Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 25 Samson


Write on the board “How can we build our spiritual muscles?”
And pass out little cards or Post-It notes for them to answer.

Post Esther 12:27

So how can we build our spiritual muscles? 
Before you answer, hold onto your paper and pen and get ready to add more thoughts. 
We're going to watch a video. 

(Discuss and share thoughts they wrote down and came up with.
Ideas you can mention: keep covenants, obey parents, praying, attending church, reading scriptures, etc.)

Why is it important to become spiritually strong? (avoid temptation, be guided in our decisions by the Holy Ghost, know good from evil)

What helps you feel strong when you're faced with hard choices?
(things that waste time, taking out feelings on a sibling, not wanting to clean a room, not wanting to forgive someone who hurt your feelings)

Today we’re going to be learning about kind of an unusual leader in the scriptures, his story is important and it’s all about strengths and weaknesses.


So the children of Israel were not being righteous, and the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years.

There’s a pattern to be found in the Book of Judges.
(display the diagram or write your own from Lesson 76 in this manual:)

First they sin against God.
Have we seen that before?
Then what happens? They get delivered to some enemy group to take over them and they are suffering.
So they are afflicted by their enemies next.
Then what? They are humbled, they cry unto the Lord for deliverance.
And then finally what?
The Lord raises up judges who deliver them from their enemies.

Last week who did we learn about who delivered them? Who was the judge? (Gideon)
So today we’re going to be learning about a man named Samson.

A man named Manoah and his wife were not able to have kids.
But one day an angel came to her and told her something - (read verse 3)
So she will have a baby! And that baby will be a boy.
What else does the angel say? (read verse 4)
So the angel is wanting to be sure this baby is kept very clean.
But there’s one more thing the angel says - in verse 5, what does it say about a razor? (have someone read it)
The Nazarites had covenanted to separate themselves from the things of the world, and had vowed to not drink alcohol or cut their hair.

And he shall do what for the Israelites? (deliver them)
So this is kind of exciting, right? How do you think his mom felt hearing this?

And in verse 24, what do we see comes to pass? (Samson was born and he was blessed)

In Judges 14, Samson was out and saw a woman that he liked, but what do his parents say is a reason he can’t marry her? (she’s a Philistine, verse 3) This tells you that Samson might be easily tempted perhaps.

Now we’re going to read something that he did and I want you to think of ONE word that describes Samson after we read it. (read verses 5 and 6 and make sure they understand that he killed a lion with his bear hands as easily as if it was a baby goat)

So what words come to mind when you think of Samson? (strong, powerful, protective)

So he’s there with his wife and they have a war of words, and his wife gets upset and his wife cries, and Samson gets really angry, and the Philistines get mad at home, etc.

And in chapter 15 verse 1 he went to go visit his wife but her father said no, he can’t...because guess what?
He thought Samson hated his wife , so he gave his daughter (his wife) to another man!
He wants Samson to take her sister as a wife instead.
It says in verse 5 that he burns the corn of the Philistines.
Do you think corn was pretty important to them?
The Philistines asked what in verse 6? (who hath done this)
They found out it was Samson and got very upset! They actually kill his wife and her dad!

Goodness gracious, can we see the consequences of Samson’s anger and behavior and how it affects those around him?

So what next, well men of Judah told Samson in verse 11 “Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us?”
And what does Samson say? Well, they did something bad to me and I did something bad to them.

It says in verse 12 that they’re there to basically take him against his will and give him to the Philistines.
Samson’s war with the Philistines is hurting everyone even more.
They promise not to kill him but they do bind him.
He was brought to the Philistines and it says in verse 14 that “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him” and he busted out of those bindings!

In verse 15 what happened? (slew a thousand men with a jawbone of a donkey)

And let’s cut to verse 20...he was a judge later!

Here’s another example of his strength - he went into an area called Gaza and the Gazites knew he was there.
Samson stayed overnight there and they conspired and waited for him all night in the gate of the city.
What did they say in verse 2 (chapter 16)? They said “in the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.”

Hmm, well let’s check out verse 3.
He woke up, took the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts and took off with them!
Put them on his shoulders and probably just casually walked away to the top of a hill like it was just no problem at all to do something so amazing, wow!

So let’s see what happens next.
Well, it says in verse 4 that he loved a woman named Delilah.
The Philistines knew this and went to her and said in verse 5 “entice him and see wherein his great strength lieth” so that they could find out where his weakness was.
They offered her 1100 pieces of silver, wow, he must have been very valuable to them.

Delilah goes to him and in verse 6 asks him that question directly!
What does he say? (verse 7)
So in verse 8 they provide her with those withs and she bound him!
Men were waiting in there, hiding, and she tells him that they’re there!
He breaks those withs!
And in verse 9 it says “So his strength was not known” - wow!
She tells him that he’s mocked her and lied to her, because remember he said that was his weakness and yet clearly he could breakthrough those.
So he tells her a different answer in verse 11 - that they need to be new ropes.
So she gets new ropes and bound him and again the Philistines were there to get him.
But again he broke those.

