What makes someone great? Is it their abilities? Their money? Their good-looks? Or is greatness about who you follow? This is the story of Samson, a guy that only seemed interested in doing whatever he wanted. While God is willing to work with him, in the end God is usually working despite him.  Super strength aside, most of the time, we are a lot like him.

 

Icebreaker

What’s your favorite superhero and why?

 

Scripture Reading

Judges 13-16

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Before we start, can someone catch us up in the story from last week? Where are we in the story of Israel?
    Leader’s Note: Israel conquers the land under Joshua and spread out > neighboring peoples are still  present and seem to oppress Israel > Judges are called  by God to help save Israel whenever they undergo a period of oppression

Read Judges 13:1-5.

  1. How does v. 1 reflect the book of Judges as a whole?
  2. What do you think of God’s actions in these verses? What does it say about God?
    Leader’s Note: What is amazing about Judges isn’t the gore and violence, it is that God keeps showing up despite all of it.
  3. Why do you think this Nazirite vow was something God mandated for Samson?
    Leader’s Note: The Nazirite vow meant (1) abstaining from wine; (2) not cutting one’s hair, and (3) not becoming ritually impure by doing things like touching corpses.
  4. What do you think is the purpose of giving things up for God?

Read Judges 14:1-3;8-9 & 15:1-8.

  1. What sort of person is Samson? What do you think drives his actions in these examples?
  2. How do these stories foreshadow what will happen to him in his encounter with Delilah?
  3. Based on these stories, what do you think the role of a “judge” in Israel is supposed to be? Is Samson fulfilling that role?
    Leader’s Note: A judge is at first just a warrior who is called to help relieve Israel, but gradually hey come to be seen as adjudicators and religious leaders. Either way, they are meant to be godly leaders and Samson tends not to be a good leader.
  4. In many ways, Samson is representative of all of Israel’s relationship to God. In what ways do you find your relationship with God is reflected in Samson’s life?

Read Judges 14:1-3;8-9 & 15:1-8.

  1. Really quick, does everyone know the story of Samson and Delilah? If not, could someone recap it for us?
  2. What do you think of Samson’s final prayer? Does it reflect any changes in his character or perspective on God?
  3. Is Samson a hero, a villain, or something else?
  4. What do you think the moral of Samson’s life that the author of Judges is trying to convey? What should Samson have been like
  5. What is this story saying to us today about who God is?

 

Diving Deeper: Judges

  1. Why do you think God chooses Judges to lead Israel? Why not a king or a priest?
  2. What do you think the role of Judges was supposed to be?
  3. Are there Judges who are exemplary figures? What makes them so?

 

Helpful Resources

The Reunion Team