Summary: All Samson had to do was walk into his destiny. Instead, he chose to walk wherever he wanted. His life is a shining example of how to know God’s will then ignore it.
Kids have a unique way of telling stories. Their heart is in it, but their mouths don’t always spit out the right words. Here are a few of my favorite headliner Bible stories stated by kids:
*The first three books of the Bible are Genesis, Exodus, and Laxatives.
*Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark.
*Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
*Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
*David fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people, who lived in biblical times.
*Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
*Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles and he pulled down the pillows of the temple.
Today we are starting a new series called “FACES” and we are going to take a look at a few prominent people who lived at different times and in different places. Their lives are detailed in the OT for us to examine and inquire about.
This new series is designed for both informational and inspirational purposes. With the information we can learn the events that transpired in their life and culture and their relationship with God. Then from that information we can gain inspiration in our own life today.
The first face we are going to study is Samson’s. We don’t have enough time to read the entire story right now, so we will take an overview of the big picture to get enough information to gain inspiration.
The story of Samson is found in the OT book of Judges but the real story begins before he was even born. The Israelites were God’s chosen people and for years they had served God alone but they had become complacent. The Philistines had absorbed them into their culture and now there was almost no distinction between the Israelites and the Philistines. The Philistines didn’t turn to the God of the Israelites, they worshipped their idols and sun gods and sex gods. They could have cared less about Jehovah Jira, the one true God. For 40 years the Israelites had lived within the Philistine culture and God was ready to move them out of complacency.
A man named Manoah and his wife were faithful Israelites who were unable to conceive a child. One day an angel appeared to them and told them that they would conceive. The angel told them that they were going to give birth to a son and he would be a Nazirite. The term “Nazirite” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “separated” or dedicated.” So their child Samson would be dedicated to the LORD. In those days people would take Nazirite vows for various reasons and they were usually only for short periods of time but Samson was to live his life as one who had been dedicated to the LORD for service his entire life. God had a plan for Samson, he wanted to use him to move the Israelites out from under Philistine control.
Judges 14 picks up the story.
“Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, "I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife." His father and mother replied, "Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She’s the right one for me." (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)” Judges 14:1-4 NIV
Samson had no business marrying a Philistine. The Philistines did not worship God and this woman was a Philistine who didn’t worship God either. But she was cute and at that time that was all Samson cared about so he set out to marry her.
The story continues:
“Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.” Judges 14:5-7 NIV
I don’t know why Samson didn’t tell his parents what he had done, but he didn’t. The Bible says that some time later he went back to marry this woman and on the way he saw the lion carcass which now had a bee hive in it. He stuck his hand in the hive and scooped out a handful of honey. He ate some of it and he gave some of it to his parents.