It's question time again!
As I read through the Scriptures, I often have thoughts and questions that pop into my head along the way. I don’t necessarily expect answers to fall out of the sky, but I do sometimes get clarity just by pausing to marinate on certain verses.
Every now and then, I like to share my raw reactions as they occur, instead of tying things up in a nice tidy bow, ready to present on my page. Here are some of the thoughts and questions that came up as I was introduced to Samson and his parents...
"And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her,
'Behold, you are barren and have not borne children,
but you shall conceive and bear a son."
This sounds familiar. Isn’t this is how Abraham and Sarah got Isaac?
"Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son."
Wow! I never knew that God prohibits pregnant women from drinking alcohol. Or is this just a prohibition for this special circumstance? If for everyone, then this confirms for me that this and other prohibitions of eating certain animals is prohibited not so that God can make things difficult for us, but because He's the Creator and He knows what's bad for our bodies.
"Then the woman came and told her husband,
'A man of God came to me, and his appearance
was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome...'"
Why do some translations say 'awesome' while others say 'terrifying'? Which one is most accurate? And, how did people back then know they were speaking to a “man of God?” What was it about him that made him different in appearance from any other stranger?
And the angel of the Lord said to him, "
Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?"
Again, the English Standard Version uses the word ‘wonderful’ while the KJV uses the word ‘secret’ to describe the messenger's name. Another version says Manoah won't comprehend the name. This isn't exactly the same meaning, so which one is correct?
And why is there never a name that one can hold onto? Every other god has a name. Ahh maybe that’s it! The other gods are little gods of which there are several. So they would need to have a name to distinguish one from the other. But there’s only one Almighty, and He needs no name to distinguish Himself.
"The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife." Judges 3:21
But the angel of the Lord never answered Manoah’s question. What were they supposed to do with the kid and what would be his mission? Maybe he didn't answer Manoah because he had already told his wife. And, why does the text neglect to tell us her name?
In chapters 14 and 15, God appeared to be using Samson to bring about a clash that ultimately results in the destruction of the Philistines. On the surface, it all seems like a bunch of uselessly vengeful acts initiated by Samson's spur of the moment decisions. At first glance, one would say that he probably should've listened to his parents and married a nice Jewish girl. He may have led a more peaceful life, but then he wouldn't have stepped into the purpose God had for him.
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