Walking God’s Path
The Birth of Samson
13 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
6 Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death. ’”
When I hear the phrase, “again the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord,” for some reason I think of Elmer P. Fudd saying, “that cwazy wabbit!” Those cwazy Iswaelites! Albert Einstein is attributed as saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
It is insane to continue to do anything so reckless as to go against God’s laws and His precepts. Yet, this theme continues throughout the Old Testament. The Israelites had been under the rule of the Philistines for 40 years, which is generally the time period for correction in the Old Testament.
Our lesson begins with a childless couple receiving God’s blessing upon them. Childlessness was considered a curse, but the curse was reversed when a child named Samson was born. Anytime God blesses a childless couple in the Bible, something big is about to happen, for the curse has been lifted and salvation is on the way.
What do we know about Samson’s mother from reading the scripture?
1. Not named
3. Somewhat of an outcast because society deemed childlessness as a curse
During my studies over the last months, it has occurred to me repeatedly that the first result of salvation is transformation, and the second is restoration of relationships. This woman was transformed from a pariah into a member of society. Her relationships began to change. Certainly her relationship to God grew stronger as she committed to live her life in a certain way and to raise Samson according to what God required. Her relationship to her husband changed as she delivered the message the angel had given her, and her relationship with the other women changed as she was no longer scorned for being childless.
Have you found yourself transformed by the call God has placed upon your life? You haven’t been called? If you have no calling, why did God endow you with certain gifts to help build up the body? If you haven’t been called, who will go and tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ as only you can? If you haven’t been called, who will care for the sick and the underprivileged as only you can.
We are each called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. The calling is clear, the answer is clear: Here am I Lord, send me.
PRAYER: May we each understand that discipleship carries with it the responsibility to share the grace we have been given with others. Amen