Whatchoo Talkin ’bout, Willis?

(Today’s post by Tim David)

Judges 13

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 –

  1. The message is coming from a man of God – say what???? He is “very awesome.” Again, I reference the fainting goat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. “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.

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  • Brad Bacon

    Great post, I am really enjoying this study gents. This theme is nearly as common in Judges as it is in MY own life! Trusting God, letting him work through me with the faith of a child. Lord help me to trust you and get over my incomprehension.

  • Brice Hope

    Let’s face it, pretty much all of life is lived on faith. I have faith the lights will come on when I flip the light switch. I have faith my car will start each morning. I have faith that when I close my eyes to go to sleep, I will wake up the next morning. But the things that require the greatest amounts of faith are new and unexplored territories in our life.

    For me, one of my big fears is that I will not fulfill the expectations or plans that God has for me. I fear that I will become too wrapped up in living normal day-to-day life that I miss something big God may be calling me to. But then again, maybe God is calling me to live out a Christ centered life day-to-day. Be a testament to others that can can work through the ordinary to do something extra-ordinary. I don’t know what the future holds for me, I just know that God has called me to be faithful with what he has given me today. I don’t need to know the details of tomorrow, just the reassurance that Christ will use me today.

    • I can totally relate, Brice.

      Sometimes I get so mission-driven..because the mission seems huge and impossible, that I can forget that the disciples I’m rearing at home are my direct lineage. I don’t want to see the next generation of Bailey’s turn from the Lord due to poor leadership at home. I don’t want to replay the book of Judges.

      Anyway..a little rambling here to say..I sometimes see things as grandiose plans from God that seem big and impossible..and then others as mundane and ordinary. But making disciples (at home or anywhere else) is FAR from mundane and ordinary..it IS life for someone..and that is a huge and impossible task that God must complete..

      I’m humbled to be a part of the process..

      • Brice Hope

        I agree 100% about leading your family and kids. Reading through Judges, Kings and Chronicles it surprising to see how many times faith was not passed down from one generation to the next. That’s the last thing I want to happen with my family as well.

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