“’You will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.’” Judges 13:5
Do you know the name of the person to whom the above scripture is referring? Keep reading.
During this time in history, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Philistines. Of course God had caused this suffering to be placed on them due to their disobedience and rebellion toward him. This was just one time out of many that the Israelites had to endure oppression from another nation because that was the only way God could get their attention and draw them back to him. Does this sound familiar?
Do we as individuals or as a country have to be reminded of our rebellion? Let’s continue with today’s lesson.
A man named Manoah from the clan of the Danites had a wife who was sterile and had no children. An angel appeared to her and told her that she was sterile and childless. This was the angel’s way of letting her know that she was not talking to an average Joe off the street. He told her that she would conceive and give birth to a son who would initiate Israel’s deliverance from the Philistines. She was instructed not to drink wine or other fermented drink and not to eat anything unclean because her son would be set apart to God from birth until his death. He would be a Nazirite.
A Nazirite was someone who was set apart for God’s service either on a temporary basis or for life. He was not to cut his hair, drink anything that contained alcohol, or touch an unclean body.
Have you guessed the name of the child in this story yet? Keep reading.
The woman went and told Manoah what the man had told her. She stated that the man looked like an angel and he was “’very awesome.’”
Manoah prayed and asked God to send the man again so he could teach them how to raise their son.
So one day while Manoah’s wife was in the field, the angel appeared to her. She ran and got her husband. Manoah spoke to the angel and confirmed what his wife had told him.
Manoah invited the angel to stay so they could prepare a young goat for him to eat. It was obvious that he still did not realize that he was speaking to the angel of the Lord. The angel agreed to stay, but not to eat. Instead he suggested that Manoah prepare a burnt offering as a sacrifice to the Lord.
Manoah asked the angel his name so that whenever the story that was foretold came to pass, they could honor him. The angel’s reply was “’why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.’”
Manoah not only prepared a young goat, but he prepared a grain offering. The offerings were placed on a rock. As the flame from the fire started blazing toward heaven, the angel ascended in the blaze.
Witnessing this, Manoah realized that this being was the angel of the Lord and said to his wife, “’We are doomed to die! We have seen God!’”
Manoah’s wife replied in faith, “’If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.’”
Is it just me or does it seem like to you that Manoah had faith, but his wife had greater faith?
Who is this child? I don’t think I will tell you this week, but I will give you one more hint. He became a judge. Don’t cheat and look it up in the Bible or ask anyone. We will continue next week looking at the life of this Nazirite.