MLToday: [Judges Chapter Thirteen]: A Visit from an Angel. In this chapter we see that after the people are delivered from the Ammonites by Jephthah they return to idolatry. As a result their land and resources are delivered to a foreign people for 40 years. In time God sends an angel to visit an infertile couple in the tribe of Dan. The result was the birth of Samson. The amazing thing we see here is how God moves in a very personal situation with the couple and as a result the entire nation is delivered. Never under estimate the impact your life can have even in a time of weakness and need.

Today: [Judges Chapter Thirteen]: A Visit from an Angel. In this chapter we see that after the people are delivered from the Ammonites by Jephthah they return to idolatry. As a result their land and resources are delivered to a foreign people for 40 years. In time God sends an angel to visit an infertile couple in the tribe of Dan. The result was the birth of Samson. The amazing thing we see here is how God moves in a very personal situation with the couple and as a result the entire nation is delivered. Never under estimate the impact your life can have even in a time of weakness and need.

[Jdg 13:1-25 KJV] 1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. 2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name [was] Manoah; and his wife [was] barren, and bare not. 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou [art] barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. 4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean [thing]: 5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

The book of Judges is a litany of failure, sin and deliverance. Notice verse one that says that Israel AGAIN did evil in the sight of the Lord. As a result they were delivered into the hands of the Philistines. This is true but what is also true is that God commenced to raise up a deliverer named Samson. Rom. 2:4 tells us that the goodness of God leads men to repentance. God’s goal is that the people repent and return to Him therefore when sin occurs His response is always redemptive. When you fall personally or someone in your life sins – look for the redemptive response.

The people were delivered to the Philistines for forty years. 40 is a number that represents testing, trial and probation.

Moses led the people in the wilderness 40 years.
Jonah warned Ninevah 40 days.
Jerusalem was destroyed 40 years after the crucifixion.
Abraham bargained with God for 40 righteous in Sodom.
The flood in the Noah account was 40 days in length.
The bible was written by 40 authors.

What does the name Philistine mean? The name Philistine means “stranger” or “immigrant”. This has implications for us today. Jesus said in Matthew:

[Mat 13:12 KJV] 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

When a nation rejects God He will deliver that nation to another people. The ancient Israelites had an immigration problem but it according to scripture it was rooted in a seemingly unrelated rejection of biblical values and worship of the one true God. To come out against immigration is to ignore the deeper issue. Our country founded upon godly principles has strayed from its foundation and true to God’s character it is slowly and inexorably being handed over to another people.

In the midst of this an angel visits a barren couple promising them a son. So we have in the chapter a very broad national problem and an issue as intimate as an inability to conceive children. God brings these two situations one national and one personal together in the person of Samson. What we can learn from this is don’t ever think that your personal life doesn’t matter. God can take the most personal situation in your life such as this couple’s infertility and use it to change the course of a nation.

This couple was of the tribe of Dan. Samson was a Danite. Never forget that this is the Old Covenant. The people rebelled against God and were delivered to judgment. God sends a deliverer but in view of the history of Samson we can see that true to his tribal identity he also was a form of judgment against the people. They are constantly looking for a leader shaped in the form of worldly leaders around them. Eventually they will demand a king. Samson was a moral and spiritual failure. We heap scorn on Christian leaders who fail and fall into sin but the widespread nature of this problem has to bring to bear God’s wisdom and discernment. The frequency of scandal in the church is an indicator that God is allowing this to happen in order to call the church back to Himself.

This is true even on the political scene. Bill Clinton is the most popular, and successful president in recent decades. During his administration the national debt that now cripples our economy was completely paid off. Yet Bill Clinton while in office demonstrated himself to be an amoral, sexually addicted narcissist who preyed upon young women and refused to repent even when exposed before the whole world. We can bemoan the fact that this happened but the events themselves are an indicator that God was using this circumstance to call His people to Himself. Instead the church redoubled it’s focus on political aspirations and the country was left open to what happened on 9/11. We can point the finger at all kinds of conspiracy theories about who is responsible for 9/11 but from a biblical standpoint much responsibility lies on the shoulders of a prayerless church that exchanged spiritual power for vain political aspirations which have even yet to be abandoned.

6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance [was] like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he [was], neither told he me his name: 7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean [thing]: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. 8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. 9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband [was] not with her. 10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the [other] day. 11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, [Art] thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I [am]. 12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and [how] shall we do unto him? 13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. 14 She may not eat of any [thing] that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean [thing]: all that I commanded her let her observe.

What is a Nazirite? A nazirite is one who is especially dedicated to God usually from birth. The word nazirite means “separated”. From one perspective all of God’s people are called to be nazirites. Consider the words of the apostle Paul:

[2Co 6:14-18 KJV] 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

What does it mean to be separate? Consider the conditions of a nazirite vow:

  1. Abstain from wine. This speaks of not coming under any influence other than the influence of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Don’t cut one’s hair. Hair is a covering and also represents glory. Cutting of the hair would represent fashioning your own image of glory and worship which constitutes idolatry. God is your covering. Glory comes from God and not man.
  3. Don’t touch a dead body. How many of us attend dead churches? How many allow influences into their lives that don’t proceed from the life of God? We are not to be shaped or molded by religious culture or secular culture but by God Himself. Don’t touch or allow yourself to be touched by that which has no life in it.

15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. 16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he [was] an angel of the LORD. 17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What [is] thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? 18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it [is] secret?

When the angel says His name is secret does it mean that we don’t know who He is? The word secret is the Hebrew word “wonderful”. Isa. 9:6 says that the Messiah’s name will be called “wonderful, counselor, mighty God…” So this is no mere angel but rather what theologians call a “theophany”. The word literally means “God-phantom” or a visible manifestation of God for a specific purpose in this instance to herald the birth of Samson.

19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered [it] upon a rock unto the LORD: and [the angel] did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on [it], and fell on their faces to the ground. 21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he [was] an angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. 23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these [things], nor would as at this time have told us [such things] as these. 24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

The entire episode of the angel visiting Manoah and his wife was to bring about the birth of Samson – a man upon whom the Spirit of the Lord moved “at times” or “from time to time…” Samson became a mighty man and did many great things but we have a greater experience of God than he did. Samson only knew the occasional moving of the Spirit upon him. We have the continual indwelling of God’s spirit in us and upon us. Jesus said in John 14:12 that because of the abiding presence of God in us that we would not only do greater works than Samson but greater works than Jesus Himself did in His earth walk by His own testimony.

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