Judges 13:15-25

15 Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.” 16 The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Though you detain me, I will not eat your [d]food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord. 17 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?” 18 But the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is [e]wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to the Lord, and He performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.

21 Now the angel of the Lord did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. 22 So Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, for we have seen God.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time.”

24 Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in [f]Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Manoah seemed to have an attitude similar to some folks today. They think God is all judgment and fire, ready to strike us with lightning for doing anything impious. Like if we don’t pray just right, we’re going to breath our last. But nothing could be further from the truth.

They forget that God cares about us. Just as He cared for the Israelites and Samson’s parents, and wanted to deliver them from their oppressors, He love us, and wants to deliver us from the oppression of sin. Or rather, He wants to deliver us from our own selfish nature.

When we think God is waiting to strike us dead for offending Him, we project our own selfishness onto One who is focused on “working everything for our good.” God wants the best for you, the very best, and nothing less. He isn’t content with leaving us in the mud, and He even loves us in the middle of it. So reach out for the hand of rescue that God offers to all of us, and let Him lift you up. Don’t try to do it yourself, you’ll just end up deeper, much like quicksand. Trust in Him, depend on Him, and let Him lead you.

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