Samson and the Lion
Judges 13 to Judges 14:6
THE CHILDREN OF Israel made many other conquests after the fall of Jericho. On one occasion God caused both the sun and the moon to stand still in the heavens, that the day might be long enough for them to complete the defeat of their enemies.
At length they had possession of almost the whole land of Canaan, and they divided it
by lot among their twelve tribes, the descendants of Israel's twelve sons. Then God gave them rest from the attacks of their enemies round about them; and for a while they served Him faithfully.
But after the death of Joshua, and those who had come with him into the promised land,
the people began to forget God, and to worship false gods. So, to punish them, God allowed their enemies to distress them on every hand.
Samson tears a lion to pieces with his bare hands.
Yet, from time to time, He took pity upon them, and gave them rulers, called judges, under whom they were victorious in war. But, as soon as the judge was dead, they returned to their evil ways; and then God again let them fall under the power of their enemies.
The Philistines were the most powerful of nations that oppressed the Israelites; and to help them against these, God gave to them a judge named Samson.
Before he was born, an angel appeared to his mother and told her that her son should begin the deliverance of the people from the Philistines. She did not know it was really an angel, but told her husband that a man, who looked like an angel of God, had said these things to her.
Then Manoah, her husband, prayed to God that the man might come again, and tell them how they should bring up their child. So God sent the angel again, and they still thought he was a man.
But when they began to dress food for him, the angel bade them offer it to God as a burnt-offering; and when they did so, he went up, as it were, to heaven, in the flame that rose from the altar. Then they knew it was God's angel with whom they had been speaking.
When their child was born they called him Samson, and did all that the angel had said they should do with him. And God blessed Samson, and made him the strongest man that ever lived.
One day, when he was going with his father and mother into the country of the Philistines, a lion sprang out roaring against him; and God suddenly gave him such strength that he seized it with his hands and tore it to pieces.
Tomorrow: Samson and the Gates of Gaza
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