Adult 1 Sunday School Class Samson’s Call June 25, 2017
Judges 13:1-7; 24-25
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Theme: Preparation for leadership may involve life circumstances not of one’s own choosing. How do we respond when we find ourselves in such circumstances? Even before birth, Samson’s call was assured as shown by the instructions the Lord’s angel gave to his mother.
Judges 13: 1 “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.” The story of Samson is an example of the sinful nature of the Israelites who did evil in the sight of their Lord. Their disobedience was met with the wrath of God who allowed their enemy, the Philistines to rule them for 40 years. When God gave Joshua Canaan, they were to slay all of the inhabitants and possess the Promised Land. They did not and the Israelites lived and fought among the pagans like the Philistines and others (i.e. Canaanites, Sidonians, and the Hivites). After years of oppression under the Philistines, they repented and ask God for a savior. He would come in the form of a “judge”, who would defeat their enemy and free their bondage.
* v. 2 and 3, “And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and have not, 3. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.” Verses 2 and 3 set into motion God’s plan to hear from His people and begin to relieve their pain. God sends His messenger, an angel, to inform a barren woman that she will have a son. God selects unexpected and unprepared people to carry out His seemingly impossible plan, which demonstrates that He is God, and God can do anything. When the task is complete God gets the glory.
*v. 4 and 5, “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat and any unclean thing. 5. For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” Now the angel of the Lord reveals God’s plan to the woman. Her son is special even in the womb, and she is to have a special diet, and what she can eat and drink. He will give instructions to the parents on how he is to be raised. The son will be a Nazarite, maintain a similar diet given to the mother and his hair is to be uncut. As a Nazarite he would be consecrated, set aside for a higher purpose. God would use Samson to deliver His people from Philistine bondage. His parents pledged that their unborn son would be a Nazarite for life.
* v.6 and 7. “Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: 7. But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.” Samson’s mother to be, tells her husband Manoah about her visit from the angel of God, and that she would conceive a child who would be a Nazarite and consecrated by God. She explains in detail God’s plan for Samson. These verses illustrate that God can call anyone for His plan at any time or place, and consecrate him even before he is born. (Reminiscent of John the Baptist, when God says that he knew him before he was in his mother’s womb.)
* v.24, “And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.” As it was written, so it was done, the barren woman had a child and she named him Samson. When Samson obeyed God and was obedient to His will his life was full and blessed.
* v.25, “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” The Spirit of God was with Samson, to develop him into a judge for the people of Israel. Samson was a flawed individual, he did eventually reign in Israel for 20 years. During that time, he did foolish and sinful things, but even that would not detour God to use Samson for His purpose. Through Samson’s life, the Spirit of God worked in him with the expectation that he would deliver God’s people from bondage. Expectations would be partially fulfilled, but mostly unmet in what was to follow in the life of Samson. There is a parallelism between Israel and Samson. Each one, at times, has been disobedient to God and has suffered His wrath. When they were in the will of God they flourished. Today, we too can flourish by staying in His Word. From this we see that God hates sin, and punishes both individuals and nations. The ultimate punishment for sin is death, whereas through redemption and faith we receive His mercy and grace which leads to salvation and eternal life.