Samson, the strong man is a familiar Biblical character. He had long hair – the source of his strength. He married Delilah, the cause of his downfall. But do you know where it all began? In the womb…
Read of Samson’s birth… how it all began even before his parents conceive him.
2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. 3 Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4 Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. 5 For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” 6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”
8 Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.”
9 God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, “Behold, the man who came the other day has appeared to me.” 11 Then Manoah arose and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to the woman?” And he said, “I am.”
12 Manoah said, “Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?” 13 So the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Let the woman pay attention to all that I said. 14 She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded.”
From the womb (vv. 5,7)… how significant is this?
Today, we know the importance of eating healthy and staying healthy while pregnant. The story of Samson, his birth, his calling (who he was, what he was going to do), his development, his being started with his mother – while he was in the womb. The mother was not to drink any wine nor eat anything unclean. vv. 4, 7, 14
These instructions were repeated 3x in the whole passage.
When Manoah, Samson’s father, asked God to send the angel again to instruct them what to do to bring up the child, they were told the same thing: no wine and no unclean food.
There are important lessons to learn from the story:
Parents, the vocation and person of your child starts in the womb. How you bring up your child starts with how you take care of yourself.
It is good to ask God to teach us ‘what to do for the child who is to be born.’ v. 8 Parents need help from God to bring up a child: what to do FOR him/her; what to teach him; what to do ‘WITH’ him, how to be a good parent to him.
It is also good to ask ‘what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation.’ v. 12 More than asking what to do ‘FOR’ him, parents need wisdom to know how the child should live: his way of life… what he is to do with his life – his calling or vocation.
From the womb to the grave, Samson was to be a Nazirite to God.
Reflection and prayer…
How about my children, Lord? What do I do for them? What is their mode of life to be? What are you calling them to do for you, Father? Teach me, Lord. Teach them. Show the way – from the womb to the grave. Amen.