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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Samson

The story of Samson and Delilah is one of the most relevant stories a teen can study.  It teaches us the negative power that peer pressure, guilt trips, and associates with the wrong people can have terrible consequences to hits victims.  Here are some highlights from the story:

 

  1.  Samson lived in a time when the children of Israel had departed from serving God by their evil deeds.

    1. As a result, God gave the Philistine people power over them for forty years (Judges 13:1).

  2. God’s compassion began to fall down on them so they could be delivered from their oppressors (Judges 13:2-6).

    1. Before Samson was born, the angel of the Lord came to his mother to deliver a message to her.

      1. She was told that she would give birth to her first child.

      2. During her pregnancy, she was not to drink wine or anything like it.

      3. She also was forbidden from eating anything that the children of Israel were forbidden to eat.

        1. These were called unclean foods and one of them is well known to us!

        2. One of them was pork!

        3. Thus, bacon and ham were not allowed.

        4. She had to make sure she did not eat any of these forbidden foods.

      4. She was also forbidden from cutting the child’s hair.

    2. The reason why Samson’s mother was forbidden from doing these three things was that God had planned for Samson to be a Nazarite.

      1. These Nazarites were holy men in the land and had to live in a very strict way to please God.

      2. The Bible says, “1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, 3 they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. 4 As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins. 5 “‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long. 6 “‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. 7 Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. 8 Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord” (Numbers 6:1-8 New International Version).

    3. Samson’s mom was also given the encouraging news that Samson would be the one who God would use to get rid of the Philistine oppressors.

      1. Samson’s mother then went home to her husband, Manoah, and told him the things the angel of God revealed to her (Judges 13:7).

  3.  After hearing the news, Manoah began to pray to God.

    1. He said, “…Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born” (Judges 13:8 New International Version).

    2. God heard the prayer of Manoah and sent the angel back (Judges 13:9-24).

      1. Manoah and his wife talked to the angel of the Lord.

        1. The angel of the Lord answered the question of Manoah as to how the child should be raised.

        2. The angel told Manoah the same thing he told his wife, which was the food and drink restriction she was to apply to her pregnancy.

      2. Manoah wanted to prepare a meal for the angel of the Lord and know his name.

        1. The angel would not tell Manoah His name.

        2. Also, the angel refused to eat, but told Manoah to make the food a sacrifice to God.

          1. So, Manoah sacrificed a young goat and grain offering.

          2. While the sacrifice was burning, a miracle occurred.

          3. That miracle was that within the flame, the angel ascended into heaven.

          4. The angel did not appear anymore to Manoah and his wife.

    3. Not long after this event, Samson was born.

  4.  In Judges 14, the Biblical scene changes where we see a grown Samson speaking to his parents about getting a wife (Judges 14:1-5).

    1. He asked them for permission to marry a non-Israelite woman.

      1. This woman was a Philistine and her people were the oppressors of the children of Israel.

      2. Samson’s parents objected, but God allowed the marriage.

        1. In the future, God would cause Samson to go to war with the Philistines and one of the reasons this would happen was Philistines would hurt Samson and this wife later in the story.

        2. This is why God allowed Samson to marry this Philistine woman.

        3. This marriage would change the course of history for the children of Israel in the near future for them.

      3. Remember, as we studied in previous lessons, God’s providence is always at work.

        1. This means, He is always making things happen.

        2. He has the power to change the course of history for you and me as individuals and all mankind.

        3. Thus, this marriage between Samson and the Philistine woman was something God allowed to occur to make sure His Will was done in Samson’s life and for the children of Israel.

        4. This is why both good and bad things happen to us as Christians.

        5. Sometimes, these things move us on to other things God wants us to do.

        6. So, don’t get discouraged when bad things happen that alter your life and make change occur.

        7. Often, this is God moving you on to something else He wants you to do!

  5. Getting back to Samson’s story, on his way to talk to the young Philistine woman, Samson is attacked by a lion (Judges 14:6-7).

    1. The Bible tells us that Samson ripped the lion apart with his bare hands.

    2. The Holy Spirit, who is God, empowered Samson with the strength to get the job done (Acts 5:3-4).

    3. Does the Holy Spirit help us today?

      1. Yes.

        1. His work in our lives gave us the Wisdom of the Bible that shows us how to make the right decisions in life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

        2. His work in our lives gives us inner strength to be resistant to the temptation of the devil (Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 2:12-13).

