My great strength is gone.
My Israelite family had called me a man of super strength. Men and women, boys and girls marveled when I showed them what I could do. One time I snapped a huge city gate made of thick wood off it's hinges like it was a bird's feather then carried it to the top of a hill. Yes. The people called me the mighty Samson.
How could I have been so foolish?
I told Delilah my strength was in my hair. I trusted her. Sure, she asked where my strength came from three different times, but I thought she wanted to know more about me. When she tried the bowstrings, new rope, and loom to bind me, I thought it was a joke.
Hah--hah. Some joke. She was a Philistine. Delilah had Philistine lords hiding in her home ready to pounce on me.
She gave me food and wine until I fell asleep then had my hair shaved. The Philistine lords grabbed me like a little school boy who misbehaved, wrapped chains around my arms and neck, and dragged me to their biggest city, Gaza. Along the way Philistines in the fields and in the city laughed, called me names, and spit at me. "Look at the might Samson, now!"
I had disobeyed God.
I couldn't look at those Philistines any more. God gave me the mighty strength to conquer them and I didn't. I wanted to make friends with them. I liked their foods, their merchants, their entertainment. God sent me to flush them out of Israel, but I didn't. On a few occasions I conquered groups of Philistines when they made me mad, but I didn't conquer them all.
The Philistines made me blind, but now I can see what needs to be done.
The Philistines threw me in their prison. They beat me and took out my eyes. The guards yanked the chains holding my arms like I was a naughty circus animal refusing to do what they wanted. I prayed to God each day. "Give me my strength Lord, that I may do your will. Give me another chance to conquer the Philistines."
Each day passed slowly, but God stayed with me.
I listened to the Philistines name calling; I did their work; I sat in their gloomy prison and ate their moldy bread. Each day my hair grew a little. I laughed to myself the day hair flopped onto my face. The more my hair grew, the stronger I became. The Philistines said, "He's getting his work done faster. Give him more." Little did they realize, my strength was returning.
One afternoon the Philistines led me out of the prison and threw water on me. "You have been summoned to entertain the Philistine lords at the great festival. Can't have you spoilin' their meal with your stinky body smell."
My opportunity came. Lord let me serve you with strength tonight.
Come back to read what happens next.
1. Who captured mighty Samson?
2. How did they capture him?
3. What did Samson done wrong?
4. How did Samson disobey God?
5. What happened in prison?
6. How did Samson change?
7. What did Samson want to do?
8. What did you learn from this story?