After reading Judges 13, the title for the sermon this Sunday popped into my head. This was unusual because thinking up titles for sermons is normally very difficult for me. And although the title is long, I really felt that it captured something that God wanted to speak on Sunday. In Judges 13, we are told that Manoah’s wife is unable to give birth. Then an angel of the Lord comes to her and tells her that she will have a son who will take the lead in delivering Israel from the Philistines! When she tells her husband the good news, Manoah prays to the Lord and asks God to teach him how to raise the boy.
What godly, faithful, and devoted parents! We would assume that their son, with such an auspicious beginning, would grow up the same way. But if you have ever read Judges 13–16, you know that Samson was far from a godly, faithful man.
In fact, Samson was spoiled, immature, and vengeful. There isn’t space to detail his wayward life here, so I encourage you to read about it for yourself. But what amazes me about his story is that God still used Samson. Throughout Judges 14–16, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson and he was able to do mighty deeds.
For some mysterious, sovereign reason, God still chose to use Samson despite Samson’s deficiencies. This is where the sovereignty of God—the idea that God is God and that He can do whatever He wants—comes into play.
I believe this story gives hope for godly, faithful parents who are struggling with rebellious and disobedient children. It is still possible for God to work in and through their children. God calls us to trust Him, to follow, and to pray.
The best part of this story, though, is that it is the story of our perfect Heavenly Father, who loved and cared for His wayward Israelite children. He provided for their needs, taught them how to please Him, and showed them how to be in relationship with Him and with each other. And yet, they were rebellious and disobedient. So God in His great love and mercy sent His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue His people from their sin and rebellion.
May we trust in God not only for our children, but also for our salvation in Jesus Christ.