“…the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.”
Who would you guess was the woman? Mary? Maybe Elizabeth? If I told you the reference for that verse many of you would know right off who she was.
This woman was visited by God’s messenger, an angel. We see she had no children. Then she is told some exciting news: you will conceive and have a son. A cause for celebration indeed!
This woman’s name isn’t told. I call her Mrs. Manoah. She was the mother of Samson. I think she must have been a great woman. We read about her in Judges 13 She was not only told this wonderful news; she was also given specific instructions regarding her pregnancy and how she was to raise this boy.
Manoah seems to me to have been quite a godly man, in his own right. His response to his wife’s news was this:
“Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” Judges 13:8 ESV
Now, I have to say something here. God spoke to the woman first. He does that. Yet Manoah’s response is so good. The Bible doesn’t say he didn’t believe her. I wonder, though… To his credit, Manoah was a man of prayer. He sought God in this matter and wanted to be taught how he should raise this son.
Skip now to the bad girl. Since I mentioned Samson, you all know I mean Delilah, the prostitute. Some of us even think they had a great romance. Good boy seeks wife, sees a pretty girl, falls in love, marries her. It’s all there in God’s Word.
We read this and think, “Why would God allow Samson to marry a Philistine harlot?” In my family we always look to the dad and ask, why would he allow this nonsense to go on?
This happened after the Law was given to Moses and the people of Israel. God does not want his us, His people, marrying the ungodly. But there are times in scripture where men after God’s own heart, who are part of His plan, marry these wanton women. Another example is the prophet Hosea. He was told by God to marry Gomer the prostitute.
Those of us who know we were not Mrs. Manoah’s when our husband’s met us, like it that these Biblical men married the ungodly woman. It gives us hope to see how God can change a woman.
What makes Delilah the bad girl? How is she not a Rahab, who was a harlot and left her ways to follow after God and His people? Delilah never left her sinful ways. She even turned on her husband.
Delilah is not my hero in this story. I just have to say I really hate to use the word ‘story’ when I am talking about the Bible. This is not a work of fiction. The Bible is Truth. God’s Word from the beginning to the end. I’m done; end of rant, now back to Mrs. Manoah.
I love this woman. God obviously knew she was a woman after His own heart. He spoke to her. Not once but twice, He sent His messenger to her to tell His plan. He chose her to raise a son to be one of the Judges of Israel. Raising any son to serve and glorify God is an important job.
When Manoah prayed asking for God to send His messenger again; sure enough! God sent the messenger back to the Mrs. and she went to get her husband.
Do you love that? I do! Sometimes I think God is showing me a way I should go, but He has not led my husband in the same direction. Am I being submissive if I tell him what I think God is showing me? I want Todd to lead me. I often forget that I belong first to my Heavenly Father.
I have had this kind of conversation with God many times: “Whoa, Lord, really? You want me to quit work, homeschool, have more babies…?” and on and on. Your list is probably very different.
I am pretty sure during those times that it is God laying this on my heart, yet I doubt. I pray show my husband then I will know for sure that it is of You. There is nothing inherently wrong with that prayer, it is the statement before it, “yet, I doubt,” that shows the weakness of my faith.
Mrs. Manoah did not make it into the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11. She is still a hero to me. I want to be a woman that knows her Heavenly Father so well that when He calls she not only listens but runs quickly to obey.