“Lesson 25: Samson,” Primary 6: Old Testament, (1996),110 I need a volunteer who can demonstrate how to flex muscles! Now everyone else, try to see if you can feel your own muscles. How do muscles help us? What happens when we exercise our muscles and what happens when we do not use them? Exercise helps us develop strong muscles. Our spirits also need to grow stronger. How can we become stronger spiritually? By keeping our baptismal covenants, obeying our parents, praying, attending church, reading the scriptures, and so on. Why is it important to become spiritually strong? So we can avoid temptation, be guided in our decisions by the Holy Ghost, and know good from evil. We need to develop spiritual strength just as we need to develop physical strength. In this lesson we will learn about Samson. He was a judge in Israel who could have been one of the greatest leaders in Israel if he had remained faithful to his vows with the Lord. The story of Samson shows he had great courage and physical strength. Samson’s remarkable strength was a gift from God for the covenant Samson made. Gideon lived a good long life. But after he died, Israel turned away from God again. Soon they were captured by the Philistines. Philistines worshipped false gods. Why were the Philistines able to defeat the children of Israel? Let’s read Judges 13:1 The Israelites had become spiritually weak. There was a man named Manoah whose wife was unable to have children. An angel appeared to her and told her she would have a son. He would begin to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. The angel told her not to drink any wine or strong drink and not to eat anything unclean. She was told her son would be a Nazarite while still in her womb. Nazarites made a covenant to separate themselves from the things of the world and become holy unto the Lord. As part of this covenant, each Nazarite made a vow not to drink alcoholic drinks or cut his hair (see Numbers 6:2–6, 8; “Nazarite” in the LDS Bible Dictionary [p. 737]). What message did an angel of the Lord give to Manoah’s wife? Let’s read Judges 13:3–5 What did the angel say her son would be called to do? Manoah’s wife went to her husband and told him what the angel had said to her. Manoah prayed to God that the angel would come back to them to teach them how to raise the child. The angel returned and told them to do exactly as she had previously been told. When Manoah heard what the angel told his wife, what did he do that showed he had spiritual strength? Let’s read Judges 13:8 How can prayer help us develop greater spiritual strength? Judges 13:24: And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. When Samson kept his covenants he was blessed with the ability to help his people, but when he broke his covenants he lost both his spiritual and physical strength. Samson grew up to be an incredibly strong man. He was called by the Lord to help free the Israelites from the Philistines. The Lord made a covenant with Samson that as long as he obeyed the Lord, he would be physically strong. Samson’s long hair (Judges 13:5) was a sign of this covenant. The angel had told his mother that her son “shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5 ). When he was a young man, he was attacked by a lion. He killed it with his bare hands. He used the jawbone of a donkey to kill 1,000 Philistine soldiers. Samson was able to use his physical strength many times to protect himself and to fight against the Philistines. Where did Samson get this physical strength? Let’s read Judges 14:5–6; 15:13–14 The Lord blessed Samson with physical strength to accomplish his mission. When Samson kept his covenants and was strong spiritually, he was blessed with this physical strength. How are we blessed when we keep our covenants and are spiritually strong? I have written a note to each of you about a strength I have noticed in each of you. Don’t read it until you are by yourself. Heavenly Father needs us to use these strengths to serve him and to serve others. Enrichment Activity #4 Without naming any names, these are some of the strengths Heavenly Father has blessed you with that I have noticed. Mention other strengths you have observed in other class members. Develop these and other strengths during the coming week. Enrichment Activity #4 Samson served as a judge in Israel for twenty years. He fell in love with a woman named Delilah. He didn’t know that the Philistines had offered her a lot of money to trick him to find out the secret to his strength. What did the Philistines offer Delilah if she would help them capture Samson? Let’s read Judges 16:4–5 Why do you think people are sometimes tempted to do wrong for money? How can we avoid being tempted by riches? Although she begged him, Samson wouldn’t tell her. Finally, after she told him he didn’t love her or he would share his secret, he told her that it was his vow to God. He never cut his hair or his strength would go. Delilah told the Philistines and while he slept, they cut his hair off. Samson’s strength was gone. The Philistines tied him up and blinded him. Why did Samson finally give in and tell Delilah the secret of his strength? Let’s read Judges 16:16 Why did Samson lose his strength? Let’s read Judges 16:19–20 Samson’s strength was not actually in his hair. His hair was a sign of his covenant with the Lord. When Samson broke his covenant by sinning, the Lord took away his physical strength. (See “Samson” in the LDS Bible Dictionary [p. 768].) Samson was taken to the prison house and forced to grind wheat at the prison’s mill. He had been a man of great strength, but had broken his vows with the Lord. When he broke his vow, his strength left him. While Samson was in prison his hair began to grow again. Samson renewed his vows with the Lord. The Philistines threw a big party where they showed off the captured Samson. Samson prayed that the Lord would return his strength. Samson asked a boy there to guide him to the main columns of the building they were in so he could lean against them. Samson pushed hard against them. The roof fell in and everyone inside was killed including Samson. What did the Philistines do to Samson after they captured him? Let’s read Judges 16:21 Later, when they brought him out of prison for their own amusement and ridicule, what did Samson pray for? Let’s read Judges 16:28 Which kind of strength is more important, physical or spiritual? Why? It is good to be strong physically, but it is much more important to be strong spiritually. Some people are unable to develop physical strength, but anyone who tries can develop spiritual strength by keeping covenants and obeying commandments. What happens when people become spiritually weak? They give in to temptations, they sin, they lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and they lose the ability to fulfill their callings and bless others. How can we develop the spiritual strength we need to live the way Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to live? I’ll write your answers on the board. Enrichment Activity #1 Now that you have a few ideas I want you to write “I can be stronger spiritually by:” Then write down one or more “spiritual muscles” you would like to “exercise,” or ideas you would like to work on, during the coming week. Put the paper where you will be able to see it often. Enrichment Activity #1 Choose one of the ideas from the board and either act it out or draw it on the chalkboard. The others will try to guess which idea it is! Enrichment Activity #2 Samson made a covenant with the Lord but did not keep it. What covenants did you make with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when you were baptized? Let’s read Mosiah 18:8–10 Enrichment Activity #3 How does keeping these covenants help us be spiritually strong? You will make covenants when you go to the temple. Making and keeping these covenants provides great spiritual strength in our lives. Prepare now for this great blessing by keeping the covenants you have already made. Enrichment Activity #3 Adam & Eve Joseph How Noah Moses Abraham Joshua Rebekah Gideon were these people were spiritually strong? Enrichment Activity #5 Next, we have a special guest who will share an experience with us that helped develop spiritual strength. Enrichment Activity #6 The Lord needs valiant servants, To do his work in the latter day, Who follow the teachings of Jesus And serve his people in a loving way. I will be his servant And keep my cov’nants valiantly. I’ll stand for truth. I’ll stand for right. The Lord can depend on me. Words and music: Vanja Y. Watkins, b. 1938. © 1981 IRI Enrichment Activity #7 I testify to you of the importance of developing spiritual strength and living so that we can someday return to be with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Images and clipart are from lds.org, sugardoodle.net, bing & google images and Microsoft Office. Hymn and lesson materials are from lds.org. The lesson and activities are from the Primary 6 Old Testament manual. No copyrighted materials were knowingly used in this presentation. Please do not use this presentation for commercial use.