MEMORY VERSE: Judges 14:14 "...Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 1 John. Write "1 John" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of the class.
PRAYER: May we always stay close to God and His Word, treasuring it in our hearts.
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: Honey to taste for older students (toddlers can have trouble digesting honey - google it!) Large Activity (see Activity below)
- During the times when Samson lived, the Philistines were the enemy because they ruled over God's people due to the Israelites' disobedience and rebellion to God's Words. The people had cried and prayed to the LORD to deliver them once again from the Philistines' rule and God had listened. Samson was now a grown man and God was going to use Samson to begin to deliver His people (Judges 13:5), but Samson and his family did not know exactly how Samson would fulfill this task.
- One day Samson went to town and saw a woman of the Philistines and wanted her to be his wife. Samson told his father this and told him to get her for him because she pleased him. His father and mother did not understand why Samson wanted an ungodly Philistine wife. They wanted him to choose a wife from God's people. Let's look in the Bible to see why Samson wanted a wife from the Philistines. Let's turn to Judges 14:4 and read. (Read verse.) Let's put our bookmarks right here. God was going to use this event to deliver His people!
- As Samson, his mother, and his father went to town, they came to a vineyard. While Samson was alone, there was a young lion that roared at him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon Samson and he killed the lion with nothing but his own two hands. He did not tell his mother and father what he had done. Samson went down the road a little farther and talked with the woman and she still pleased him. On the way back, he passed by the carcass of the young lion and there was a swarm of bees and honey inside the carcass of the lion. He stopped and put his hands in the carcass, scooped up some of the honey and ate it as he walked. He met his mother and father, offered them some of the honey, they ate some of the honey, but he did not tell them that he had taken it out of a dead lion's carcass.
- After a while, Samson's father went down to talk to the young woman while Samson made a feast or party like it was the custom for young men getting married to do. When the Philistine men saw what Samson was like, they brought thirty friends to stay at the feast with Samson. Samson told the thirty men that the feast was going to last seven days. He said he would tell them a riddle. If at the end of the seven days, they could answer the riddle, then he would give them each thirty sheets and thirty changes of clothing, but if they could not answer, then each of the men would give Samson a sheet and a change of clothing.. The Philistine men agreed and asked Samson to tell them the riddle. Samson said,
"Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
- For three days, the Philistine men thought about the riddle, but could not come up with an answer. Finally, on the seventh day, the men told Samson's bride that she had better get the answer to the riddle from Samson or they would burn her and her family to death.
- Samson's bride cried and whined and told Samson that he hated her and that he didn't love her. She said he asked a riddle of her people, but had not told her the answer. Samson answered her and said that he hadn't even told his own mother and father the answer, why should he tell her. She cried all the time the feast lasted and, finally, Samson had had enough, so, on the last day of the feast, he told her the answer to the riddle. She quickly told the answer to the Philistine men.
- Before the sun went down on the last day of the feast, the men came to Samson and said,
"What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion?"Samson replied to the men, "If you had not asked my bride, then you would not have known the answer."
- The Bible says that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Samson again, and he went out and killed thirty men who were of the enemy and took their clothes and gave them to the thirty Philistine men to fulfill their agreement. Samson was VERY angry as we went back to his father's house. Samson did not know it, but his bride was given to one of the Philistine men who had been at the feast and they got married. Trouble was just beginning!
- Discuss how "looks aren't everything." Just because someone is beautiful, that is not a good reason to marry. It is never too early to talk about the generic issue of marriage to young ones.
Materials needed: 6" x 8" white construction paper, 4" x 4" brown construction paper, 2" x 3" yellow construction paper, scissors, tape, marker or crayon.
- Hand out white paper.
- Fold white paper in half, width-wise.
- On folded, edge, cut out five strips, being careful not to cut to the edge of the paper.
- Unfold white paper. This is the lion's carcass.
- Write "Samson's Riddle" and "Judges 14:14, 18" on edge of lion's carcass.
- Hand out brown paper.
- Roll brown paper into a cone. The is the bee's hive where the swarm of bees were..
- Secure with tape.
- Round corners off of yellow paper. This is the honey.
- Stuff honey into cone. (see picture)
- Gently, insert cone in and out of a white strip or two, so the cone will stay in place.