Judges 13

* The Philistines, Samson announced. (1-7) The angel appears to

Manoah. (8-14) Manoah's sacrifice. (15-23) Birth of Samson.

(24,25)

1-7 Israel did evil: then God delivered them again into the

hands of the Philistines. When Israel was in this distress,

Samson was born. His parents had been long childless. Many

eminent persons were born of such mothers. Mercies long waited

for, often prove signal mercies; and by them others may be

encouraged to continue their hope in God's mercy. The angel

notices her affliction. God often sends comfort to his people

very seasonably, when they feel their troubles most. This

deliverer of Israel must be devoted to God. Manoah's wife was

satisfied that the messenger was of God. She gave her husband a

particular account, both of the promise and of the precept.

Husbands and wives should tell each other their experiences of

communion with God, and their improvements in acquaintance with

him, that they may help each other in the way that is holy.
8-14 Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet, as Manoah,

have believed. Good men are more careful and desirous to know

the duty to be done by them, than to know the events concerning

them: duty is ours, events are God's. God will guide those by

his counsel, who desire to know their duty, and apply to him to

teach them. Pious parents, especially, will beg Divine

assistance. The angel repeats the directions he had before

given. There is need of much care for the right ordering both of

ourselves and our children, that we may be duly separate from

the world, and living sacrifices to the Lord.
15-23 What Manoah asked for instruction in his duty, he was

readily told; but what he asked to gratify his curiosity, was

denied. God has in his word given full directions concerning our

duty, but never designed to answer other questionings. There are

secret things which belong not to us, of which we must be quite

contented to be ignorant, while in this world. The name of our

Lord is wonderful and secret; but by his wonderful works he

makes himself known as far as is needful for us. Prayer is the

ascent of the soul to God. But without Christ in the heart by

faith, our services are offensive smoke; in him, acceptable

flame. We may apply this to Christ's sacrifice of himself for

us; he ascended in the flame of his own offering, for by his own

blood he entered in once into the holy place, #Heb 9:12|. In

Manoah's reflections there is great fear; We shall surely die.

In his wife's reflection there is great faith. As a help meet

for him, she encouraged him. Let believers who have had

communion with God in the word and prayer, to whom he has

graciously manifested himself, and who have had reason to think

God has accepted their works, take encouragement from thence in

a cloudy and dark day. God would not have done what he has done

for my soul, if he had designed to forsake me, and leave me to

perish at last; for his work is perfect. Learn to reason as

Manoah's wife; If God designed me to perish under his wrath, he

would not give me tokens of his favour.
24,25 The Spirit of the Lord began to move Samson when a youth.

This was evidence that the Lord blessed him. Where God gives his

blessing, he gives his Spirit to qualify for the blessing. Those

are blessed indeed in whom the Spirit of grace begins to work in

the days of their childhood. Samson drank no wine or strong

drink, yet excelled in strength and courage, for he had the

Spirit of God moving him; therefore be not drunk with wine, but

be filled with the Spirit.

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