Monday, May 18, 2009

Meaningful Mondays:
A Second Look at Manoah's Wife

Manoah’s wife seemed at first glance to be an obscure woman. Barely mentioned, and really not worth that much effort. However taking some time to look into the couple brief glimpses scripture records for us, we are painted the picture of a faithful follower of God, a loyal wife and a dedicated mother. We really could read this whole chapter but you are no doubt familiar with it’s account.

The mother of Samson, the last judge of Israel. What an amazing lessons are found in her life. The first I’d like to spend a couple minutes on is the plain fact that she never questions the angel, but has the faith and trust in Yhwh that what is said will come to pass. Manoah questions it, even asking God to send the messenger again and then questioning the angel for the requirements which were already given to him via his wife! Now remember that she was barren, unable to have any children. She doesn’t mention this to the angel but instead hurries off to tell her husband. This is pure unadulterated faith. Psalm 113:9 “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” She faithfully follows the God given directions for her pregnancy, never questioning them.

Indeed only 2 men in scripture are found to be Nazarites from the womb, Samson and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15 “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb”). Actually there are mainly similarities between these 2 faithful women. They both never question the power of God to give them a child. They are both barren. They both obey the command of God concerning their pregnancy’s, both husbands doubt, both give birth to a child who was to change the coarse in the nation of Israel and I am sure that there are many others if only probed deeper.

Therefore both Manoah's wife and Elisabeth had these charges on them. To drink no wine or fruit of the vine seems to be an easy task, in fact most pregnant women do this. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk” Number 6:2-4

Now in Biblical times the common drink was watered down wine. Indeed they did not have the fruit juice available that we find on the grocery shelves today! There was mulled cider but this too had an alchoholic property and was reserved mainly for the wealthy. This basically meant that these two sisters had to drink water.

What a spiritual lesson for us. We must also forsake the wine of the false doctrines of the false churches (Rev 14:8) and seek to take in the water of life (John 4:14) "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life". Then we can pass this on to our children (John 7:38) “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Both promised children also paved the way for a Redeemer to come to Zion. Samson was the last judge which signaled an end of that time in Israel’s history when “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” to be followed by Samuel the prophet and King maker. John the Baptist prepared the way for the work of Christ, also indicating a change in the nation of Israel, preparing the way for the true King of Israel. In these, the last days of Gentile time, we must also be looking and longing for the day when:

"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever." Isaiah 59:19-21

We, and hence, our children have been called out to be a separate people, holy and dedicated to God. Therefore we must also take on this charge so that our children may be as it were Nazarites. Choosing to dedicate their lives in service to our heavenly Father. To be set apart from the world around, preparing them and us to pave the way as it were for the return of the King of Israel which will signal not only a change in the nation of Israel (as it will be at the first) but then through the millennial reign of Christ will branch out to encompass the entire globe. This will also end the times that we live in when just like the times of the judges every man does that which is right in his own eyes.

The second lesson that we can learn from her is that she does not refute her husband but is in subjection to her. Even though it was to her that the angel spoke! The second time when the angel appears she runs to get her husband, knowing full well that he had asked of God that the messenger be sent a second time to confirm the promise. :22-23 “And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.” Instead she shows a gentle and meek spirit in answering her husbands fears of death upon recognition that it was an angel that they saw. Col 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” In our day and age a submissive wife is mocked. Indeed forget what the world thinks, our very flesh rises up and wants to jump up and down when perhaps we are in the right. We need to be like our sister and with a gentle and meek spirit speak. Prov 31:26 “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”


Danielle said...

This is a great way to start the week! Thank you for taking the time to type this up!

I hadn't really given Manoah's wife much I need to re-read that passage!

I like how you talked about her only drinking water...and how we are to drink that living water. Our pastor just preached on that passage this Sunday so it is fresh on my mind!

That is a great example of submission also! To think I have read right over that.

Thanks for sharing:-)

Mama Bec said...

Thanks too Lindsay. It's easy to gloss over a woman in the bible who is not necessarily named, and who is hardly mentioned, but a lot is said about her just by the few responses to her husband and to the angel that are recorded.

Reading over the passage this evening, alongside what you've written, the things that have stuck out for me most are a woman's faithfullness, when the man is doubting. Her meek and gentle response to him is lovely, not putting him down because of his fear and doubt, thinking God is going to strike them down, but just a beautiful reassuring voice from a wife can strengthen a man so much! I like that. There is a lot we can give back to our husbands in this way.

I also love how she does not question one bit, whereas Manoah wants to see the angel again to find out what ELSE needs to be done to bring up this boy. But his wife just listened the first time and is satisfied. lovely. xxx bec miles