My Israelite brothers treated me like a superhero. "Samson killed a lion. Samson ripped a city gate from the hinges and carried it to the top of a hill. Samson--Samson--Samson."
Tired, disappointed, and wanting to get away from the Philistines after what they did to my wife and her father I walked into a remote area to be by myself. I camped in the cleft of the rock at Etam to get out of the hot sun.
For several days I rested in that quiet place until brothers from the tribe of Judah came looking for me. What ever they wanted had to be important. Three thousand of them crowded by the cleft.
"Samson, Samson! We want to talk to you. Get out here."
I peeked out from behind a rock. "What? What's going on?"
They came closer to me. "Samson, you're in so much trouble. Why did you do it? The Philistines are mad, burning mad. They're ready to kill us. You know the Philistines rule over us. If we don't serve them, they'll destroy our homes and crops."
I shook my head and huffed. "I only did to them what they did to me."
"You can't do whatever you want, Samson. I don't care how strong you are, you're one man. Only one man. The Philistines will make our lives worse because of you." They opened their hands to show ropes. "We've come to arrest you and take you to the Philistines."
I wanted them to think they could tie me up. I nodded. "OK. I'll go. But, promise you won't kill me."
The men nodded. "We won't. Trust me, though, you won't be able to escape once we've tied you up. We'll give you to the Philistines to make them happy. It's the only way to keep our families safe. You gotta understand."
I understood. The Philistines scared them. But they didn't scare me. I held out my arms and let them tie me with the new ropes.
My Israelite brothers escorted me back toward Judah. Before we reached the city gates, the Philistines ran toward me screaming something. I couldn't understand their words. Let's just say they weren't happy.
The closer the Philistines came the more God's strength flowed to my muscles. The new ropes turned into soggy threads and fell from my arms. I glanced down at the ground and found a jawbone from a donkey. Perfect!
I picked up the jawbone, took a fighting stance, and whipped it at each Philistine who dared to come near me. I killed a thousand of their men in a flash! Sweat poured down my face and neck like water flowing into a brook. After the last Philistine fell to the ground, I dropped the jawbone and sighed.
I was hot and my mouth felt like a sandstorm had blasted through. No water in sight. Not even a puddle. I leaned against a tree and moaned. "God, You gave me this victory over the Philistines and now You're gonna let me die of thirst?"
Before I blinked my eyes, the ground next to my foot shook. A crack formed then a wide gap. Bubbles floated to the top and spilled off to the side followed by a stream of cool water. "Yes! Thank you, Lord." I pressed my face to the water and slurped a refreshing drink. It tasted delicious. I drank until I could drink no more. "Thank you, Lord."
God chose me judge Israel for twenty years during the time of the Philistines. Each time I needed strength to conquer a group of Philistines, God gave me what I needed.
I wasn't a super hero. Just someone used by God to do His will.
1. Who came to arrest Samson?
2. Why did they want to arrest him?
3. What did they bring to tie up Samson?
4. Did it work?
5. What happened when the Philistines saw Samson?
6. Who gave Samson the strength to judge the Philistines?7. How long dd God let Samson judge Israel?