MEMORY VERSE: Judges 15:20 "And (Samson) judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 2 John. Write "2 John" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we try to be as patient and kind to our family and friends and neighbors as we possibly can be.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see Activity below). Map showing the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah.
- Later, during the wheat season, Samson went to visit his bride and had brought food with him. Her father would not let Samson in the house because he said that he truly thought that Samson had hated her for telling the Philistines the answer to his riddle. Her father had given her to be the bride of a Philistine friend at the feast. He suggested Samson marry her younger sister.
- Instead, Samson caught 300 foxes, turned them tail to tail, and tied them with a firebrand, which was something like a torch or a rag with oil on it, in the middle of their tails. He set the firebrands on fire and let the foxes run wild in the middle of the Philistines' grain fields. Not only did it burn up the shocks, but also the standing grain, the vineyards, and the olive trees!
- When the Philistines saw what had happened, they asked who had done this to them. Others answered, "Samson because Samson's bride was given away." The Philistines were ruthless people and, once again, they showed their ruthlessness by killing Samson's used-to-be-bride and her father. When Samson found out about their deaths, he said that he would not rest until he had avenged their deaths, and he killed a great many of the Philistines that day. Then Samson went and lived in the top of the rock Etam.
- Pretty soon, the Philistines went up and invaded Judah's land. The men of Judah came out and asked the Philistines, "Why are you camping in our land?" The Philistines said they were trying to find and bind Samson and do to him what he had done to them. So 3,000 men of Judah went to the rock Etam and said to Samson, "Don't you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? Why did you do this to the Philistines?" Samson said, "As they did to me, I have done to them." The men of Judah said they were coming to bind up Samson and take him back to the Philistines. Samson made them promise that they would not hurt him. They bound him in new cords and took him off of the rock.
- When Samson was taken to the Philistines, they shouted at him. The Bible says that the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on Samson and he shook off the new cords like they were nothing. He looked around and found the jawbone of a dead donkey He put the jawbone on his hand and started killing Philistines. In the end, he killed 1,000 Philistines with that jawbone. Samson could have only done that with God's help. There was a reason for all of this killing, and we shall see soon what that reason is. Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. God had a plan.
- Read Matthew 7:12. Sometimes people call this the Golden Rule. It is a very good rule to live by. Did Samson live by this rule? Did the Philistines live by this rule? Revenge is never good. Read Romans 12:18, 19. We should always try to live in peace with our neighbors and family because we know that the LORD will be the one to judge and that vengeance is God's. In this case, God was using Samson to get the result that He wanted.
ACTIVITY: Samson And The New Ropes
Materials needed: 9" x 12" tan construction paper, 6" twine, scissors, crayon or marker.
- Hand out tan paper to students.
- Student draws a strong Samson (with long hair).
- Cut out Samson.
- Color Samson.
- Write "Samson" on Samson's shirt.
- On back of Samson, write "Judges 15."
- Unravel twine, so that there are at least two pieces of twine.
- Tape one piece of unraveled twine on the back of Samson.
- Studen can gently "shake off" Samson's new ropes.