“Judges: Samson” | Sunday School Lesson Summary for Judges 13:1-7, 24-25

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“Judges: Samson”

Judges 13:1-7, 24-25

PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy!  Blessings.

Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well.  Blessings!)

Lesson Text: Judges 13:1-7, 24-25

1) “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

2) And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.

3) And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.

4) Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

5) For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

6) Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:

7) But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

24) And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

25) And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.”

Introduction:

This lesson is the last one of this series in dealing with the judges.  Unlike judges before him, Samson was called with his spiritual marching orders before he was even born.

Previously, I wrote:

“One of our most beloved Bible verses that every Christian clings to is Jeremiah 29:11 that states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  This verse reassures us that God has a plan and a purpose in each one of our lives, and that He is working it out to “an expected end,” – a place of hope.

God doesn’t do anything without a preordained plan or purpose.  And, what He has purposed and planned, He will see it through to the end.  In Isaiah 14:24 it is said, “The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”

The word “purpose” speaks of the reason for something being; be it a person, place or thing.  For example, a hospital’s “purpose” is to nurture and care for the sick and injured.  A common chair’s “purpose” was designed to support one who wants to sit.  A teacher was educated for the “purpose” to educate others and pass on knowledge obtained to those under his/her tutelage.

Everything and everybody has a purpose . . .” (Word For Life Says/Jesus’ Mission on Earth)

Samson had a purpose, too.  He had a preordained destiny laid out for him to begin to help deliver God’s people from the hands of the Philistines.

Lesson Summary:

Samson’s story doesn’t start with Samson or his parents.  Samson’s story starts with the children of Israel as a whole, God’s covenant people.  The lesson text tells us, “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD” showing us, once again, the failure of God’s people to adhere to the perimeters of their side of the relational standards God has placed on them to be identified as His children.

The idea that their actions before God were just wrong is highly understated.  God, in His written Word, declared them as being a people who “did evil again.”  When one speaks of “evil” it really hones in on the heinous way God views these wrongs.  With that, they once “again” (in their sinful, repetitious manner) gave themselves over to the things and ways that were not like God, or as He has instructed His people to live.  God, absolutely and unequivocally, takes no pleasure in any type of sin or evil people commit (see Psalm 5:4-6).

And so, the children of Israel once again found themselves on the side of God’s judgement for their wrongs.  “The LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.”  One of the ways God disciplined His people was through the act of letting other peoples or nations gain the victory over His own chosen.  Often it was worded as He was selling them into their hands (read Judges 10:7).   A bit of tough love, if you will.  Whenever they chose to walk contrary to God and His holy ways, God would use corrective measures to steer His people back on the right course.  God cannot tolerate sin.  God won’t bear with sin or look the other way.  Sin has to be dealt with.  The ramifications from it caused the people great displeasure, pain, and affliction.  This time, for “forty years”, they endured the attack of the Philistine army.

“The Philistines,” (the Sea Peoples), were considered to be a particularly dangerous foe to contend with because they specialized in making things and weapons out of iron.  This skill and knowledge proved to be to their advantage especially during times of battle.  With such armament at their disposal, it would be hard for the average troops to gain ground in a fight with them.  Especially, since their army amassed in size from the time of their original occupation of the Palestinian region where they settled after their unsuccessful attempt to attack Egypt.

It was to these nefarious warriors God gave His people into their hands for “forty years.”  They would have to endure this time of chastisement until God was ready to deliver them once again, which brings us on the cusps of today’s lesson text.  That time had arrived and God was ready to move, once again, on behalf of His people.

“And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.”  Like the GPS satellites that hover above our earth, the lesson text draws us into a specified area to a specified people: “Zorah”(west of Jerusalem), of a specified tribe: “Dan”, to a specified man: “Manoah,” and his wife: the “barren” woman.   There is no such thing as anonymous or happenstance with God.  God always knows who He exactly wants for the job and He always knows specifically how to bring His purposes to pass

 “Manoah” and his nameless wife (only by her circumstance of being barren do we know her), were soon to find out God had them on His radar.  They were going to be a part of bringing deliverance to God’s people from the notorious Philistine army.  They were targets, in a good way, for His higher purpose.

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and barest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bare a son.”  This was not the first time God, or a messenger from God, had spoken to announce the good news of a child for a barren woman, and it won’t be the last time.  Think about Sarah (Genesis 17:15-16) who came before her and other women such as Hannah (1 Samuel 1:6) and Elisabeth (Luke 1:8-20) who came after her.  Barrenness may have felt like a curse to this nameless woman at the time because of her inability to have a child.  She may have felt less than a woman because of her situation.  But, as we find out, her current status is just temporary.  “Behold now” she might be identified as “barren,” but God was about to change that whole thing around and give them a child and so much more in the process.  She would “conceive, and bare a son,” and God was going to raise up a judge for His people from this seemingly obscure couple.

