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Amazing Bible heroes teach us how God can use each of us to be an everyday hero for Him!
Each Bible lesson in this series connects a Bible Hero to well-known Super Hero in an effort to engage kids and youth with what they know from the movies & comics to the truth we can find in God's Word.
Photo Credit - ralpoonvast @ Pixbay
Bible Heroes Lesson Summary: Character study on Samson. Samson was not only super strong, he had super purpose! Samson was a judge over the nation of Israel in the Old Testament for twenty years. God had a purpose for Samson's life from the beginning, and God gave him strength to fulfill that purpose.
Time/Audience: This lesson took about 40 minutes with a group of 12 third and fourth graders. It is easily adaptable to be used with both younger children and teens.
Bible Lesson Preparation:
Bible Lesson Scriptures: Judges 13-16
Bible Heroes Lesson Key Takeaway: God is faithful to give us all we need to fulfill His special purpose in our lives.
Since strength was the extraordinary ability with which God equipped Samson, have students pair off for an arm wrestle challenge. The winners continue challenging the winners until one person comes out "the strongest!"
Dr. Bruce Banner was just a plain man until a gamma bomb made his anger turn him into the Hulk.! His inner anger changed what he looked like. He became super strong and….super GREEN!
There is a man in the Bible that was also super strong and looked different from others too! He wasn’t green, but he had super long hair. His name was Samson. Samson was set apart as a child to live a life for God. Among other things, he was not to cut his hair. He was what they called a Nazarite.
The Book of Judges is found in the Old Testament; it is the seventh book of the Bible. It is contained in the section of twelve books of history which record the history of the nation of Israel.
The story of Samson is found in Judges chapters 13-16.
When we lack faith, God is still faithful!
Others may let us down, but God never will!
When all hope seems loss, God gives us victory!
In Judges 13 we see the Angel of the LORD appear to Samson's parents. Even before he was born, God had a plan for Samson's life.
"And now, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any [a]unclean thing. 5 For behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he will begin to save Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
Samson would begin to save Israel from the hands of their enemies, the Philistines.
Israel faced many enemies as God led them into the Promised Land of Canaan. At this point the Philistines had been oppressing Israel for forty years. (You may be familiar with hearing about a Philistine - Goliath of Gath, the giant David killed.)
When Israel would finally call out to God for help, He would send them a judge to rescue them. Samson was a judge sent by God. Other judges that may sound familiar include Deborah, Gideon and Samuel.
Bible heroes are not heroes in and of themselves. Even Samson did not deserve or earn his strength. God had a purpose for Samson and gifted him great ability to fulfill this purpose.
From his birth, Samson was to be raised and live as a Nazarite.
There were three things a Nazarite was NOT supposed to do:
Samson failed at all three! Even though Samson failed and let his desires and anger get the best of him, God was faithful to be there when Samson called to Him and to continue providing what he needed to fulfill God's purpose in his life.
In these verses we see first Samson wanting to marry a Philistine woman. Israelites were not supposed to marry foreign women, yet God worked even in this as an opportunity to work against the Philistines (verse 4).
Then we seen Samson kill a lion with his amazing strength, but he then eats honey out of the lion's carcass which was forbidden for him. To touch anything dead was wrong because he was a Nazarite set apart for the LORD.
Yet, God continued to be faithful to Samson and provide him with amazing strength.
Samson continued following his own pride and self confidence as he threw a party and made a bet on a riddle he told. (Now it doesn't say he drank wine, but given the circumstances and his recklessness, more than likely he did.)
Samson was fulfilling his own pleasures as he desired and pursued forbidden women, forbidden food and forbidden "partying."
Yet, God continued to be faithful to Samson and provide him with amazing strength.
Samson's riddle was fun at first, but ultimately led to great tragedy. We read that his wife betrayed him by sharing the answer to the riddle with the men of her village.
After Samson returned to his home with his father and mother, his father-in-law gave his wife to another. This was unknown to Samson until he went back to get her. He was so angry he used foxes with torches tied to their tales to burn the Philistines' grain, vineyards and olive groves.
The Philistines were so angry they retaliated by setting up camp in Judah threatening the people there so they would turn Samson over to them, and the people of Judah did.
But God filled Samson with his power so that he was able to kill 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Even then Samson neglected to give God the honor and credit as he cried out "I've killed a thousand men!"
Over and over Samson was betrayed. Over and over Samson's pride grew and he continued to put his trust in himself and others instead of God.
Yet over and over God remained faithful and provided all he needed.
These Bible verses tell probably the most well known story of Samson. He falls in love with a woman named Delilah who betrays his secret of strength to the Philistines. Samson put his trust in her and what he thought now as his own strength rather than in God.
So often in Scripture we see hope found in a three letter word - BUT!
We read in Judges 16:21-22 a wonderful transition from despair to victory -
"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.
But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved."
Even though Samson lost his way often, God continued to be faithful and continued fulfilling His purpose for Samson's life.
If we go back and read our beginning verses in Judges 13:5, we will see God's purpose was for Samson to begin saving Israel from the Philistines.
This purpose was accomplished over and over and now ultimately as Samson is dying, God gives victory abundantly!
As we've seen, Bible heroes don't always do the right thing; they're not perfect and neither are we. The Good News is we have a perfect Heavenly Father Who never gives up on us. Jesus continues to reach out to us and call us back to the best place to be in our lives - closer and closer to Him.
God had a plan for Samson and God was faithful to be with Samson all along the way giving him what he needed. Even when Samson disobeyed, God was faithful. When Samson trusted in others and was betrayed, God was always faithful to be with him. And even in the end when there seemed to be no hope, God was there and faithful to give victory.
In the same way, when we trust Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God is with us. He doesn't give up on us when we mess up. He is with us when others betray and disappoint us. He gives us ultimate hope, victory and purpose for this life here on earth and life in Heaven with Him.
1. What three things was Samson required to not do as a Nazarite?
As followers of Jesus, what are some things that are good for us to do or not do? Why?
(Note: We are not saved by do's and don't's; we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. After salvation, our life should be different though as we follow Jesus through His Holy Spirit. Galatians 2:8-10)
2. When Samson was betrayed by other people, he reacted with vengeance and anger. How should we as Christ-followers react when others betray or disappoint us? After discussing, look up the following Bible verses; were these some things mentioned?
Then end in prayer thanking God for always being with us and faithful!
© Copyright 2022, Susan Smart Permission granted for personal use or small group only.
Access the rest of our Super Bible Heroes lesson series with other super heroes connected to true Bible heroes and truths from God's Word to help kids learn how they can stand firm and be a hero for God!
Check out our Pinterest Super Heroes Snack Ideas Board! Great ideas including Oreo cookies dipped in green colored white chocolate or pistachio pudding or lime jello in a clear cup topped with Oreo cookie crumbs and a "Hulk" face drawn on the cup.
Origami is always a fun craft idea for kids to enjoy; Youtube has several options and how-to videos. Whichever you choose, don't tell kids what they are making ahead of time! Have them trust you and follow your directions understanding you have a plan.
Remind them God has a plan for us too even in those times we can't see what it is. Our job is to listen and follow!
Special note: We do preview the websites to which we link, but are unable to peruse them completely. We try to check others' faith statements and make sure they do profess Jesus Christ as God's Son and salvation is found only in Him. It must, however, be your responsibility to personally dig into God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to be your first and final teacher on all subjects.
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