She is pretty upset now, right? She said he mocked her again and lied to her!
So then he says to weave seven locks of hair from his head.
She did that, again the Philistines were there, and again he got out!
What does she say in verse 15?
And it says in verse 16 that daily she tempted him to show that he loved her.
And guess what secret about himself he told her? The one weakness he has!
What is he not supposed to have cut? (read verse 17)

So Delilah unfortunately betrays him and tells the Philistines!
She got him to fall asleep and had another man cut off some of Samson’s hair.
He woke up, thinking he was as powerful as ever.
But he was taken by the Philistines.
They take him to Gaza and put him in prison, and they’ve beaten him and he’s blind now.
The Philistines are all rejoicing because they’ve captured him.
They want to have a celebration and make him do things to entertain them.
He tells one of the prison guards that he wants to feel the pillars - he wants to lean on them.
I think he might have something planned.
Well, underneath this big structure is a lot of people - remember they want to have Samson entertain him.

Samson did what in verse 28? (read the verse)
He’s asking for the Lord’s help.

Is he asking for a good reason or for a bad reason? (vengeance)
He takes the two pillars and it says with all his might he caused those pillars to collapse and break and the structure collapsed etc. and everyone was killed there because of that.
He also died, and he was buried with his family too.
So while Samson did indeed deliver the Israelites from the Philistines, did he lead them to a greater spiritual level? Did he inspire them?


The strength that Samson had came from the Lord.
He blessed Samson with physical strength.
His strength was not in his hair - but it was a sign of his covenant with the Lord.
When he broke that covenant by sinning, his physical strength was taken away.

Which type of strength is most important? (spiritual)
Being physically strong is important, but much more so is spiritual strength.
There are many who can’t be physically strong - disabilities, health reasons, etc.
But can everyone be spiritually strong making commandments and keeping covenants?
One of the biggest consequences of being spiritually weak is losing the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

(this could also make a great opening activity)

Object Lesson Activity - Soda Can Strength

Show your children an empty pop can, place it on the floor, and put your foot on it and balance your weight over it while holding onto the back of a chair. Let your children step on it and try to balance their weight on it also. Comment on how strong the can is.

Tell the children that Samson didn't always do what he was supposed to do. He did a bad thing when he wanted to please Delilah more than God. When we break our promises with Heavenly Father like Samson did it is like putting a dent in this can. (Place a dent in the can.) Now what do you think will happen if I try to step on this can? (Show your children how the can cannot hold your weight any longer.)

This is what sin does to our lives, and what it did to Samson's life. But remember, when we ask God to forgive us, he takes away our sins and it is like we have no more dents. (Show your children a new can.) God makes us strong again. (Let your children try the demonstration on other cans.)


Have a big caricature of a man (in modest clothing!) on the board with his arms out flexing.
Make the arms extra long.
Have something ready to add onto his arms to give them muscle, maybe cotton balls? Tiny balloons? Make sure you have enough for all the questions below.
Have everyone take turns coming up and answering questions (see below) and they then pin/tape/attach a muscle to his arms. By the end the guy on the board should have a lot of muscles!

Questions to ask:

  1. What’s a strength admire about yourself? (ask this of all the kids so this can be one whole “round” of questions)
  2. What’s something you wish you were stronger in? (ask this of all the kids so this can be one whole “round” of questions)
  3. How does learning about prophets in the Old Testament help strengthen you spiritually?
  4. How does prayer strengthen you spiritually?
  5. What do you like about Sharing Time that helps you feel spiritually strong?
  6. When you’ve been to the temple grounds or seen the temple, how do you feel?
  7. Samson had a covenant with the Lord but didn’t keep it. When have you made covenants? (baptism)
  8. Do you know when in the future you can make covenants? (when you go through the temple etc)


Prepare a review activity or game for the prophets so far in the Old Testament.
Ask how each were spiritually strong.
If you haven’t already, create a row of papers on your classroom wall (meant to stay up all year) that’s like a timeline of the prophets you’ve studied so far.
Have pre-prepared a brief summary of what you learned about him and what he did to remind them.

Go through them one by one:
  1. Adam - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do? 
  2. Enoch - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  3. Noah - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  4. Abraham - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  5. Isaac - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  6. Jacob - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  7. Joseph - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  8. Moses - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  9. Joshua - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?
  10. Gideon - how was he spiritually strong? What did he do?

As you admire the very strong man on the board with all of his muscles, talk about what you’ve learned from Samson’s example of physical strength and yet how he was spiritually weak.


Someone working on their physical muscles needs to work on their goals and their strength on a regular basis. They need to stick with it and remember their goals.

Similarly, building spiritual strength takes continual effort and consistent work!

This week, think about how you can be spiritually stronger and what makes you feel strong and what makes you feel weaker and how you can overcome those temptations that don’t strengthen your testimony and your spirit!

Take home ideas:

Scooby Doo bone-shaped crackers with a note about spiritual strength, maybe something like “I can think of ways to be spiritually STRONG this week”

Include Esther 12:27