to fulfill the New Covenant where the Holy Spirit would come and dwell in the life of  a believer.  In the OT the Holy Spirit would come upon people to empower them to do the work God had given.  Because the Holy Spirit didn’t indwell a person’s heart He could depart from them. (1 Sam. 1:14)
God had set apart Samson for His work.  Unfortunately Samson’s life was symbolic of the lives of the Israelites. “Every one did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25 NKJV)
Samson demanded his father to get him a Philistine woman to marry.  God’s instruction to His people was not to marry women who were not Israelites. God’s plans can never be thwarted because of man’s sinfulness.  Let’s read Judges 14:4.
Samson and his parents went together to meet the Philistine woman Samson wanted to marry.  Read 14:5-6.
On the way home Samson discovered that bees had made a nest inside the lion’s dead body.  He took a handful of honey and shared some with his parents.  He did not tell his parents where the honey came from.
During the bridegroom feast Samson told a riddle. Read 14:14. If the men at his feast could answer the riddle they would receive 30 linen garments and 30 sets of clothes.  If they couldn’t answer the riddle within 7 days they would give Samson those items.  The men pressured Samson’s wife to find out the answer.  She nagged him and he finally told her.  She told the men and they were able to answer the riddle. (Judges 14:18)
Judges 14:19-15:20 Samson’s vengeance against the Philistines
When Samson learned that his wife had been given to another man he was angry.  Let’s read 15:3-5. The Philistines retaliated by burning Samson’s former wife and father’s house, killing them both.
When Samson learned what they had done he said he wouldn’t stop until he got revenge on them.  (Judges 15:7-8)
The Philistines wanted to capture Samson and they threatened to fight God’s people living in Judah.  They went to Samson to capture him and give him over to the Philistines.  Let’s read Judges 15:12-15.
Once again Samson fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah.  The Philistine rulers bribed her to find out where Samson’s strength came from so they could over power him and take him prisoner.  Each of the men told her they would give her 1100 shekels of silver.
Delilah tried 4 times to find out Samson’s strength.  The first time he told her to tie him up with 7 fresh bow strings and he will become as weak as any other man.  When he fell asleep Delilah tied him up with 7 fresh bow strings while the rulers of the Philistines hid in his bedroom.  She called out to Samson, “The Philistines are upon you!” He woke up and snapped and broke the fresh bow strings.
Delilah was embarrassed that Samson had lied to her and asked him to tell her how he can be tied up and not break free. Again she followed his instructions to tie him up with new rope and again he snapped the ropes like they were threads.
Delilah was not happy that Samson was making her look like a fool and asked him again how to tie him up so his strength can be taken.  This time he told her to weave the seven braids of his hair and fasten it to the weaving loom.  Then his strength will be gone. Again, Samson was not weakened by this and pulled up the pin and the loom.
Delilah began to nag Samson and tell him that he didn’t truly love her because he wouldn’t tell her the truth about where his strength came from.  She nagged him day after day until he was tired to death.
Let’s read what he told her the secret to his strength was in Judges 16:17. As soon as Samson fell asleep the Philistine rulers came and a man shaved off his seven braids.  This time when Delilah shouted that the Philistines are upon him, he did not have any strength.
Ultimately Samson hadn’t told Delilah the truth of where his strength came from.  Do you think his strength was really from his hair? Let’s read Judges 16:20. Samson had no idea that God had left him.  When God left him, he no longer had God’s strength.  The Philistines captured him and put out both of his eyes and threw him into prison.
As a Nazarite, Samson’s life did not reflect one that was separated unto the Lord.  As far as we can tell it doesn’t appear that Samson asks God to forgive him for the sinful decisions he made in his life.
The Philistines were celebrating the capture of Samson by offering a sacrifice to their god Dagon.  As they were celebrating they asked for Samson to be brought out of prison so he could perform for them.
We are going to close with Samson’s final prayer to God. Let’s read Judges 16:26-30.  No words of confession and repentance of sin are mentioned by Samson. Whether he confessed his sin or not, God answered his prayer and he died killing many Philistines.
God is going to fulfill His plans and purposes whether people choose to obey Him or not.  Like Samson who was set apart for the Lord, believers are saved and set apart to do God’s good works. (Eph. 2:10)
When a believer sins and does what is right in his/her own eyes it is important to immediately confess their sin and repent asking God to forgive and help him/her not to sin again.  A believer who lives a life confessing sin and turning from sin will continue to experience God’s blessing and His power to be used to show others His glory. A believer who chooses not to walk in obedience will not lose their salvation but will miss out on God’s blessings in this life and heavenly rewards when standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. (1 Cor. 3:12-15)
Close in prayer.
Review Questions:

  1. What separates all people from God? (Sin)
  2. What is sin? (Disobeying God)
  3. If a person is a Nazarite, what does that mean? (Separated to God, could not drink alcoholic beverages, shave their head, or go near a dead person during the time of their vow)
  4. How did the Philistines figure out Samson’s riddle? (They pressured his wife to get the answer)
  5. How much did the Philistine rulers say they would pay Delilah to find out where Samson’s strength came from? (1100 shekels a piece)
  6. Where did Samson’s strength come from? (The LORD)
  7. What was Samson’s final prayer? (To have strength to knock down the pillars he was standing near)
  8. Why is it important for believers to confess and repent from sin? (Sin hinders God’s power in our life)
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