Reading through the Bible together
Samson is like no other judge before or after him, and his calling is also like no other. In fact, his calling came before he was conceived; it came through his parents. While there are other examples of barren women in the Bible who were blessed with a child of promise (Sarah and Isaac, Hannah and Samuel, Elizabeth and John). Samson’s mother is the only one to receive a personal visit from the Angel of the Lord. Then God sends this divine messenger a second time, this time to talk to Manoah, Samson’s father. The only other time in the Bible where both parents received a personal communication from God is in the case of Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ earthly parents (Matt 1, Luke 1).
Even though Manoah’s wife had thoroughly and accurately relayed everything the angel had said to her, Manoah still doubted. It’s not that he didn’t believe his wife, but like Gideon, he is unsure that he is prepared for the task before him. Surely there must be more instruction than what was given. Surely there’s more to raising this promised child than obedience to God’s simple commands. Manoah needed a sign and the Lord gave him one in an amazing way (13:19-20).
It is reassuring to know that God is willing to work with us even when we doubt His words. Whether we feel inadequate or just unsure about His will, the Lord will find a way to provide us with the assurance and guidance we need. Manoah lacked the spiritual discernment to recognize God when He appeared before him. But he knew enough to pray for guidance and the Lord answered his prayer.
Justo E. Morales
Southern Adventist University