        3. His work in our lives causes us to have better Christian character (Galatians 5:22-23).

        4. This is why we are thankful for the Holy Spirit and trust Him all that He does for us.

        5. If He can help Samson kill a lion with his bare hands, then He can certainly be an effective spiritual guide for us (Acts 2:38)!

  6. Unfortunately, we see Samson with a broken heart (Judges 14:8-20).

    1. The Philistine people gave his wife away to another man.

      1. This obviously infuriated Samson.

  7. In Judges 15, we see Samson determined to go see his wife (Judges 15:1-8)

    1. Unfortunately, her father blocked him from doing so.

      1. The father’s excuse for giving her away to someone else was that he thought Samson was not fond of her.

        1. So, he offered the younger sister to Samson instead.

    2. Samson took revenge on the Philistines for them taking his wife.

      1. He took three hundred foxes.

        1. He tied them together in pairs at the tails.

        2. He put a torch within these pairs of tails and let the foxes go within the Philistine’s grain fields.

        3. These foxes burned up the grain, olive trees, and vineyards of the Philistines.

        4. Unfortunately, the Philistines did not take kindly to this revenge tactic of Samson and they retaliated against Samson’s wife and her father.

        5. They burned the two to death!

          1. The cycle of violence did not end here.

          2. This is because Samson when back and took revenge again.

          3. He slaughtered many of the Philistines for killing his wife and her father.

  8. After all of the fighting with the Philistines was done, Samson fled to a cave in Etam (Judges 15:9-20).

    1. Unfortunately, the tribe of Judah confronted Samson.

      1. Remember, both Samson and the men from Judah were relatives.

      2. In other words, they both were from the children of Israel.

      3. Thus, they should have been allies.

    2. Unfortunately, the men of Judah wanted to turn Samson in to the Philistines rulers.

    3. They tied Samson up and handed him over to the Philistine army.

      1. Fortunately for Samson, the Holy Spirit gave him the strength to break the ropes and fight the Philistines back with the jawbone of a donkey.

      2. The Bible says he killed 1,000 Philistines in the battle!

  9.  In Judges 16, we see Samson falling in love with a Philistine woman named “Delilah” (Judges 16:4-5).

    1. Unfortunately, she was being used by Samson’s enemies.

      1. The Philistine’s leaders went to her and bribed her to betray Samson.

      2. She took the money and went about her mission of trying to find out the source of Samson’s great strength.

      3. The Philistines believed that if they could find the source of Samson’s strength, they could weaken him and finally beat him in battle.

  10. Delilah used trickery to find out Samson’s strength (Judges 16:6-9).

    1. The Bible says, “6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” 7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered” (Judges 16:6-9 New International Version).

    2. As you can see, Delilah set Samson up for disaster.

    3. However, by the grace of God, Samson was not telling the truth.

    4. As a result, he had his strength when the Philistines attacked him and he was victorious over them.

    5. What does this incident with Samson and Delilah teach us?

      1. It teaches us a lot about dating.

      2. When someone is truly interested in you, they are not going to try to take advantage of you or hurt you in any way.

      3. Samson knew that Delilah was no good for him, but he still dated her anyway.

      4. This bad choice will eventually hurt him severely.

      5. Thus, young people, you must be smart when it comes to dating.

      6. When someone cares about you, they want to do the right thing by you.

      7. They are not interested in taking advantage of you, but are mutually trying to be good to you and you should do the same to him or her.

      8. Love is shown by what someone does and not just by what they say.

      9. Always remember these things as they will help you select better dating partners in your life!

  11. Even though Samson prevailed over the evil deeds of Delilah and the Philistines, they did not give up and tried to capture him again (Judges 16:10-12).

    1. The Bible says, “10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” 11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads” (Judges 16:10-12 New International Version).

      1. As you can see, Delilah’s plan of betraying Samson failed again.

      2. However, we see her actually confessing to being Samson’s betrayer.

      3. However, Samson still thought he was in love with her and continued to endure her abusive, evil ways.

      4. Again, young people, remember that abuse can be both physical and mental.

      5. Manipulation as Delilah was doing to Samson was mental abuse.

      6. These are relationships you leave behind in your life.

      7. Again, you must see past the exterior of a person to see who they really are.

      8. Just because someone is physically attractive does not make them the right person to date.

      9. Furthermore, always know that just because someone tells you sweet words you want to hear or keeps company with you does not mean he or she loves you.