Why God chose them, we don’t know.  But, chose them He did and they have a divine call on their life and on the life of their soon-to-be-son.

With the revelation of the miracle that was about to take place for her also came some specific instructions.  Her child would not be just any child.  He was chosen for a divine purpose and that purpose called for him to be devoted completely to God.  Thus, certain things were restricted from his life that normal men could enjoy.

The angel told her, “Beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.”  From this time, she too, being the carrier of this special child, had to mind what she did in her life.  She was to withhold herself from partaking in any alcoholic beverages and she had to make sure that she only ate what was approved by the Law of Moses to eat.  I’m guessing she probably felt that was but a small inconvenience for the opportunity to be called, “Momma,” by a child of her own.

“For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb.”  If we jump ahead in the New Testament times, when Gabriel was sent to inform Zacharias of his impending miracle in the form of John the Baptist, we see that he too “shall drink neither wine nor strong drink,” (Luke 1:15).  Both of their ministry and work for the Lord was special and was to be set apart from others.  Their lives were to reflect that separateness and devotion to God.

Samson, whom the child we come to be called by, would be considered a “Nazarite unto God from the womb.”  For most, the option to take on this Nazarite vow was done of the individual’s own accord and with that were given a list of do’s and don’ts to follow during the process, which was usually just for a period of time.  For those who follow this vow, the Bible tells us, “all the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD,” (Numbers 6:8; for full vow information read Numbers 6:1-8).  But, for Samson, his destiny was chosen for him before his birth and he was to adhere to the requirements of this vow for life; for all his days.

Along the lines of those requirements, “no razor shall come on his head.”  Samson, later, is known for living a reckless life with his relationship to God and lets this very pertinent information slip into the wrong hands which would lead to his final downfall (see Judges 16:17-21).

The angel continued to inform her of the future of her yet-to-be child.  “He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”  As already stated, there was a purpose in what God was doing.  God was going to deliver His people!  Oh, how they must have longed to hear such news?  How many times have the people lain awake at night, afraid to sleep, hoping that tomorrow would bring a brighter future for them?

For forty years, because of their own sin and rebellion, the children of “Israel” suffered.  For forty years, they felt the sting of the enemy against their life.  For forty years, they knew what real oppression felt like as they woke up every morning to face nothing but hostility in the form of the “Philistines.”  But, God, in His mercy, was ready to deliver them and Samson would be the one whom He sends on this divinely ordained rescue mission.  And, it wouldn’t be done through military tactical force and the mustering of a great army.  It would be done by this one man being empowered and strengthened by God’s Spirit (Judges 13:25, discussed later in this lesson).

Upon witnessing the angel and hearing all he pronounced, “the woman came and told her husband.”   What started out as an ordinary day for this couple now got really interesting.  Both parents would need to be involved in raising this child the way God instructed.  Through the happy times of raising him, they would rejoice together.  Through the difficult times of witnessing his wrong choices, they could support and encourage one another.  One spouse can’t be called into an assignment for the Lord and not have it affect the other spouse.  They were in this together.  Something wonderful was going to happen for them.  Their long-awaited dream of having a child – a son, no less, who would do great exploits for God, was coming true.

She explained to her husband, “A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God.”  First, she recognized the messenger as not being an ordinary messenger.  She described him as “a man of God.”  This title has been given to several men throughout the Bible such as prophets.  Yet, he was so much more than a regular man prophesying God’s word to her.  “His countenance” set him apart, resembling one having a heavenly origin, and she made sure to note this to her husband.  It makes us wonder if he was shining as the angel who spoke to the women after Jesus rose from the dead (see Matthew 28:3)?  Whatever it was she knew and identified him as “an angel of God.”  She was in complete awe.  He was “very terrible” to behold and the encounter with him was astonishing and wonderful all at the same time.

While she was taken aback over his appearance she admitted that’s all the information about him she knows.  She didn’t delve deeper into trying to find out where he was from or his name: “whence he was, neither told he me his name.”  I can imagine, to her, none of that mattered.  What mattered was the promise she received from this holy messenger that she was finally going to be a mother.   One day, in the very near future, she would experience what she had been missing out on all these years.  God was releasing her from her barrenness and a judge to lead His people was going to rise from her womb.  That news is awesome indeed!

