Day 16

The Birth of Samson

from the Judges reading plan

Judges 13:1-25, Numbers 6:1-12, Isaiah 9:6

BY Kaitlin Wernet

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

Post Comments (59)

59 thoughts on "The Birth of Samson"

  1. KC Derond says:

    I find it interesting that neither Manoah’s wife nor the angel tell him that a razor can never touch their son’s head. The angel of the Lord implies it when he says to Manoah, “She must do everything I have commanded her.” Why wouldn’t he just say the part about the razor? Is Manoah just supposed to know? I understand that it was one of the rules listed in Numbers, but why specify everything else the angel said (and reiterate when he came to visit again) except that?
    And why did the angel appear to Manoah’s wife and not him the second time even though Manoah was the one who prayed to God for it? So many questions. And it’s so interesting to read and see the little things! I feel like I’m reading into the Bible on a deeper level rather than just reading and skimming the words.

    1. Susan says:

      In the NIV translation it does specifically state “…have a son whose head is never to touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite,” so I think just the translation selected here was not specific to state those exact words.

  2. Kayla says:

    A little behind here but I really enjoyed this passage. What a beautiful picture we have of Manoah and his wife calling out to God for guidance in raising their child. Although they prayed to know more of their child’s manner of life and mission, that is so often my prayer as well. And (unsurprisingly) God didn’t supply the exact answer they were looking for. No master plans were laid out, just a reminder to be careful to do all that was already commanded of them. Let that help me when I am in despair over my life’s mission. Again and again, “Seek first the Kingdom of God,” “Cast all your anxiety on Him,” “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” God, I pray I can keep these commands in my heart always and lean upon them when I have fear of the unknown.

  3. Michele says:

    Kaitlin, this is what I needed to hear. I’m going to start a new phase of my life soon, after spending a year away at graduate school and there are so many questions that God hasn’t given me an answer to! Ministry for one… where He wants me to be involved in: silence. Church… stay or change? Again, silence. Job-wise… I see His providence here, but am still waiting on which to accept. So many questions I have! And so many questions Samson’s parents had too! But through all these unknowns, I know that I can trust God, and have hope that all will be made right one day – when Jesus returns.

  4. Susie says:

    Amanda and Ellis, please refer back to yesterdays post for a special thank you. Your words of wisdom have helped end a year of torment. Love in Christ Jesus. Susie

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