Did you ever feel like you were different from everyone else? I did.
My parents never cut my hair and wouldn't let me have many foods or drinks my friends had.
One day my father called me out to the field to help him. He finally told me about the day an angel gave him special instructions for my care. Apparently an Angel of the Lord spoke with mom and him before I was born.
As I grew older, I heard my parents and other adults talk about the Philistines. They'd conquered many of our villages forty years ago and have treated the survivors like slaves. Several of my friends still can't find enough food and their houses have been destroyed.
I knew I should have stayed away from the Philistine villages, but I couldn't. I wanted to know who they were, how they dressed, and what they did. When I had free time I walked to one of their villages not far from my home.
On the way there I found a fig tree at the top of a hill. It'd been a while since I'd eaten and a treat would taste good.
When I reached for an extra large fig on an upper branch, I saw an animal dart from a bush just beyond a tree in the field. It crouched as if stalking something. The creature picked up speed, as it crossed the field. One section of sparse grain let me see the animal's body. the golden tail and mane ruffled in the wind.
No problem. That lion is down there and I'm up here. I plucked several figs and stuffed them into my mouth before checking if the fruit was ripe. Yuck. Nasty. Bitter taste. I spit those disgusting figs out in a flash.
I looked around for something to get rid of the bad taste. A small distance away stood a large fig tree with ripe, juicy figs hanging from every branch. Perfect. My stomach growled, begging for food.
I walked to the second fig tree, reached out, and grabbed a fig. That's when I heard something breathing. Huffing and puffing close to me. I whipped around and saw the lion running towards me. My heart blasted blood into every cell in my body. I didn't have a moment to think or to find a weapon.
Then, something different happened. My muscles automatically tightened ready to do battle. A surge of energy sprang from somewhere, I didn't know where. I didn't know why the lion's fangs didn't scare me. A voice told me, "Don't be afraid." It must have been God.
The lion roared, ready to attack, then increased speed. His extended claws flew toward my face ready to rip me from my bones. I didn't breathe.
My hands flew into defense position until the lion fell forward to the ground. My hands and arms attacked with a speed and power as if I had killed thousands of lions.
When the creature stopped, I stepped back and stared at it.
How did it happen?
I held my hands out then tipped them over. Where did the strength and speed come from?
I tipped my head back to take a deep breath and saw the vast sky above. Then I knew. God gave me my strength.
1. How did Samson know he was different from his friends?
2. What group of people forced the Israelites to become slaves?
3. What animal surprised Samson.
4. What happened when the lion attacked?
5. What did Samson learn?
6. Why did God give Samson this? (hint: think of the Philistines)
Photo courtesy of Christian Image Source