Read Judges 13:11-17
M. Philistine Oppression and Samson’s Career. 1. Annunciation and birth of Samson (continued). Manoah had a conversation with the man who turned out to be the angel of the Lord. The angel confirmed the son will be born and the dietary restrictions for the mother. The angel wants Manoah and wife’s young goat to be offered as a sacrifice to God, instead of used as a meal for him. The angel ascended in the altar flame. Samson is born, and the Spirit of Lord began to stir him.
- Manoah’s positives and negatives. Notice in vss. 11-21 that Manoah had some “good” and “not so good” qualities. First, we should give him credit for having an interest in the Lord and his son. He demonstrated a level of confidence in the promised son (vs. 12). He was willing to hear his wife’s council regarding his faulty understanding of seeing God. In like manner, we should be interested in the Lord and our children, especially men (i.e., as the head of households). We should demonstrate our trust in God’s promises by living by them. And we should accept correction from whomever God sends it. Second, Manoah was wrong about seeing the Lord. In like manner, there are times when we will be wrong in our judgments about what is going on. We should quickly repent and get back on the right road. Let’s learn from the positives and negatives of Manoah’s life.
- Prenatal care and young servants of the Lord. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the angle talks about the mother’s dietary restrictions but not directly about the Nazarite issues. First, it is important for mothers to take care of themselves for both their own sake and the sake of the babies. Prenatal care is a sacred duty. Second, all of our children may not be special servants like a Nazarite. But all of our children should be strongly encouraged to accept Jesus as their savior and serve Him with their best. Let’s be mindful of prenatal care and encouraging our young people to serve the Lord as Christians.
- Generous spirit. Notice in vss. 15, 19 that Manoah offered hospitality to the guest and then an offering to the Lord. We would do well to develop a similar spirit of generosity. We should be willing to be kind to people. And we should give to God as He has prospered us (i.e., tithes and offerings). Our church would be so much further along, if we had a more generous spirit towards people and God. Let’s work on having a generous spirit.
- Staying in our lanes. Notice in vs. 16 that the angel did not receive the hospitality but urged the offering to the Lord. The angel stayed in his lane or stayed focused on his duties in this situation. In like manner, we should work on staying in our lanes or staying focused on our duties. Not only should choir members sing and let ushers usher, not only should husbands focus on their duties and let wives focus on theirs, but we should all focus on being the best disciples of Christ that we can be and trust God to handle those things beyond our control. Let’s work on staying in our lanes and trusting God with the rest.
- Reverencing our mysterious God. Notice in vs. 20 that the angel ascended in the flame, and Manoah and his wife fall down with their faces to the ground. First, God works in mysterious ways. We assume that God orchestrated such a spectacle to help nurture the faith of Manoah and his wife. We do know that God knows when we need to see “a little something” to help us with our faith development. Second, Manoah and his wife fall down in what appears to be fearful reverence. It seems as if we are so concerned about people not being “terrified” of God that we tend not “fear” Him either. We should have a healthy amount of fear/reverence for God. Our fear/reverence should trigger not only our humbly bowing in front on Him, but it should also trigger our ongoing obedience to His will. Let’s work on reverencing and obeying God, even when we don’t understand all of His mysterious ways.
- God stirring in our young people. Notice in vs. 25 that the Lord began to stir in young Samson. This clearly means that God was working in the life of Samson as a child, instead of waiting until he became an adult. In like manner, we should do what we can to nurture God’s stirring in our young people, while they are still children. The need for stronger Christian parenting (i.e., the young people’s first church) along with children and youth ministries should be obvious. Let’s work on supporting God’s stirring in our young people. God can do so much in and through our young people, if we would do our parts.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.