Judges 13 opens with ”The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines for forty years.”
It’s a pattern that goes on throughout the time of the judges. The people listened to God, and at least somewhat obeyed whenever they had a judge ruling over them.Then the judge died, and the people went back to their evil ways. But despite the Israelites persistence in abandoning God, He never abandoned them.
After forty years of captivity under the Philistines, God sent the Israelites another judge.
An angel of the Lord appeared to an unnamed woman, wife of Manoah, and told her she would conceive a son. This in itself was great news, as she’d previously been unable to conceive. But God didn’t end there. He gave her specific instructions for what to do during her pregnancy. She was not to drink any alcoholic beverages or eat anything unclean. And when the child was born, she was not to ever cut his hair because he would be a Nazarite to God from birth.
For years Manoah’s wife had waited and prayed for a son. She’d also waited for God to send the people another judge to save them from the Philistine captivity. Perhaps she’d prayed specifically for the judge that was to come. We don’t know.
All we know is she was an obscure woman from a small tribe, and she was barren. One day she was going about her business, and God sent her a messenger to let her know her life was about to dramatically change.
May we be ready for what God has in store for us as well.
Read about Manoah’s wife in Scripture: Judges 13:1-5
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