Samson had been judging Israel for 20 years. He fell in love with a Philistine named Delilah, but she didn’t really love him. When the other Philistines found out that Samson loved her, they told Delilah that they would pay her a large amount of money if she would find out the secret of his amazing strength. So she began begging Samson to tell her the secret.
The first time he told her that if he was bound with 7 fresh bowstrings he would be weak like any other man. So, when he fell asleep, she bound him with 7 bowstrings and then called for the Philistines. When Samson woke he broke the bowstrings and got away.
Then she begged and pleaded again. So this time he told her that if they used new ropes it would work. So when he went to sleep Delilah tied him up with new ropes. She called the Philistines again but he broke the ropes and got away again.
But a third time she begged and pleaded for Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. This time he told her that if they wove his hair into cloth on the loom he wouldn’t be able to get away. So she did it again! While he slept, she quietly wove his hair into a loom. He must have been some heavy sleeper! But when she called the Philistines, Samson broke free once again.
Now I don’t know about you, but if someone had used against me everything I said would work, I would never tell them what would really work! I wouldn’t trust that person at all!! But Delilah finally convinced Samson to tell her the truth. He told her that the symbol of his special vow to the Lord was that his hair had never been cut, so if it was cut the vow would be broken and he would lose his strength. This time as he slept she shaved his head. When the Philistines came this time, Samson could not defeat them and they bound him and blinded him.
Now I know that may not seem fair. He didn’t choose to cut his hair. But Samson had been sinning against God and this was the final straw. God finally made Samson deal with the consequences of his own sin. If Samson had really been following God in the first place, he wouldn’t have been hanging out with a lying person like Delilah. God used Samson’s strength to protect His people, but Samson stopped following God, so God took his strength. It wasn’t really about his hair, but about his sin. We need to use our gifts to serve God, not ourselves, or He may have to take our gifts to teach us a lesson too.
Have your kids act out the different ways they tried to bind Samson. Ask them if Samson should have trusted Delilah with his secret. Talk about good friends and bad ones and how they can lead us astray.