I’m not married, a fact I am thankful for, so I am not privy to marital conversations. However, as a woman, I know that we can be crazy and, sometimes, men let their wives know it. Judges 13 would’ve been a perfect opportunity for a man to call his wife a nut, but he doesn’t, instead he believed the entirely impossible and absolutely absurd thing she told him!
Manoah’s wife was barren but one day she was visited by an angel who let her know that she would have a child. More than just a vague declaration that could be chocked up to weird food eaten right before bed, the angel goes into explicit detail about this kid:
“Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Judges 13:4-5 (ESV)
Manoah’s wife had such confidence in the angel’s word that she immediately told her husband the happy news. He prayed and asked for the angel to visit them again, a request the Lord obliged. But the angel showed up when Manoah wasn’t with his wife. When she saw the angel, she quickly ran to get her husband – talk about motivation to sprint!
“And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?” And he said, “I am.” And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what is to be the child’s manner of life, and what is his mission?” And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.” Judges 13:11-14 (ESV emphasis added)
There’s so much about this couple that I appreciate.
1. Manoah didn’t think his wife was crazy when she outlined all the details about the child that would emerge from her barren womb. He didn’t laugh at the sheer impossibility of it all! Instead he prayed – he had enough faith to go to God about it.
2. When God responded to Manoah’s prayer he, again, didn’t think his wife was nuts. Have you ever prayed for something but had difficulty believing when the fulfillment came along? Manoah had enough faith to believe that God would answer his prayer.
3. The couple counted the angel’s words about their son as true. Imagine that you had tried to conceive a child for years unsuccessfully until one day an angel says it’s going to happen. I would’ve had a “healthy” dose of doubt or reservation about such a statement. I would’ve done my best to keep my expectations low so as to not suffer devastating disappointment. But Manoah and his wife took the angel’s words as fact! They weren’t worried about mitigating damage or guarding their hearts – they were all in! If an angel, a messenger of the Living God had said it, they had complete faith that it would happen!
Manoah and his wife responded quickly and in faith in the face of an absolutely impossible situation. They were faith-filled people who knew and responded to the voice of God in the face of what could only be considered dreadful odds.
How do you respond to the voice of God? What do you do when you’ve received a promise that seems to fly in the face of everything your circumstances are telling you? I know that I have some room to grow in this area, and it’s my prayer that we would all learn to take God’s word at face value and respond appropriately to his voice!
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