Wednesday, September 4, 2019

2019.09.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Judges 13

Read Judges 13
Questions from the Scripture text: What did Israel do in Judges 13:1? In Whose sight? What does Yahweh do? Whom does Judges 13:2 introduce? What city is he from? What tribe? What is noteworthy about his wife? To whom does the Angel of Yahweh appear in Judges 13:3? What obvious fact does He repeat? What promise does He make? What commands does He give her in Judges 13:4? What promise does He repeat in Judges 13:5? What additional commands does He give in verse 5? What will the child be? What will the child do? Whom did the woman tell about this (Judges 13:6)? How does she describe her visitor? What does she not know about him? How does she summarize his message (Judges 13:7)? Whom does Manoah address in Judges 13:8? Whom does he ask to have appear? What does he ask for the man of God to do? What does God do in Judges 13:9? To whom does the Angel of God appear this time? Who was not there? What does the woman do in Judges 13:10? What does Manoah do in Judges 13:11? What does he ask first? What does he ask in Judges 13:12? What does the Angel of Yahweh answer in Judges 13:13-14? What does Manoah ask to do in Judges 13:15? What does the Angel say He will not receive in Judges 13:16? What does He say that He would receive? What does Manoah ask in Judges 13:17? How does the Angel answer in Judges 13:18? What does Manoah offer to Whom in Judges 13:19? What does the Angel of Yahweh do in Judges 13:19-20? How did Manoah finally realize that He had been the Angel of Yahweh (Judges 13:21)? What does he say to Mrs. Manoah in Judges 13:22? How does Mrs. Manoah reason that Yahweh is overlooking their sins in Judges 13:23? What does Mrs. Manoah do in Judges 13:24? What four things does verse 24 tell us about the child? Who begins to act in Judges 13:25
Dan had a difficult time finding a portion of the land that they could both fit into and successfully take. They ended up in the far north. Mrs. Manoah was a woman—and a barren woman at that. And by not even giving us her name—so that we are even having to call her Mrs. Manoah—the passage highlights for us how lowly this makes her.

And yet, not only is it she that Yahweh selects to bear the next deliverer in Israel, but it is unto her alone that the Angel of Yahweh appears. It reminds us of Genesis 16, and how it is unto Hagar the Egyptian slavegirl-concubine that the Lord appears instead of unto Abram or Sarai.

It’s a good reminder that there are no “little people” when they are being powerfully employed by the Almighty God. I’m afraid that many of us think of the story of Samson as the story of a very mighty man. But isn’t that just about the opposite of the point? Our passage highlights how the unique thing about Samson is how (even from the womb!) he is to be set apart to God by way of all of these Nazirite irregularities of diet and grooming. It wasn’t the hair upon him, but rather the Holy Spirit with him.

How weak are Mr. and Mrs. Manoah? They’d come to the place where they never thought parenting would never be an issue for them—let alone parenting in such an unique situation as this. Manoah prays to Yahweh for a second visit for a divine child-rearing class. Wonderfully, his prayer is answered! Anticlimactically, the instructions for parenting are, “Just do the stuff I already told you” (not a bad take on all parenting—just do what the Bible says, and trust God to use it).

Things take a turn for the scary when Manoah finally gets it through his thick head that this has been Yahweh Himself with whom they have been interacting. But Mrs. Manoah reasons well that Yahweh is going to keep His promise to her, so she’s got to survive at least another 9 months—besides, there must be some atonement for their sin before the Lord or else the offering would have been offensive. Pretty good theological deduction for a lady whose name we still aren’t even told! After all, it’s not about us. It’s about the Lord’s promise to bring the Lord’s salvation, and the Lord’s worship made clean by the Lord’s atonement!
Why might you need humbling? Why might you need reminding that God uses the humble?
Suggested Songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

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