(Today’s post by Tim David)
I like to think if I heard an audible voice from heaven I would jump up and move. I mean, Abraham in Hebrews was heralded for his “faith,” but he saw angels and heard God’s voice. What kind of faith is that? He saw and heard…believed…and that was his faith – anyone would believe, right??? Then, there are others, like Gideon, where the message was too fantastic for belief. I like to think, I would be like the shepherds who saw the angels at Christ’s birth, then believing, acted on what they were told to do…without hesitation. If any of you have ever seen a fainting goat fall over…I think that would be more my reaction to any of those scenarios. (Those of you who have never had the joy of seeing fainting goats do their thing..see video below.)
I think it’s completely wrong that culture probably effected us not knowing Samson’s mother’s name. Props to her though…she was barren, recognized the angel of the Lord, listened to what he told her, and believed it enough to tell it to Manoah (her husband). So, why is this message so hard to believe –
- The message is coming from a man of God – say what???? He is “very awesome.” Again, I reference the fainting goat.
- You will become prego…she is barren. It is a well known fact she CAN’T HAVE CHILDREN. Yet, she is told she is going to have a son…very important cultural and spiritual point. Manoah would have an heir to carry on his name. The first born son would take care of his parents when they got older. The son would have his place in their cultural/spiritual/governing body – being able to represent the family in legal and spiritual matters.
- He is going to be a Nazirite. This vow is normally something a guy chooses and takes on as a vow. There are only two known guys to be declared a Nazirite from birth and they are both pretty notable – Samson and John the Baptist. This was a life of sacrifice, not something that was entered into flippantly – think about Numbers 12 and vows.
- “He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” This means that after 40 years there is a promise (a concrete knowledge, not a hope) that they will get out from under the hands of the Philistines and her son was going to do it.
So in one lesson from an angle of the Lord, this woman goes from low, barren woman on the social tree to having a son who is going to be a Nazirite his whole life and will lead Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. Pretty cool…huh??? Then she tells Manoah who immediately reacts the way any of us would…he needs confirmation from God that she hasn’t lost it. I love verse 8, “Pardon your servant, Lord…” Let’s just take a minute and recognize God for not hanging the woman out to dry here, and his Man reappears. This wasn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last when God’s going to have to confirm His message to the hard-headed husband.
I could keep going on here, but after (and only after) God confirms what his wife told him did Manoah get it. I can’t blame Manoah for thinking he was going to die…I don’t think I would have believed all of that either. Now I wonder what have I been told, that I don’t believe?
Maybe it didn’t come from an angel…but what am I questioning that I should just believe?
What promise for the future would take place, if I could just get over my incomprehension?
One fact that I’ve come to understand through my extended valley experience, I don’t need to know the “why” to believe.