Thursday, April 5, 2012


I've still been following my Bible reading plan, and I'm a little more than 25% through - currently I'm in the book of Judges.

There is a very interesting story in Judges 13. It's about a man named Manoah and his wife, who is barren. But an angel appears to his wife and tells her that she will conceive and bear a son and that she should avoid strong drink while pregnant and that no razor shall come upon his head. She runs to tell her husband this joyous news, and Manoah asks the Lord to speak to the angel to ask more questions. The Lord sends the same angel a second time - but the angel appears to his wife instead of Manoah himself. But his wife runs to get Manoah, and then Manoah asks the angel for more information about what this son should do for a living. The angel provides no new information other than what he already stated to the wife. Manoah offers to serve a meal to the angel, but the angel says to give an offering to the Lord instead. When they give the burnt offering, the angel ascends to heaven through the flame, which frightens Manoah, who responds with fear that the Lord must want to kill them. But the wife reassures her husband that the Lord would not want to kill them if he went to the trouble of sending His angel to tell of their future child. The wife then conceives and bears a son, Samson.

I find several things interesting about this story:
  • The wife's name is never revealed to the reader. Because her name is never mentioned, it implies that this woman is insignificant, but she clearly is important because the angel always appeared to her instead of Manoah himself.
  • Manoah wasn't satisfied with the prophecy the angel told to his wife. It was as if he needed to hear the words directly from the angel to believe it. But even then Manoah asked for more instruction about what occupation the son should do for a living.
  • Manoah wanted to give all the credit to the angel instead of the Lord. Thankfully the angel spoke with wisdom and redirected the credit back to the One most deserving.
  • Manoah became afraid of the Lord when the angel disappeared, believing that the Lord would surely kill them. He did not exhibit much trust in his reactions to all of these strange and miraculous events. It was his nameless wife who had the confidence and assurance of hope in the Lord in believing the Lord's promise of a child.

Sometimes when I pray, I'll think that I hear the Lord speak to me. Not out loud, but in my head. It hasn't happened often in my life, but when it does it always makes me stop, become silent in my thoughts, and then I question if I was just making it up or if God really spoke to me. Or maybe it was Satan trying to throw me off? There was one month while praying that I heard the Lord tell me that I will have a child. This was about 5 months ago. I admit I got my hopes up during that month's cycle, and then felt embarrassed and disappointed that I was not pregnant that month. But does that mean that I should doubt what I heard? Does that mean that it wasn't the Lord who spoke to me? I guess I feel convicted about Manoah's response to the prophecy of the angel - doubting what the angel said. I have since doubted if it was really the Lord, or if it was, why would the Lord tell me that and not deliver what he said?

God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. When I pray about this doubt I feel, a sense of peace overcomes me and I feel confident in the Lord's provision. I think God uses these moments of an uncertain future to test our faith in Him. Well, I DO believe that He will provide me with a child someday. It may not be in the way that I first thought He meant it, but I believe He will be true to His word. This story in Judges 13 reminded me to think more like the nameless wife in confidence and unshakeable hope. It reminded me that I am not insignificant to the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the encouragement today, Christine. Miss you!