“Then the woman went to her husband and told him ‘a man of God came to me, he looked like an angel of God, very awesome!'”
This morning I read a powerful story about a remarkable woman in the Bible. It impacted me so much, I wanted to share what God showed me. (It’s slightly longer than my normal blog, but if I left anything out, the message doesn’t come through as well, so please bear with me!)
I hope it encourages you, and every woman who reads it!
The story comes from Judges Chapter 13. We are not told the woman’s name, as she is referred to as “Manoah’s wife” but as the story unfolds, we see that she becomes the mother of Samson. Remember him? One of the strongest men who ever lived? Well, he had a mighty mother!
Here’s the story …
Verse 3 “One day, an angel of the Lord appeared to her and said ,”You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazarite, set apart to God from birth and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
So wow! An angel turned up in the middle of her day, while she was just working away. She had a powerful and supernatural encounter with God’s messenger. Then given the incredible news that she was going to receive a miracle instead of her barrenness – a child who would grow up to have a very special destiny – he would save Israel … BUT she had the job of making sure he was raised with certain important restrictions. So …
How does she respond to this incredible news?
Immediately, she went and told her husband. Notice what she says …
verse 6 – “Then the woman went to her husband and told him ‘a man of God came to me, he looked like an angel of God, very awesome.”
And then she continued to tell her husband EVERYTHING the angel had said about the child. EVERY.LAST.DETAIL. She left absolutely nothing out! (Read Judges 13:6-7 you can see it for yourself). So …
How did he respond to this incredible news?
“He prayed to God. Not a prayer of thanks and praise for the good news, but this …
“O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born”.
Hang on a minute! Didn’t his wife just tell him how the boy was to be raised? Yet, he asked God to send the angel again. He wants more proof, more evidence.
He wants to hear it for himself!
So what happened? How did the angel respond?
Verse 9 “God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman who was out in the field, but her husband Manoah was not with her. So the woman hurried to tell her husband “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day. So, Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said “Are you the one who talked to my wife?”
“I am” he said.
So Manoah asked him “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?”
“The angel of the Lord answered “your wife must do ALL THAT I HAVE TOLD HER. He must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.”
The angel has just reminded him that his wife already knows because he’s told HER – yet Manoah’s belief is restricted, unless the angel tells HIM. (I’m about to send him off to marriage counselling).
What happens next …
“Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you. But the angel of the Lord replied Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord!’”
The angel is pointing out he doesn NOT want to be worshipped – offer the burnt offering to God!
Then Manoah says something else, which is even beyond the angel’s understanding! How do I know that?
The angel says so …
Verse 15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”
The angel replied again “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.” (In other words, Manoah … my name is nothing! I am just a messenger of God).
Finally, in the middle of the sacrifice, the angel disappears (he is not sticking around to be worshipped).
Verse 20 Then the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. ‘We are doomed to die!’ Manoah said to his wife. ‘We have seen God!’ But his wife answered her husband ‘If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us.’”
She knew what Manoah was saying was wrong. How could the prophetic words about their son be fulfilled if they were dead??
And the story finishes with this …
Verse 24 “So the woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew up and the Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mahanah.
So, what a great story … and it really speaks for itself, but let me draw out some encouragements.
I am not waving the feminist flag (seeing I’m not even a feminist and totally respect men). However I want to say that what we can learn from this story, is that sometimes women can diminish what God has given to them.
God had a plan of rescue and restoration for Israel. He chose Manoah’s WIFE to make that plan happen.
- SHE had a personal and powerful supernatural encounter with God’s messenger – someone she recognised immediately as a “an angel from God”
- SHE was given the revelation of her son’s prophetic destiny
- SHE was commissioned with the responsibility of ensuring her son kept certain restrictions growing up ‘s instructions
- SHE was spiritually in tune with the ways and character of God
- SHE had the faith and commitment to raise her son in the ways God had entrusted to her
WHAT HAS GOD REVEALED TO YOU?
Let me ask you …
ARE you taking seriously your prophetic own words? (I mean, really seriously?). Are you taking action and stepping into them as Manoah’s wife did?
As you do that, you will start to experience the joy (and challenges) of personal growth. And there is nothing more exciting in life than doing what God has called you to do. (Not only will you miss out on the greatest adventure life can give you, but the world will miss out too).