“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Behold you are barren and have no children, but you shall become pregnant and bear a son. Therefore beware and drink no wine or strong drink and eat nothing unclean.”
Judges 13: 3, 4
“Like Mother – Like Child”
“I think it must somewhere be written that the virtues of mothers shall be visited on their children.”
If I had been Samson’s mother, what personal traits do I believe I would have passed on to my child?
“The instruction received at the mother’s knee, and the paternal lessons, together with the pious and sweet souvenirs of the fireside, are never effaced entirely from the soul.”
Robert de Lamennais
“God spoke to Moses: ‘Speak to the people of Israel; tell them, if any of you, man or woman, wants to make a special Nazirite vow, consecrating yourself totally to God, you must not drink any wine or beer.’”
Numbers 6: 1
She was a “faithful” woman, who lived in an unfaithful generation. For forty years, the chains of Philistine oppression had bound her countrymen and women. But one day, when hope had all but faded away, an Angel of the Lord appeared to this lady and informed her that her days of barrenness were over, both literally and physically. She was carrying a child who was to be dedicated to the Lord. A child who would be special. A child who would be a deliverer.
In fact, before this baby boy was even born, the heavenly message to “Faithful” was that her child was to “be a Nazirite to God from birth” (Judges 13 5).
Interestingly enough, the first time in Scripture we find the word “Nazirite” mentioned, is in Numbers 6 where the Lord, Himself, told Moses that either a man or woman could make a special Nazirite vow to God. This life of dedicated abstinence was not limited just to men but also included women. How often have you heard this, daughters of God?
Evidently, “Faithful” had, for we find that the very first thing this Godly mother did was to commit her life to consecrated behavior as soon as she found out she was carrying a child.
The author Gabriela Mistral in describing pregnancy penned these beautiful words: “Let the earth look at me, and bless me, for now I am sacred, like the palms and the furrows.” Life was growing inside the body of Samson’s mother – sacred life – declared by God to be a consecrated child even before his birth. And so this loving mother vowed that the Nazirite life her child was called to would become her life, too.
I find it notable that in the 21st century, medical science has verified that what the mother eats and drinks and how she lives her life during pregnancy, has a profound effect upon the child within her. It’s just another one of those times when passages of Scripture, written thousands of years ago, appear to be penned yesterday.
However, Judges 13: 3-5, isn’t just a warning to pregnant women regarding the ingestion of strong drink. This passage has a broader application to your spiritual life and mine.
The word “pregnant,” while meaning, “Carrying a developing fetus within the uterus,” also has an expanded definition meaning, “fruitfully, producing result. Abounding and overflowing.” Let’s apply this concept to our spiritual lives.
For every one of us, female and male, there’s a moment when God comes to us and says, “I have plans for you. You are to be fruitful for Me. I long for your life to be productive and overflowing.” It is at this time of revelation when, like Samson’s mother, we can make a dedicated vow to accept the calling God has designed especially for our individual talents. I praise God that as He spoke to Moses so long ago as related in the book of Numbers, it didn’t matter if the person were a man or woman. Dedicated service to the goal God has for our lives is all He asks from us. And then, as the Hebrew translation of the word “consecration” means, we will see a “fulfilling” in our lives of all God has in store.
What a lesson for us to learn from “Faithful” – the wife of Manoah and the mother of Samson. She wasn’t just “expecting” a child, she was “expecting” the fulfillment of all God had promised in her life.
Whether or not you have children or can have a child, God has something He wants to give “birth” to in the lives of every one of His daughters and sons. I love the way Miriam Winter expresses this “birthing” process in each of our lives:
“Women what will we bring to birth in the world?
wisdom and justice,
peace and compassion,
concern for all God’s little ones,
for the homeless and the destitute,
the hungry, and all who bear the brunt
of indifference and oppression…
…Women, what will we bring to birth in our hearts?
An unbreakable bond in the Spirit
that binds as one all brothers and sisters,
transcending class, color, culture,
religion, race, and gender,
that treats no personal preference,
no physical or spiritual difference
as aberration or handicap.
One has been born among us
who heralds such liberation.
Holy the woman who helps this happen.
Blessed are we when we give birth
to the Word made flesh in us.”
As you go about your activities each day, just as Samson’s mother did, wait expectantly, because the fulfilling of your dreams will happen as you consecrate yourself to, “Him who by the power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams” (Ephesians 3: 20, Amplified Bible).
“There is no such thing as expecting too much.”
“Thou who didst hang upon a barren tree,
My God, for me;
Tho’ till now be barren, now at length,
Lord, give me strength
To bring forth fruit to Thee.
Thou who didst bear for me
The crown of thorns,
Spitting and scorn,
Tho’ I till now have put forth thorns,
Yet now strengthen me Thou
That better fruit be borne.
Thou Rose of Sharon, Cedar of broad roots,
Vine of sweet fruits,
Thou Lily of the vale with fadeless leaf,
Of thousands Chief,
Feed Thou my feeble shoots.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.comor email direct2church@Bakerpublishinggroup.com.
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