Updated: Feb 28, 2022
Judges 13:1-25 gives us the story of Samson’s parents, and interestingly, it is not Samson’s father, Manoah, who is revealed to be the spiritual thermostat in the household. Instead, he experienced a growing relationship with God only as a direct reflection of his wife's relationship with Heaven.
Although Samson’s mother’s name is not given in Scripture, she is the one who first receives an angelic visitation regarding a soon-coming birth. During her divine encounter, she is told that despite being barren, she will have a son, and he is to observe the Nazirite law from birth – being holy and set apart for God all of his days. She is so excited that she runs to share the fantastic news with her husband! In response, Manoah also began praying to receive proof from God of his wife’s revelation. Thankfully, the angel shows up again, speaking directly to Manoah. First, he responds with worship to the Lord for his goodness. Then, gathering an expensive sacrifice, he lays it on a rock and burns it unto the Lord. It is at this moment that the angel does something very awesome!
So the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome…So Manoah (made a sacrifice unto God)— it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar—the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground... (Judges 13:6, 19-20)
Here, a significant transition happens in the original text of the Hebrew language. Up to this point, Manoah’s household has referred to God with the description of Adonai in the original text. But, following the extraordinary moment, they change the term to Elohim. This action is significant! Because Adonai signifies a general relationship with God, but Elohim relays personal – meaningful – connection. Transformation in their relationship with God is taking place! This revelation is so important to understand, as it represents their belief in God’s promise and demonstrates their faith and personal relationship with Him (1).
A meaningful connection was made at the altar that day!
God desires us to have that very moment with us! The moment when we move from a general relationship with Him into a meaningful connection with Him. He wants to do something very remarkable in your life! You can come into covenant with God, and it will be incredible! So stop going through the mundane motions of Christianity. God has more for you! God can move in your life just like He moved in the lives of Samson’s mother and father. Had Samson followed in his mother’s footsteps, maybe he could have avoided his downfall?
It is also essential to give this one final encouragement, as it is not to be missed. In the biographical sketch of Samson, his mother stands out in this story because of her commitment to God. Her faith brought Samson into this world and transformed her husband’s relationship with God. She was a model of faithfulness and attentiveness to God and His Word. If you are a woman or mother in an adverse situation spiritually, never underestimate the significance of your personal relationship with God and how it can affect anyone and everything around you!
I’m believing this for you, for our church, for our communities, and beyond. God is going to do something very awesome – something that changes the description of your relationship with Him from Adonai to Elohim!
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(1) Anders and Phillips, Holman Old Testament Commentary, 186.