With that, she relayed to her husband all that transpired of what the angel said.  How exciting it must have been for her to tell her husband not only of the promise of a “son,” but to also tell him this babe was going to be brought up in a special way because he had a special purpose already ordained for his life.  Thus, the regulations the angel told her had to be given to her husband as well so that they could all be on one accord the way God instructed for the raising of this child.

She let her husband know “the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death,” and with that, she rehearsed to her husband the stipulations of that Nazarite vow for her while she was carrying him and for the child that was to come forth.  “Drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing” were some of the instructions she received and passed on to her husband.

In the verses following, after hearing all his wife told him of the wonderful thing that was about to happen, he prayed and the angel of God appeared to the woman again and this time she ran to get her husband.  When Manoah came to him he asked him about how they were to raise the child and the angel relayed exactly all that he had previously told the woman.  Then, Manoah offered a burnt offering to the Lord and when the flames of the offering “went up toward heaven from the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar,” (Judges 13:20; read vss. 8-23 for more information on what transpired).

And it came to pass, just as the angel told her, so it happened.  “The woman bare a son, and called his name Samson.”  Finally, after all these years, she experienced what most women took for granted.  She mothered a child and pushed life into this world.  A son was given to her; a child she could name and call her own.  “Samson,” meaning “sun,” brought the light of joy into her life and made her shine with happiness.

“And the child grew and the LORD blessed him.”  We are not given specifics on the exact raising of the child, but we can imagine the parents did as they were instructed and raised him according to the purpose and vow that was laid out for them.  The favor of God as on him “and the LORD blessed him.”  The Bible doesn’t give us specifics on the term of him being “blessed,” but we can imagine in the areas of physical and spiritual growth and awareness God strengthened and increased him mightily.  God was with him.

And, God was working for him and through him.  Our lesson tells us, “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times.”  God started to work in the life of this judge.  In the Old Testament, God’s “Spirit” wasn’t a permanent dwelling force in the lives of those whom He chose to work through.  The “Spirit of the LORD” would come and go as He sees fit to accomplish specific tasks or missions.  And, this is what we see occurring in the life of Samson.  When God was ready to “move,” His “Spirit” came upon Samson and God would rouse him into action to start to fulfill certain aspects of his preordained purpose as God’s judge for the people.

Conclusion:

Samson was called from his mother’s womb to be a judge for God’s people.  As the introduction states, he had a preordained plan for his life.  Along the way, he didn’t always do what was right in the eyes of the Lord and he didn’t live up to the potential that God placed in him. But, God still used him to begin to deliver the children of Israel from the hand of the Philistines.

Often in life, we forget that we are all born with a purpose.  The psalmist said, “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began,” (Psalm 139:16, HCSB).  But we all, like Samson, have to choose whether we will walk in the path God has for us or not.

Jesus Christ also was born with a purpose.  Before He saved us, our lives were opposite of being characterized as children of God.  We were just as the children of Israel, suffering from the consequences of our sins.  Yet, Christ came to live and die, and become our ultimate deliverer.  His preordained purpose, which He successfully fulfilled, became our saving grace and now we are freed from the hand of the enemy.

Standard Print PDF: Judges: Samson Sunday School Lesson Summary Standard Print

Large Print PDF: Judges: Samson Sunday School Lesson Summary Large Print

Below are activities to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

Word Search: Judges: Samson Word Search  Answers: Judges: Samson Word Search Answers

Crossword: Judges: Samson Crossword  Answers: Judges: Samson Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: Judges: Samson Word Scramble  Answers: Judges: Samson Word Scramble Answers 

Coloring Page: Provided by Christiancliparts.net

Make Your Own Samson Craft: With any printable person template such as the one from Art Venturers (click here for template), (used in the example below), your students can make their own Samson cut out.  Simply print out (I suggest using cardstock) and decorate what they want their Samson to look like and attach long hair using yarn, construction paper, or whatever medium you desire.  Attach a craft stick to use as a puppet or tape a clothes pin on his back to hang him up somewhere.  The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

 

Below are Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

“Samson Activities for Kids”

“Samson for Kids”

“Bible Activity: Samson, Samson!”

“Samson’s Haircut Scissors Activity” (Toddler cutting practice.  Enjoy!)

“Samson Craft”

“Samson’s Hair Head Piece to wear”

“Art Activity that can be adapted for Samson’s Hair”

“Samson Shoelace Craft”

“Samson the Strong Judge”

“Obey No Matter What they Say”

“God’s Strong Man: Samson Group Activities”

“Samson Bible Lesson for Kids”

“Samson: Disobedient Leader Coloring Sheet for Older Students”

 

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