If you want the teachers page then please click on the image for the pdf.
Today’s heroes are Manoah and his wife because they show us the gift of an encounter
Essential Teachers notes:
This is a lovely story about God speaking in the silence, a parallel to the nativity story in so many ways. It lends itself well to me a narration over a mime (needing only 3 characters) the character of Samson doesn’t appear, but the promise of him coming and the speculation of what he will do is a lovely cliffhanger to draw the children back to the next session.
Main Passage : Judges 13
Have you every felt forgotten?
God’s people felt forgotten. The philistines kept attacking them. God had been quiet for 40 years.
Before God would send judges, do you know what a judge is? (leave space for answers) A judge would settle arguments just like today’s judges in courts, they would help make the rules too, the judges would lead the people. There were no judges when this story starts, but God doesn’t forget people.
I wonder if you know any other time in the bible when God seems to be quiet? (leave space for answers?)
Often when God seems to be quiet he then sends somebody really powerful, and that’s what’s going to happen in this story, but lets start at the beginning.
There was a man called Manoah, he was married and we don’t know his wife’s name but we know she couldn’t have children. There was nothing special about Manoah and his wife, they were just two more people in the great people of God. Until Manoah’s wife met a man, there was something different about this man, he was awesome, and he had a message…
(why not have a different voice read the message below)
“You are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or eat anything you shouldn’t. You will have a son whose hair should never be cut razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from before he was born. He will keep Israel safe from the Philistines.”
Wow, I wonder how Manoah’s wife felt? (leave space for answers) She went and told her husband. Manoah wanted more instructions, not cutting the boys hair was a very small amount of information, was there something else they should do? So Manoah prayed that God would send the man again, to give them some more instructions.
One day Manoah’s wife came running in from the field saying the man was there again. Manoah was so excited he ran out to meet the man. The man told them the same things again about cutting the child’s hair and what Manoah’s wife should eat and drink when she was pregnant.
Manoah had lots of questions. I wonder what happens when you have lots of questions, do you talk for a long time? Manoah and the man did. Manoah even offered the man some food. can you guess what they were going to eat that day? they were going to eat a goat!
The man didn’t want any food, he had a better idea. He suggested Manoah used the goat to make an offering to God. Back when Manoah lived people used to burn meat on big stones as offerings to God. So Manoah got the things ready and made an offering to God.
Then something amazing happened, the man walked into the flames, and as the flames rose to heaven the man floated up too. That man was an angel, that man was an angel of the Lord God. Manoah and his wife fell to the ground and bowed down. They did give birth to a special son, but that’s the next story!
Today’s heroes are Manoah and his wife because they show us the gift of an encounter.