CHECK OUT THE JUDGES STUDY
FROM THE BEGINNING
THE BOOK OF
CHAPTER 13 - 16
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Welcome back to 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 interesting things.
One thing to notice right from
the start is that the Lord has a plan for us ... Even before we're born.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My
substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and
curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the Earth. 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.
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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 to the riddle to Samson on the seventh day:
What is sweeter than
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
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
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.
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
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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
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 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 building. 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 that 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 in us, we are all
just as weak as the next person.
Join us again soon, for
more Daily Bread as we continue our study of the Old Testament book of
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