Children need to be careful not to be led astray by friends into doing wrong
This week's lesson is about a man called Samson and how he lost his life by
listening to a Philistine woman named Delilah. Samson was a special
person whom God had chosen to be judge over Israel. God wanted him
to start delivering the people of Israel from their enemies the Philistines.
Samson's hair had never been cut, because he was a Nazarite. Nazarites
never drank wine or alcoholic drinks, and made a vow (a promise) to God to
keep their lives pure. Unfortunately, Samson did not keep his promise
to remain clean and pure.
Samson Forgets His Vow:
One day he went to one of the chief Philistine cities called Gaza and when
the people heard that Samson was there, they lay in wait for him as they
planned to kill Samson at dawn. But, God helped him to escape.
He got up in the middle of the night and tore off the doors of the city
gate and carried them on his shoulders to the top of a hill near Hebron,
about 48 kilometres away!
Some time later, he fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah.
This was wrong because God had commanded the Israelites not to mix with people
of other nations who worshipped idols. They also did wicked things like
burning their children in a fire as an offering to their false gods.
Samson Sins Again:
When the rulers of the Philistines heard that Samson was in their city, they
went to Delilah and said:
"See if you can get Samson to show you the secret of his great strength
and how we can overpower him. We will then tie him up and overcome
him. Each one of us will then give you eleven hundred shekels of
That was about 12 kilogrames of silver and was worth thousands of Rands!
And so Delilah asked Samson to tell her the secret of his great
strength. Samson decided to play with her. He suggested that
she tie him up with seven fresh undried leather strings and then he would
become as weak as any other man.
Delilah told this to the rulers of the Philistines, and then tied up Samson
while he was asleep and the Philistine men hid in her room. She then
called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" But Samson just
snapped the strings as if they had been scorched by fire and so the secret
of his strength was safe.
Samson Plays with Fire:
Delilah no doubt stamped her foot in anger and shouted, "You have made a
fool of me and you lied to me!" Samson probably laughed at her, but
foolishly never walked away.
Delilah asked Samson the secret of his strength a second time. He
replied, "If anyone ties me up securely with new ropes, I'll become as weak
as any other man." Delilah then took lengths of new ropes and tied
him up while he was asleep. She then called out, "Samson, the
Philistines are upon you!" But he just woke up and snapped the ropes
off his arms as if they had been cotton threads!
Delilah Gets Desperate:
She really wanted that fortune of money! And so Delilah crossly said
to Samson, "Up to now you have made a fool of me by lying to me!
Now be truthful and tell me how you can be tied up." Samson answered
tongue in cheek, "Weave the the seven braids of my hair into cloth and
I'll become as weak as any other man!"
And so while he was sleeping, Delilah happily took the seven braids of his
hair and wove them into cloth on her loom. Again she called out,
"Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and
pulled out his hair, wrecking the loom in the process. Delilah spat
at him, "How can you say, 'I love you', when you won't trust in me?
This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told
me the secret of your great strength."
Delilah Wears Samson Down:
Yes, Samson had escaped three times with his God-given power. Even
though he could see that Delilah didn't love him and was only trying to
get him into the Philistine's power, he still stayed with her. Day
by day she nagged him until he was sick to death of her nagging.
Sin was at the door and he had forgotten that the wages of sin is death!
And so Samson finally told her everything:
"No razor has ever been used on my head, because I have been a Nazarite
and dedicated to God ever since my birth. If my head were shaved,
my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other
She had got him! She excitedly sent for the rulers of the Philistines
and told them to that Samson had at last told her the truth. And so
the rulers gave her the silver they had promised her and lay in hiding to
Delilah put Samson to sleep on her lap and while he slept a man shaved off
the seven braids of his hair. Samson's strength was not in his hair,
but by allowing it to be cut he was breaking his vow and disobeying God.
And then Delilah called as before, "Samson, the Philistines are upon
Samson awoke from his sleep and his first thought was, "I'll shake myself
free just as before!" But, he didn't realise that his God given
strength was gone. With a wild cheer the Philistines grabbed Samson
and cruelly dug out his eyes. They then bound him with bronze chains
and threw him into prison at Gaza!
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I wonder what thoughts went through Samson's head as he wearily ground corn
all day long. He was sad, but in the meanwhile, Samson's hair
had started to grow again! The day came when the rulers of the
Philistines gathered together for a great sacrifice to their god Dagon.
As they celebrated they shouted, "Our god has delivered Samson into
our hands. Bring him out to entertain us!" And so Samson was
brought out of prison to perform for them.
While they partied, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, "Lead me
to the pillars that support the temple so that I can lean against them."
The servant did so and then Samson prayed, "O Lord God, remember me.
Please strengthen me just this once more, so that I can get revenge
on the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes."
God heard Samson's prayer. Samson reached out to the two central
pillars on which the temple stood and said, "Let me die with the
Philistines!" With a mighty shove he pushed the pillars with all
his might and the temple collapsed and killed on all the rulers of the
Philistines and about three thousand men and women who were on the roof.
What a sad note to end the life of a man who had judged Israel for
Choosing the Right Things:
Samson's wrong choices and love for Delilah led to his death. Children
also need to be careful not to be led astray by their friends into doing
wrong things. The Bible warns us not to share in the sins of others,
but to keep ourselves pure. So be careful to think, and then do what
is good and right and pure!
Ask God to help you make the right choices and to strengthen you day by day
so that you will not sin or disobey Him. If you have made bad
choices, pray and ask Jesus to forgive you for the wrong things you have
done, and He will make you clean inside again.