“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us.” 1 John 1:9a
Samson was the last of the major judges of Israel. He was born to parents who dedicated him to the Lord as a Nazirite after the Angel of the Lord announced that Samson would be born to save the Israelites from the power of the Philistines. Samson grew up, and God blessed him with great strength. But when Samson requested to marry a Philistine woman, his parents were confused. Samson was supposed to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. Why would he want to marry one of them? But God had a plan in all of this. (See Judg. 14:4.)
As Samson prepared for the wedding, he gave a riddle to the men with him about an event that occurred on his way to Timnah. (See Judg. 14:9-14.) Days passed, and the men convinced Samson’s wife to tell them the answer to the riddle. This action sparked a series of events that would eventually lead to the death of Samson.
When the men solved his riddle, Samson was so angry that he torched the fields of the Philistines. He used the jawbone of a donkey to kill 1,000 men, and he left his wife. The Philistine leaders determined to kill Samson. When Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, the leaders bribed her into telling them where Samson’s strength came from.
A man came and shaved the braids from Samson’s head. He lost his strength and became helpless. The Philistines gouged out his eyes and took him prisoner. They had him stand between the pillars of a pagan temple. In a final plea to God, Samson asked for his strength back. God gave him strength, and Samson knocked over the pillars, collapsing the temple. In his death, Samson killed more Philistines than he had killed in his life. (Judg. 16:30)
Though Samson disobeyed God, God used him to accomplish His purpose of delivering the Israelites from the Philistines. As you talk to your kids about this story this week, remind them that Samson’s sin led to his own death, but God used his death to save the Israelites from their enemies. Samson’s story reminds us of Jesus. Jesus never sinned, but God sent Him to die on the cross and rise again to rescue people from sin and give them eternal life.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- God said Samson should never cut his hair.
- God made Samson strong.
- Delilah helped the Philistines cut Samson’s hair to make him weak.
- God used Samson to defeat the Philistines.
KEY PASSAGE: 1 John 1:9a
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- How did God use Samson’s death to help His people?
- How does God use Jesus’ death to help us?
- How is Jesus better than Samson?
- Organize a neighborhood field day. Enjoy seeing everyone’s feats of strength. Serve refreshments and tell the Bible story.
- Reflect back as a family about how God used poor decisions or unfair situations and turned them for good.