07/31/15 – 217
The question here is where to start – which story from scripture should we look at first? I’ve looked at a number of children’s books, online and paper, got sidetracked by finding a horrendous Time magazine article when I searched for ‘Bible stories’ that was as blatant an attack on the Bible as I’ve ever seen, all the while claiming not to be. Ah, rabbit trails.
Let’s just start with the one that God seems to keep nudging me toward, and go from there. If you have a favorite, just let me know and we’ll work on that next, OK?
The story of Samson is found in Judges 13-16. You can read a children’s version here. It will be very helpful to you to read through that or another version of the story as we begin.
This is a story that left me scratching my head many times as an adult. I wondered if we were even talking about the same person – this Samson, a hero of the Bible, ‘God’s Strong Man’ whose life was committed to God, and who innocently fell into a trap set by the wily Delilah. This was, in my mind, a man who had made a terrible mistake and suffered greatly, came back to God and gave his life to fight and win the big battle against the Philistines (who everyone knows were the bad guys – I’m sure they all wore black turbans and spit a lot). As an adult, it still leaves me scratching my head a bit sometimes – this is one I’ve really needed a LOT of guidance from the Spirit to understand.
Samson’s story begins like a few others in scripture, before he was born, when his mom-to-be was visited by a messenger from God.
Judges 13:1-5 1 Once again the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handed them over to the Philistines for 40 years. 2 A certain man from Zorah was named Manoah. He was from the tribe of Dan. Manoah had a wife who wasn’t able to have children. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife. He said, “You are not able to have children. But you are going to become pregnant. You will have a baby boy. 4 Make sure you do not drink any kind of wine. Also make sure you do not eat anything that is ‘unclean.’ 5 “You will become pregnant. You will have a son. He must not use a razor on his head. He must not cut his hair. That is because the boy will be a Nazirite. He will be set apart to God from the day he is born. He will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
Tomorrow this passage will lay the foundation for this study, and hopefully give you some new tidbits of knowledge about the Bible in general as well. For today, let’s all pray that God will send His teacher – the Holy Spirit – to guide and direct our study, and bring us to full, deep understanding of whatever it is He is really trying to teach us in these chapters of His Word.