The Angel of the Lord appeared to the barren woman...
For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son.
And no razor shall come upon his head,
for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and
he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
This is the mother of Sampson.
And with this appearance, God had not only brought her good news,
but also He had given instruction.
Unfortunately, it would seem,
that though this woman remembered the Nazarite vow,
she neglected to tell her son the purpose for which
it was to be kept.
Numbers 6, details the the law of the Nazarite vow...
no wine should he drink,
nor any product of grapes may he partake,
neither should his hair ever be cut, and
never is he to touch, or be in the presence of a dead body.
These things would make him unclean.
The Nazarite must follow these as a vow...
until the days are fulfilled
for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy.
So a Nazarite is not just different
for the sake of being different.
But he takes this vow, set apart as holy for a purpose.
And once this purpose is fulfilled for God,
he is released from his vow.
But when we read the conversations between Sampson's parents
never do we see this purpose discussed.
Her husband, Manoah, though seems to be a man of faith.
For he never wavers, or shows doubt that a son will be born to his barren wife.
What he does long to know however, is his duty as a father;
to teach this boy properly his purpose.
He knows about Nazarite vows.
And it is almost as if he realizes his wife has become lost
in her fulfilled desire to have the child.
For she must have longed for one...
prayed for this often.
And now tells him of this answered prayer.
A son to be born them... a Nazarite vow even.
But he must realize that she has neglected to state the purpose.
So Manoah prays that God will send once again,
the Angel of the Lord to teach them how to raise the child.
And when He returns,
Manoah asks of Him the child's Nazarite purpose...
“Now let Your words come to pass!
What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?”
But Manoah's questions are not answered.
For the Angel of the Lord directs him back to the wife.
So the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah,
“Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful.
She may not eat anything that comes from the vine,
nor may she drink wine or similar drink,
nor eat anything unclean.
All that I commanded her let her observe.”
Sampson's mother is carrying the child.
So she must not allow her body to feed Sampson...
through the womb, anything from the vine.
But also, she must observe, all that God commanded her.
And I believe that means, she must tell Sampson
he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
But it would seem, that she does not.
For Sampson is surely raised by these two parents
in the best manner they know...
they guide him, keep him, council him.
And when grown, Sampson begins to make choices
that do not follow those we would classify as typical for Bible heroes.
And even his parents advice can no longer dissuade him.
But amazingly we find... that even then,
even when Sampson begins to break his Nazarite vows,
even when he is drawn toward liking... actually lusting after Philistines,
God certainly has a plan.
And God is always in control.
But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord...
that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines.
For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
I wonder how Sampson may have used his strength...
if only he had known his purpose?
I wonder if I am utilizing my strengths...
for the purpose God has placed on my life?
Word of God...
train me, today...
to listen to all of Your instructions, not picking and choosing which to follow,
to trust that even when I mess up, You have a good plan and purpose for me.
how I love you!
I thank You,
that I do not need to take
this Nazarite vow
to honor You.
But I long to be set apart
for a purpose.
Speak to the deepest parts of me
that I know it fully.
As I dedicate to write,
to live a life overflowing
with Your mercy and grace.
from my heart...
I write as an overflow... an expression of my true love for God and with a deep desire to encourage others in their day to day lives. For we can only find peace, joy, and satisfaction when we yield to the One who yielded His life for us.