MEMORY VERSE: Judges 16:28 "...O LORD God, remember me, I pray thee..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 3 John, Write "3 John" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we choose our friends wisely, making sure they love the LORD like we do. Good friends can help us get to heaven, just like we can help our friends toward their heavenly home.
SPECIAL SONG: God Raised Up Fifteen Judges (see June - Lesson - Deborah, A Female Prophet on this blog). The Family In God's Plan (see March -Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see Activity below)
- After a while, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The leaders of the Philistines knew that Samson loved Delilah, so they came to Delilah and told her to entice him or to bat her eyelashes at him and wink at him and things like that. They wanted to know what made Samson so strong because they wanted to bind him and hurt Samson, and they thought that Samson might tell Delilah the secret of his strength. They told Delilah that if she could find out what made him strong, then each one of the leaders would give her eleven hundred pieces of silver which was a lot of money!
- Even though Samson loved Delilah, she must not have loved him because she asked him over and over what made him strong. Delilah was not even Samson's friend! One time he told her that if someone would bind or tie him up with seven green willow cords that had never been dried, then he would be very weak, just like any other man. When Samson told Delilah this, she thought he was serious because she told the leaders of the Philistines and they brought her seven willow cords and she tied Samson up. Then she had Philistines hiding in her house and when she called out, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!", he broke the seven dried willow cords like they were nothing. So, the secret of his strength was not known.
- Delilah whined and said, "Samson! You are making fun of me! You lied to me! Now, tell me what can you be bound with." So Samson told her another story. He said that if he was tied up in brand new ropes that no one had ever used, then he would be just like a weak man. So, guess what? Delilah, who wanted money instead of Samson's love and friendship, took brand new ropes, tied Samson up, had Philistines waiting to capture Samson, and shouted to him, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!" Samson broke the ropes just like they were thread. So, the secret of his strength was not known.
- Another time, Delilah cried to Samson and said, "Samson, you are again making fun of me! Tell me what you can be bound with!" So Samson told Delilah another story. He said that if his hair was woven in seven locks in the web that he would be like any other man. Delilah, again, did as he said. She wove his hair up into seven locks and she fastened it with a pin. She shouted at him again, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!" But Samson woke up out of his sleep and went away with the pin in his hair and was just as strong as he ever was. So, the secret of his strength was not known.
- Delilah pouted and cried and said, "Samson, how can I say I love you when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me three times and still have not told me what makes you strong." She said this day after day after day after day until Samson was so tired of it that he finally told her all that was in his heart. He said, "I have never had a razor come upon my head because I have been a Nazarite since I was born. If I am shaved, my strength will leave me and I will become weak just like any other man." When Delilah saw that Samson had really told her his secret, she called for the leaders of the Philistines and said, "Come right now! Samson has told me his secret!" So the leaders brought her the money. While Samson was sleeping on Deliliah's knees, she had a man come in and shave off the seven locks on his head. Samson's strength left him because a razor had cut his hair. He told his secret and now he had disobeyed God because God had said that a razor should never touch his head. But Samson did not know he was not strong anymore until Delilah shouted, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!" When he woke up, he thought he would be just as strong as ever, but the Spirit of the LORD had left him. The Philistines took Samson outside and blinded him, so he couldn't see any more. They chained him up with fetters or chains of brass to the grinder in the prison. We never hear of Delilah again. But...after a while, Samson's hair began to grow.
- One day all of the leaders of the Philistines had gathered together in a huge temple and were going to sacrifice to Dagon, their god that was an idol. They were happy that their god had delivered Samson their enemy into the Philistines' hand. When the Philistines' hearts were merry, they called for Samson, so they could make fun of him. They called him out of the prison and set him between two pillars of the temple. There was a little boy that held Samson by the hand and Samson said to the boy, "Let me feel the pillars, so that I can lean on them." The temple was full of men and women and all of the leaders of the Philistines were there. Up on the roof there were at least 3,000 men and women, watching Samson.
- That's when Samson called to the LORD God, and said, "O LORD God, remember me and strengthen me only this one time, O God, that I might be avenged for my two eyes." Samson put one hand on the left pillar and one hand of the right pillar and said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Samson bowed himself and pushed with all of his might because the LORD had restored Samson's strength again. The house fell down and all the people that were in the temple, including Samson, died. The Bible says that Samson killed more people at his death than he ever killed when he was alive.
- Samson's father and brothers came and took Samson and buried him. Samson judged Israel twenty years.
"Older Student" Tips:
- Discuss Samson's obsession with getting revenge. Remember the riddle? A consequence of Samson's revenge was that it cost him an early death since he had only judged Israel twenty years.
- Talk about making friends. Samson had made friends with an ungodly person named Delilah. She did not love the LORD God and Samson made a BIG mistake in trusting her with such a valuable secret. She only pretended to be his friend for money. Read 1 Corinthians 15:33 and talk about how our friends can make us do wrong things sometimes when we normally would not do those things if those friends were not with us. We need to choose our friends wisely and make sure they are not "fair-weathered" friends or only our friends in the good times.
ACTIVITY: Samson Destroys The Philistine Temple
Materials needed: 9" x 12" red construction paper, two 2" x 11" white construction paper strips, 5" x 7" tan construction paper, glue, crayons, scissors.
- Hand out red paper to students. This is the background.
- Hand out the white strips.
- Coming down about 1.2", snip in a bit, cut down the strip to about 1/2" at the bottom, then snip out. Cut the other side the same way. This is a pillar.
- Cut second pillar the same same way as the first.
- Draw black lines down the pillars (see picture).
- Hand out tan paper.
- Student draws Samson with arms outstretched, muscles bulging, and, of course, patches over his two eyes.
- Glue both pillars tilted on red paper. (See picture).
- Glue Samson in middle of pillars. Nice if his hands touch the pillars.
- Write "Samson Destroys The Philistine Temple" and "Judges 16:29, 30."