Daily Thought for: 22nd March
MANOAH AND HIS WIFE
Judges 13. 1-25
1. The childlessness of a wife in Israel
God had allowed the Philistines to subjugate His people as divine discipline for their turning again to idolatry; Israel did evil again. This idolatry of the people and subjugation by an enemy must have tried spiritual hearts in Israel sorely. Manoah and his wife had an added burdenthey had no child. While understanding souls would see this condition rightly as a sign of the Lords displeasure with the nation, Deut. 28. 11, the carnal would lay the blame on the childless couple and Manoahs wife must have felt it particularly. Yet now the Lord steps in with the promise of a son and reveals it not to Manoah but to his unnamed wife, indicating perhaps that she was the exercised partner. Divine grace always moves where there is a humble exercised heart; this allows God to show His power and reveal His purposes. Manoahs wife is a pattern for every godly mother today.
2. The confidence of a father in Israel
Manoah never seemed to have doubted the promise nor been jealous that his wife had been given the revelation. The burden of his cry before the Lord is not for confirmation but for instruction and he asks the man of God, How shall we order the child?. With a deep sense of parental responsibility his only concern is that the coming son would be brought up in such a way as to fulfil the divine purpose for his lifea proper pattern for every believing father.
3. The challenge to parents
That God had a special purpose for this boy is shown by the twice-repeated instruction that he was to be a Nazarite unto God from the womb. That his Nazariteship was obligatory and not voluntary, life-long and not temporary, (as in Numbers 6) is shown by the fact that his mother was to observe the Nazarite regulations throughout her pregnancy. The devotion to the Lord, demanded in her son, must first be seen in her. Abstention from wine (earthly joy superceded), from defiling food (fleshly indulgence refused) and from any razor on the head (natural strength inadequate) were to mark both mother and son.