The Birth of Samson
Open Your Bible
Judges 13:1-25, Numbers 6:1-12, Isaiah 9:6
Scripture Reading: Judges 13:1-25, Numbers 6:1-12, Isaiah 9:6
I have always wanted to need glasses. While my peers growing up feared being called “four eyes” as a result of their impaired vision, I teemed with jealousy over their newest accessory. While I’m, of course, very grateful for my 20/20 vision, I secretly fear reading glasses will no longer be in style when I actually (fingers crossed) need them one day.
When it comes to this life, I think we all secretly hope that there’s more than meets the eye, that we aren’t quite seeing the full truth just yet. When we experience pain we don’t understand and our circumstances don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, we try to analyze things from all angles. How did this happen? Did I miss something? How could I have avoided all this suffering? Wouldn’t it be a huge relief to look through a viewfinder and have someone adjust things until they appear more clearly, until we’re able to make sense of what we see?
The gospel is the viewfinder through which all things make sense. Sin has damaged our vision for God’s goodness and plan, making it impossible for us to see with clarity until He removes the veils from our eyes in the heavenly realm. Then we will see the details that go into God’s promise to make all things new. Only then will we begin to fathom the lengths to which He’s gone to keep His promises. But until that time, life on earth is full of hoping and longing, and the occasional glimpse into God’s bigger story at play.
All throughout the book of Judges, it’s obvious that Israel is blinded by their own sin. In fact, this ominous phrase occurs for the seventh time in today’s reading: “The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight” (Judges 13:1). Israel had come to trust only what their own eyes could see.
Imagine the surprise Manoah and his wife must have felt when, after years of barrenness, the angel of the Lord announced that they would have a son. It’s doubtful they saw this blessed, yet baffling, news coming. Many questions followed: How can this be? What will the boy’s responsibilities and work be? What is this angel’s name, who has brought us this great news? While they didn’t receive answers to those questions, the angel’s instruction made it clear that this son was to be set apart and “holy to the LORD during the time of consecration” (Numbers 6:8).
Clearly, there was more at work than what their human eyes could see. Samson’s impending birth was an introduction to the birth of new possibilities they never could have dreamt up for themselves, an unexpected form of redemption, bringing God’s heart a little more into focus. As God’s children, this is where we can settle our trust: Christ’s coming keeps us focused on hope. Even if all the other details of life seem blurry and unknown, we know we can put our trust in Him. May we view this story and our own as just a small piece of the grander reality of God’s great plan for His people.
Kaitlin Wernet is a twenty-something who lives to tell stories with a backbone of hope. Armed with too many exclamation points and not enough goat cheese, she spends her days as a writer and editor in Nashville, TN. With a journalism degree and football-induced stress from the University of South Carolina, Kaitlin is happiest with plane tickets in hand or a kitten in her lap. Thankful to be a “She” who Reads Truth, she can also be found writing more of her favorite words at KaitlinWernet.com.