Wisdom from Mrs. Manoah (Judges 13)

I appreciate this Judges 13 conversation between Samson’s parents.

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.”

First of all, I enjoy the fact that this very sensible rebuttal is coming from the wife. I don’t have especially feminist leanings, but this exchange does feel vindicating in light of some less flattering episodes like the ugly, emotional outburst of Job’s wife.

Interesting that the very next thing scripture records is,

24 Then the woman gave birth to a son…

If then indicates immediacy here, I’ll be forced to abandon my gloating, and admit that Manoah’s wife was simply an exceptional woman. No normal woman is this rational or this optimistic in the moments before she brings a child into the world via natural childbirth.

I don’t think my bubble is burst though—this exchange between Samson’s folks occurred just a few days after the initial announcement to Mrs. Manoah that she would soon conceive. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the birth occurred some time later.

Truly though, I enjoyed this speech before I took any particular notice of whose mouth it came out of.

I periodically go through seasons where purpose and joy are noticeably lacking from my daily endeavors. It’s not utter hopelessness or depression. It’s more like the angel on my shoulder has been talking to Eeyore. A subtle fog of pessimistic insecurity permeates my thoughts, leaving me disjointed, tired, and apathetic. I know that something is wrong, and I can will myself to shake it off temporarily, but it refuses to go away entirely.

This could be a Satanic assault on my thought life. Or it could just be a case good ol’ discouragement, resulting from my obvious inadequacies. I really don’t know. But, in either case, somewhere in the back of my mind, I imagine that God is zeroed in on all my failures, shaking his head in unsurprised disappointment—as I do it again.

This is where Samson’s mom comes in handy.

She says to her husband,

Why would God show up us and tell us of all these marvelous things if his intention was just to kill us?

Makes good sense.

Is God disappointed when I sin? Of course. I would be disappointed if he wasn’t.  But is he resentfully resigned to my failures, with no recourse but to wait around for the next inevitable manifestation of my suckiness?

After he made me in his image? After his sacrifice on the cross? After giving me the grace to stand, to fight, to be who I was made to be? After all the ways he has revealed his heart to me? After proving to me at many times and in many ways that I’m his beautiful little girl whom he adores? After holding me, protecting me, and prospering me? After investing in me and helping me to grow all these years?—

Do I really think his intention is to passively disapprove while I flounder?

That makes no sense.

Mrs. Manoah would be ashamed.

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4 thoughts on “Wisdom from Mrs. Manoah (Judges 13)”

  1. Dear One, Blessings to you. You are loved and cherished by your Father above. You make Him smile with great pleasure at your willingness to expose yourself to further magnify His grace. You continue to amaze me as you continue to grow in His grace and beauty. In Him

  2. Great post. I had just been thinking, “Where’s Crystal?” when this popped up.
    Much needed sense from an unsung biblical hero. And a pregnant one at that!
    I loved “the angel on my shoulder has been talking to Eeyore.”

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