Judges 13 Commentary

Judges 13 Commentary


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. This statement here and in several other places in this book gives us an impression that Israel had a see-saw relationship with the LORD. We can doubt this view. Israel’s faith appears to have been on a constant decline. It is very difficult for us to identify moments of real repentance. This statement may refer to periods when the grace of the LORD expired and Israel was left to exist on her own terms. Freedom from the law of the LORD is actually enslavement.

Samson is born during one of these periods of enslavement and oppression.

Each birth represents a planned orchestration of life by the LORD. But when the LORD moves in and disturbs the production line, and makes changes to the mold, you suspect there is something special coming up.

There are special instructions for this special child. First, for the child; second, for the mother; and eventually, for the father too. His hair should not be cut. The mother shouldn’t drink wine. The father must ensure that these instructions are carried out. The boy would be a nazirite of God according to the nazirite rules of Numbers 6 verses 1 to 21. His dedication to the LORD was from conception, which is why the mother didn’t drink beer as this would pollute the boy inside her womb.

The womb isn’t a container. It is every child’s home for nine months. What happens in that home defines the destiny of the child. You would understand why the angel appeared to the woman and not to the man. Even when the man prayed that the angel comes again, the angel appeared to the woman, again. The man was simply called in. Child-bearing is a woman’s God-given mandate and involves everything life and life-like. We cannot afford to miss this point!

These instructions were first delivered to Manoah’s wife by the angel. When Manoah was told about the angelic message, he prayed as he wanted to know exactly what the instructions were for the life and work of the child. Parents need to have time to seek the face of the LORD over the life and work of their children. All of this even before the child is conceived!

The child was born and named Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him.

So far so good. This is exactly the point. And we know why. The mother’s obedience to the word of the LORD was mission-critical. Her holiness was key. Samson would later confess that no razor had been used on his head. His parents worked to ensure the instructions were followed.

Manoah and his wife are such sweet fellows who have given us a reason to smile. How we needed it! This book has been such a rough ride! They are a godly couple whose example we need to emulate. Like them, we need to seek the face of the LORD for instructions concerning the ‘life and work’ of our children. Like them, we need to ensure that we, ourselves do not eat unclean things – holiness must begin with us. Like them, we need to ensure that our children stick to the rules. They shouldn’t start taking drugs under our roof. Like them, we need to continue providing guidance to our children, explaining to them why they should ‘keep their hair’.

More resources visit http://www.lovingscriture.com

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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