Unto Us A Boy Is Born
Holy Father, I dedicate this day to seeking Your guidance, following Your direction, and doing my best according to Your will.
Read JUDGES 13:1-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine … to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:20,21). We mustn’t limit God to our limited expectations.
This chapter sets the course for Samson’s life. We can see several aspects of God’s ways that we notice elsewhere in biblical history and supremely through Jesus. For example, the story starts before the baby is born when an angel appears to his mother.
Two aspects of Samson’s arrival in Israel are particularly striking. First, God’s grace is always “despite.” God shows his faithful love to the Israelites despite their repeated rebellion and his repeated judgment. His grace works deliverance despite the people’s prayerlessness. Under previous invaders they have cried out to God for help, if not actually in repentance. That’s not the case here, though. God raises up Samson despite the fact that his parents are childless. How good to see that God won’t be waiting for us to create the right conditions in which his grace can work today in our own souls, our families or churches, or as we bear witness to Jesus at the office, the gym, the playgroup, in the hospital bed, or elsewhere.
Second, God’s sovereign will is always better than we could expect. Manoah and his wife receive the good news that they will have a son, but it gets better (not necessarily easier, though) when God’s amazing purposes for their son are revealed in v. 5b. Manoah thinks it’s wonderful to have a visit from what he takes to be a “man of God” (8), but it’s better than that: he has been in the presence of the holy and gloriously unmanageable God–and lived (22,23)! Perhaps our prayers and expectations of God tend to be small, short-term and manageable. We are more often too cautious than too bold. Perhaps we fear disappointment, but God’s ways are more wonderful than we usually dare to think.
Samson was dedicated to God and God’s service from birth. How can you go about dedicating yourself to God but being apart from the world (see John 17:13-19)?
Lord, I think back to times when I dedicated myself afresh to You. As I recount them, speak to me today and motivate me to dedicate myself anew to You.
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