76 - A Son Named Samson
March 17 - Nº 76 Judges 13
Because of their sin, God allowed the nation of Israel to suffer for 40 years under the cruel Philistine regime. Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to the wife of an Israelite man named Manoah. The angel announced that, although this woman had not been able to have any children, she would soon become pregnant. He explained that her child would be very special. He would be the one God would use to deliver the Israelite nation from the Philistines. To fulfill this special role, the woman had to vow not to drink any wine or eat any foods that had been prohibited by the laws given to Moses until she had delivered the baby. She had to promise to raise her son according to these laws, too. In addition, he was not allowed to have his hair cut. This was called a ‘Nazirite vow.’ (The details of this vow are given in Numbers 6:1-21.) Manoah’s wife told her husband everything that had happened. She described the person who had spoken to her as “a man of God who looked like an awesome angel.” Of course, Manoah wanted to speak to the messenger himself. He begged God to send the man again to explain exactly how they were to raise their son. God granted his request. Once again, the angel showed up while Manoah’s wife was in the field working. She immediately ran to get her husband. Manoah asked, “Are you the man who told my wife we are going to have a son?” “I am,” the angel replied. “Could you please explain the rules again about how we are to raise him?” Manoah requested. “And what kind of work is he going to do?” The angel restated the rules of the Nazirite vow but offered no further explanation. That is all they needed to know. Then Manoah invited him for dinner. The angel explained that he could stay, but he would not eat the food. Instead, Manoah should offer it as a burnt offering to the Lord. Manoah followed his suggestion. As he prepared the offering, Manoah asked the messenger, “What is your name?” The angel replied, “It is too wonderful for comprehension.” Manoah and his wife still had no idea who their visitor was. Manoah sacrificed a young goat and some grain on a rock that he used as an altar. As the fire began to blaze up from the altar, the angel suddenly ascended in the flame to heaven! Manoah was startled. He realized that the man he had been speaking to was not an ordinary person. It was the “Angel of the Lord.” It was Jesus himself! Manoah was frightened. “We have just seen God!” he exclaimed. “We are going to die!” Manoah’s wife calmed him down. “Why would God tell us we are going to have a son and then accept our offering if He planned to kill us?” she reasoned. Manoah’s wife followed all the instructions she had been given. And just as the angel of the Lord had promised, they had a son. They named him Samson. He grew up, as an only child in a godly family. God blessed him and the Holy Spirit began to teach him.
Do you realize that God has a special purpose for your life? Before you were born, He had amazing things planned for you to do. But to accomplish them, you must be willing to live by the standards He has provided in His Word.