A woman walked to the rock she chose for daily quiet time.
Suddenly a man appeared. His face was almost glowing. “You are about to conceive and give birth to a son even though you have been barren. Make sure you don’t drink anything from the vine or eat anything unclean. Never use a razor on his head. He shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb. He will begin to deliver My people from the Philistines.”
The woman ran home. She found Manoah and got his attention. “I met a man today. He must have been sent from God because his face was like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
Manoah sat in a chair. “What’s his name? Where is he from?”
“I…I don’t know. I didn’t ask and he didn’t say. He told me to stay away from alcohol and unclean things because I’m going to give birth to a son who will be used by God to deliver us from the Philistines.”
Manoah fell to his knees. “Dear LORD, please send that man back to tell us more about our son.”
A few days later the woman was on her stone again when the man appeared. She ran to tell her husband. She found him repairing a tool. “He’s back!”
Manoah stared at her. “Who?”
“The man from God.”
Manoah crossed the room. “Take me to him.”
She led him to the field. The man was still near the rock.
Manoah was panting as he leaned on the rock. “Are you the man who talked to my wife a few days ago?”
Manoah stared into the man’s eyes. “What are we to teach our son? What will he do with his life?”
“Don’t let your wife drink wine or even eat grapes. Don’t allow her to eat anything unclean.”
Manoah swallowed. “Please let us prepare you a meal. I have a young goat.”
“I will not eat a meal, but you can offer it as a sacrifice on this rock.”
Manoah stood, then stopped. “What is your name so we can honor you when our son is born?”
The man shook his head. “My name is too wonderful for you to know.”
Manoah and his wife walked back to the house. “Grind some barley while I get some wood and the goat.”
They returned to the rock where the man was still waiting. The wood was arranged on the rock. The goat’s throat was slit before it was placed on the wood. The flour was thrown on the fire.
Manoah stood next to his wife to see the expression of the man. The heat from the flame shook the man’s appearance. He rose with the smoke into the sky as he disappeared.
Manoah fell to his knees. “We have seen God. We’re about to die.”
His wife knelt next to him. “If we were going to die He wouldn’t have accepted our offering. Besides, we have a son to make now.”
Manoah smiled as he led his wife back home.
Manoah is so like me. God tells him he’s going to be used for a purpose and the man wants to know the details.
Did you catch that?
Manoah asked God to come back after the news is delivered that they were going to have news to deliver about a son. This guy wants to know what they’re supposed to teach this kid and what his occupation is going to be.
God is as God always is. He doesn’t deviate from what He said earlier. “Don’t let your wife drink any alcohol or eat anything unclean because this boy is special.”
Wayne Stiles has a great quote from his book, Waiting on God. “We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust Him.”
If we knew most of the details about our future we’d do our best to change them.
God is shaping us into the instrument He needs by what we endure. Pain is often included in the process. We want to avoid pain at all cost.
Let God be God. Don’t try to tell Him what to do and when to do it. You’re just setting yourself up for frustration when you do that.
Manoah was so out of touch with his spiritual life with God that he had no clue he was talking to God, in the form of Jesus (yeah, it’s complicated), until God disappeared with the smoke.
Are you on speaking terms with God? That’s what prayer is.
Do you recognize God when He shows up? He’s everywhere you know.
Is God your heavenly Father? Jesus died to make that a reality.
Our spiritual life is much different from what Manoah and his wife experienced because of what Jesus did on the cross. Take Jesus’s gift of eternal life now so God is real in your life.
I wondered why God didn’t tell Manoah His name here. Then I realized the man was probably planning on naming the boy after this guy he was talking to.
If that would have happened we wouldn’t be telling the stories of Samson, but I Am.
The book of Judges records a pathetic period of Israel’s history. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
I hope that quote caught your attention. That’s not from today’s newspaper or internet news service feed, but it could be.
We have enemies attacking us now just like Israel did back then. God used judges to rescue them then.
We have the Judge coming to rescue us soon.
Jesus’s second coming isn’t spoken about as much as it should be.
When He does come there will be no doubt who He is. His judgement will be final.
The enemy will be bound and Jesus will sit on His throne.
Those of us who accept Jesus’s death as the death we deserved will be with Him as He reigns.
If you’re reading this it isn’t too late for you.
Become God’s child today.
I’ll see you later. Wade