The Book of Judges
It is always nice to have you back with us at Daily Bread! Well
folks, the children of Israel start their last cycle (in the Book of
Judges) of sin to deliverance by doing evil in the Lord's eyes once
more. This time the Lord delivered them into the hand of the
Philistines for forty years.
The story we're studying today is really a cool one, and though many
have seen a movie or heard a song about the story of Samson, most
haven't read it out of their Bible, and have in turn missed a lot of
One thing to notice right from the start is that the Lord has a plan
for us ... Even before we're born.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in
secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance
were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
What does this have to do with the story of Samson?
Well, an Angel of the Lord told Manoah and his wife about the
conception of Samson before it even happened, and that he would
deliver Israel from the Philistines.
Manoah (who was of the tribe of Dan by the way) and his wife were
disappointed when Samson fell in love with a Philistine girl and
wanted to marry her. You can imagine the dismay this must have caused
in their hearts, seeing that the Angel of the Lord told them that
Samson would inevitably have great conflict with the very people of
whom the girl was kindred of. But this was all part of God's plan to
save the children of Israel, because unless there was a reason for
war, Israel would have just remained slaves to the Philistines.
One day a lion tried to attack Samson, and the Spirit of the Lord
gave him the strength to kill the lion with his own bare hands! Can
you imagine that? Not just something out of a child's book ...
Killing a real live lion with your bare hands! Some time after that,
Samson went to see the dead body of the lion, and there was a swarm
of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.
Now, Samson was determined to marry this Philistine girl, so
arrangements were made for a marriage feast. In those days, when
there was a wedding, they had a party that lasted for seven entire
days. During the party, Samson spoke a riddle to thirty of the men
that his wife's family had invited. He made a deal with them, that if
they figured out the riddle before the party was over, he would give
them each gifts, but if they didn't, they would each have to give
Tell us your riddle, they said to Samson, and he replied, Out of the
eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.
Pretty confusing riddle, huh? Especially if you didn't know anything
about a dead lion with a bee hive inside! Well, after three days,
none of them could figure it out. The thirty men secretly told
Samson's wife to find out the answer to the riddle, and they were
angry, thinking that they were invited only to be tricked.
Samson's wife cried to him, saying, You must hate me. You don't love
me, because you've asked a riddle of the children of my people, and
haven't even told me the answer! Nonsense, said Samson, I haven't
even told my mother or father, but I'm supposed to tell you?
Samson's wife pouted to him every single day of the wedding
celebration. On the seventh day, the thirty men told Samson's wife
that if she didn't find out the answer for them, they'd burn her and
and her family with fire! Finally, Samson told her the answer to the
riddle, after she pestered him until he could stand it no longer, and
she told the answer to the children of her people.
The thirty men recited
this answer of the riddle to Samson on the seventh day:
What is sweeter than honey?
And what is stronger than a lion?
Samson knew in an instant that they had gotten the answer from his
wife, and he said to them, If you hadn't asked my wife, you never
would have solved my riddle. Samson was very angry, and he went back
home to his mom and dad for a while. But while he was gone, his wife
was given away to be a wife to one of his friends.
When he returned to see his wife, her father wouldn't allow him to
see her. He said to Samson, I truly thought that you completely hated
her, so I gave her to your friend to be his wife. Isn't her younger
sister prettier than she? Take her to be your wife instead.
If you think Samson was mad before, that was nothing compared to now!
He was out to destroy them, but because of what happened to him, and
how the Philistines had treated him, he said, Even though I do them
harm, they are more guilty than I.
So Samson went and caught three hundred foxes and tied them all
together, tail to tail and then he set their tails on fire! The foxes
then ran through the cornfields and vineyards of the Philistine's,
burning them all up. Those who have read the story of Samson and
Delilah many times before, have you ever stopped to think of what a
feat it must have been, first off to even find 300 foxes, then to
have them cooperate with you to allow you to tie them tail to tail to
one another? Just saying ... 😲
You would think that the other Hebrews would have been on Samson's
side, but they were sure that this would just cause the Philistines
to be mean to all the Hebrew slaves, because of what Samson did.
So what did the Hebrews do? Would you believe it, three thousand of
them got together and made a plan. They tied Samson up to take him to
the Philistines to be punished. Oh don't you worry, God was watching
while all this was happening, and when the Philistines saw the
Hebrews bringing Samson to them, they began shouting, but the Spirit
of God was with Samson and the ropes that they tied him with, became
like burned grass, and practically fell off of Samson. Then he picked
up an old jawbone of a mule and killed one thousand men with it!
All of this action made Samson very thirsty and tired, but there was
no water to be found, so he asked God for help, and water started to
flow out of that jawbone that he used for a weapon, and he drank
until his strength returned.
After this, Samson became a judge in Israel and he judged the people
for twenty years. The Philistines were always trying to destroy
Samson, but they were afraid of his strength.
Certainly you've heard of "Samson and Delilah" before. Well, Samson
loved Delilah. One day, the leaders of the Philistines told Delilah
that if she could find out how he gets his strength, they would pay
her a lot of money. Samson didn't know about this but you'd think
that he would have learned a lesson when he gave in and told his
first wife the answer to the riddle.
Well, at first, Samson tricked Delilah, and told her that if the
Philistines tied him with seven fresh ropes, then he would lose his
strength. So the Philistines brought Delilah seven fresh ropes and
she tied Samson up with them, but Samson easily broke the ropes.
Delilah tried again and again to find out where Samson got his
strength. Finally she said, If you don't tell me, that means you
don't love me. Does that sound familiar to you? Well lo and behold,
Samson fell for the same trick again! Samson grew so tired of Delilah
asking where his strength came from, that he finally told her that
God gave him his strength in his hair and that if his hair was ever
cut, he would become as weak as any other man.
Delilah knew that Samson was telling the truth from his heart and she
told the Philistines where Samson got his incredible strength from.
They brought her money and then she held Samson, while he slept and
the Philistines cut his hair. What a dirty trick!
Most people think that Delilah cut Samson's hair, but in fact,
Delilah held Samson while the Philistines did the cutting. Check it
out in your Bible!
Once his hair was cut, Delilah woke him saying, The Philistines are
here, Samson! Because his strength was gone, they were able to take
him in chains, poke out his eyes, and put him in prison.
But, wait there is more !!! That's not the end of this story. Oh no,
Samson's hair began to grow back! The Philistines had a great big
party because they were so happy that they had taken Samson's
strength and put him in prison. All the important Philistines were
there at the party. There were about three thousand people in the
During the party, they brought Samson in to make fun of him. Samson
asked if he could stand by the pillars to lean on them. Samson
prayed, Lord please remember me and give me strength just one more
time so that I can punish the Philistines for taking my eyes, and let
me die with the Philistines.
God answered his prayer. Samson pushed on the two middle pillars that
held the building together, with all of his might, and the roof fell
in and killed Samson and all the Philistine people who were there,
and the people that he killed at his death, were more than he killed
during his whole life.
An interesting story, wouldn't you say? It doesn't matter how strong
we are, physically. Without strength of spirit, and will, and the
Holy Spirit of God within us, we are all just as weak as the next
person. Oh, and one more thing ... Avoid the Delilah Deception type
of individuals. You could see it happening with Samson all along.
Keep your eyes and ears open and your heart protected.
Join us again soon, for more Daily Bread as we continue our study of
the Old Testament book of Judges.
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