Samson's Mom: Set Apart to Raise a Special Son
I see a pattern in many of the Bible moms I've interviewed thus far. Infertility. Maybe you can identify with that particular and very painful heartache. Take heart: God uses the difficult circumstances of our lives to nurture spiritual growth. Often what appears like a tragedy turns out to be of great use in God's kingdom. Which ultimately leads to our fulfillment as well.
Today, I'm drinking coffee and visiting with Samson's mom, another woman in scripture who experienced this problem. Let's see what she shares about how God set her apart to conceive and raise a special son.
Thanks for joining me today, Samson's mom. From reading your story in Judges, chapter 13, I see you experienced a personal encounter with the angel of the LORD, whom many scholars believe was the preincarnate Christ. What was that like?
Amazing, is all I can really say. He told me that even though I was sterile, I would conceive a son. Then he gave me strict instructions about what I could and couldn't eat and drink during my pregnancy. And how I should rear the boy once he was born. You see, God set apart my son from conception to deliver the Israelites from Philistine oppression.
How did your husband react?
He went to his knees and asked God to once again teach us how to bring up the boy. That's when the angel of the LORD appeared to me again. I ran to my husband and told him. He followed me to the man. My husband, Manoah, asked the LORD, "When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy's life and work?" (verse 12). I was always so proud of him for asking that question. He sought God's wisdom for our son. And God laid out His plan from the womb to the tomb, you might say. And we worked as a team in carrying out that plan.
It's no secret that Samson took some wrong turns in life, in spite of your godly teaching and example. What was that like for you?
Manoah and I were totally flabbergasted when Samson insisted we choose a bride for him from the Philistines. Of all things. They were our enemies and the very people He'd been raised to deliver us from. His request seemed to us like the whim of a spoiled child. But God had something else in mind. I don't fully understand it, but God used Samson's poor choice as an opportunity to confront the Philistines through events that spiraled out of control and led to the death of a thousand Philistine men. Yet, this was part of God's ultimate plan. Again, amazing how God works.
Still, it must have grieved you to see Samson's weakness for women, and the ultimate result of his indiscretions.
She sighs. Yes, indeed it did. But again, God got the final word, but it cost my son's life. He remembered our godly instruction and called upon his God, and the LORD fulfilled His divine mission through his life with one final blow to the Philistines. Which is exactly what we trained him to do.
What lessons would you say you learned from this experience?
That God has His hand on our children from conception--even before that, our children are on His mind. Parents must adopt a teachable spirit. We had to follow careful instructions to train Samson for his future role. And perhaps the biggest lesson: It is through worship that we hear from God. There He provides instruction and affirmation concerning our role in training our children. Even when we don't understand God's ways, we must trust Him with our children.
What an encouragement to all moms! Stay connected to the LORD so that He can guide us in nurturing our children's hearts for His service. Thanks for joining us!
For more of Samson's mom's story, read Judges, chapters 13 - 16. Next time, we'll visit with Ruth, the great grandmother of King David. Until then, happy mothering!