Battleground Earth 18: Samson 2 - David Mitts
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. (Jdg 13:6)
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We began last week to look at the judge Samson. Samson was born of a divine encounter with his mother who was a barren woman.
"There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. Then the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. "Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. "For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines."" Jdg13:2-5 (NASB)
I want to think about what is happening here in terms of justice in unjust times, where oppression is being embodied by the Philistines. First, let’s look at the perspective of Samson’s mother.
She has been barren her entire reproductive life. I think it may be difficult in our time where abortion is the law of the Land to grasp the pain and hopelessness of being a barren woman. Samson’s mother has no job to go to. She has no career to give her fulfillment. She, like most women of her day, wants to be a mother in Israel. She wants to hold her child, look into his or her eyes, and nurture her child. She wants to share this joy with her husband Manoah who likewise would want the child to learn from him how to work the fields or if a girl, to prepare herself in her turn to be a mother in Israel and all that would entail.
Into this hopeless situation, inside Manoah and his wife’s lives, the Angel of the Lord appears. We don’t know if the barrenness is rooted in Manoah or in the barren mother. All we know is the Word of the Lord comes and transforms hopelessness into hope.
The barrenness is a parallel to how we are in the world before God sends His word into us and we go from hopelessness to hope.
"remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." Eph 2:12 (NASB)
Similar to Manoah and his wife, we were without the capacity to have a life that had meaning and could fulfill the true promise of our existence.
The word spoken by the angel is the Gospel. It is the power of salvation.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Rom 1:16 (NASB)
The Word spoken brings hope and possibility instead of death and hopelessness. Manoah’s wife, Samson’s mother receives this hope into her heart as a new possibility for living. But, and this is an important “but” she also receives a purpose from the Word, a powerful and dreadful purpose. God isn’t giving her a child. God is birthing a deliverer!
This may seem to us, a great privilege! Yet think from the mother’s perspective. When a mother births a child she certainly wants him or her to achieve greatness. But, they want to be the one who raises that greatness. Samson is declared to be Israel’s deliverer. All the mom can do is avoid wine and unclean foods during the pregnancy. The child has his own destiny, and it is a national destiny. So, for her, he is not hers but God’s child. The only guidance she is given is to not let a razor cut his hair. He is to be a Nazirite, a holy one of God.
In this sense, we can see a parallel to Both Hannah, the mother of Samuel and Miriam, the mother of Yeshua. It is a strange thing to be chosen to bear a child of God who belongs fully to God. I know we all are children of God but for our mothers and fathers they see us as an extension of them. Not so for these consecrated children from birth.
This opens another issue. Aren’t we also consecrated from birth through the new birth? Don’t we say that we are not our own? In this way, we serve as both our own natural vessel, that carries our natural seed but also when we become born again, we are born into a new vessel with a new destiny. Our “mother” in this case is the world. Our natural “father” is the one who gives the world its seed, the father of darkness and hopelessness.
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (Joh 8:42-44)
The world has plans for us. It wants to conform us into its own image and likeness. God, loves us so much that He sent His Son to save us. We know this and we know that we are saved from the world. What we don’t know is what we are saved for. Like Samson, we are a Nazirite, a holy one saved for a divine purpose, perhaps to be the agent of deliverance for such a time as this.
Manoah’s wife comes to her husband and shares the breakthrough!
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. "But he said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'"(Judges 13:6-7)
First thing to notice is she leaves off what will become the source of Samson’s anointing, the no razor shall come upon his head. Why is that? There must have been a trust issue between them, and the mom felt to protect the gifting upon her son. The other thing to notice is that she adds “to the day of his death”. There is no such statement from the angel, but she already in her heart has released Samson, even before his birth to his death. This reminds me of 2 things: the anointing needs to be protected.
"Do not touch My anointed ones and do My prophets no harm." Psalm 105:15(NASB)
The word translated “touch” is the Hebrew word “naga” and it means to strike or injure in some way. Samson’s mother is already prepared to protect the anointing. She knows somehow that there is a vulnerability in her coming son’s heart to the uncovering by a woman and seeks to cover him, even from her husband.
The “day of his death” tells us that she realizes that he will be totally dead to her. This is the secret of the new birth as well. We are in the world but dead to its system.
"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Rom 6:11 (NASB)
Next Manoah entreats the Lord:
"Then Manoah entreated the LORD and said, "O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born." God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her. So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, "Behold, the man who came the other day has appeared to me." Then Manoah arose and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he said to him, "Are you the man who spoke to the woman?" And he said, "I am." Manoah said, "Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy's mode of life and his vocation?" So the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Let the woman pay attention to all that I said. "She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded."" Jdg 13:8-14 (NASB)
Manoah asks what the vocation or purpose of this incarnation of divine purpose will live? Each of us has a divine purpose and destiny that is encoded into our recreated spirit. Purpose and destiny shape us and draw us. God has purposed Samson as a deliverer but He has also encoded him with a unique spirit that is anointed for a demonstration of God’s love and faithfulness to His beloved people.
We and most people tend to judge by the failures of leaders. God looks a different way. He sees the holy purpose of the demonstration of His goodness in each unique recreated child of God.
Activation: Why were you born again? I don’t mean the get of hell card, or even the forgiven for sin card. I mean the why? You died to the world as your mother and the devil as your father. You have been recreated for a purpose and a destiny. Ask the Lord to examine your heart with you and reveal the twisted way but also the redeemed way. A key is your desires. Next week we will look at Samson’s desires and hopefully find out who he is in God’s destiny.
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