      10. Again, love is an action word.

      11. Both what the person says and does must match to be true love.

  12. Even though Samson had prevailed against Delilah and the Philistines, they tried once again to capture him (Judges 16:13-14).

    1. The Bible says, “13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.” He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric” (Judges 16:13-14 New International Version).

    2. Again, Delilah’s scheme did not work and Samson was not captured!

    3. Friends, always learn from your mistakes.

    4. If you do the same thing, you will get the same results.

    5. Samson had the same relationship with Delilah; so, he was going to continue to be betrayed and abused by her.

    6. Learn from your mistakes, because often, if you keep making the same mistakes, the consequences can get worse and worse as long as you stay in the same situation!

    7. Be smart!

    8. Know when to get out while you can!

    9. This applies to gang life.

      1. The longer you stay in gang activities, the greater your chance of dying or going to prison.

    10. This applies to premarital sex.

      1. The more you engage in this activity, the greater your chances of unwed pregnancies or catching a sexually transmitted disease.

    11. This applies to alcoholism and drug use as well.

      1. The more you engage in these activities, the greater your chances of addiction and a downward spiral in life.

    12. Know when to quit!

    13. It just may save your life!

  13. Unfortunately, we see the fall of Samson due to him not using wisdom in his life (Judges 16:15-22).

    1. The Bible talks about his fall with the following Words, “15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide 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.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. 17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. 20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved” (Judges 16:15-22 New International Version).

    2. As you can see, Delilah used the guilt tactic and constant pressure to get Samson to confess the source of his strength.

    3. She then cut off the source of his strength, which was his hair.

    4. He was then captured by the Philistines and cruelly, blinded by them!

    5. What do we learn from this fall of Samson?

      1. We learn that the devil always uses pressure to try to get us to do evil things.

      2. As the Bible tells us, we must resist him to not do evil things in this life (James 4:7).

      3. In fact, we must resist him over and over, because he will not give up the first time you tell him “no.”

      4. He tempted Jesus the same way in the wilderness and the Lord had to resist him three times before the devil went away (Matthew 4:1-11).

      5. So, it is with peer pressure, dating pressure, and any temptations that we experience in life.

      6. We must not only resist, but we must consistently resist temptation to be victorious.

      7. Another thing we learn is that people will try to use guilt against you to make you do wrong.

      8. For example, a person may have done you a favor in the past and now, he or she feels you owe them one.

      9. So, they will ask you to do godless things in return to get what they want from you!

      10. Don’t fall for that game.

      11. You will feel guiltier after doing the wrong deed, then for not helping a fake friend do evil deeds!

      12. A third thing we find out from Samson’s fall is that hanging with the wrong types of people has consequences.

      13. Samson lost his eyes and eventually, his life for being with this Philistine woman who did not truly love him.

      14. The Bible forbids Christians from having close relationships with rebellious people.

      15. This is because they start to influence us to do evil things (1 Corinthians 15:33).

      16. Bad friends are bad news!

      17. Again, the friends and dating partners we choose can change our life for the worse if we are not careful.

      18. So, choose your friends wisely.

      19. Some friends have lifestyles that lead to prison, death, and suffering of all sorts!

      20. Unfortunately, association with them can take you to the same places!

  14. Sadly, Judges 16 closes the story of Samson with his death (Judges 16:23-31).

    1. The Bible tells us that he was in the custody of the Philistines.

    2. They were making fun of him at one of their celebrations.

    3. However, Samson’s hair grew back.

    4. As a result, his strength came back to him as well.

    5. God allowed Samson to push the supporting pillars of the building down.

    6. This caused the building to collapse on him and the Philistines.

    7. This killed thousands of Philistines and Samson at the same time.

 

In conclusion, we learned a lot of useful wisdom from the Bible using the story of Samson and Delilah as our inspiration.  Teens, please take heed to what the Bible says to have a more prosperous and happy life, overall, as avoiding Samson’s mistakes will make us pleasing to God and not bring unnecessary suffering our lives.  As you have seen, associating with the wrong friends and dating the wrong people can have both physical and mental consequences.  Remember, love is an action word.  When someone truly loves you, they have your best interest at heart and will not work against you as Delilah did to Samson.

- Anthony L. Norwood

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