Judges 13 – Part 2QUESTION: Philistines/PreIncarnation - 2ANSWER:
Judges 13 – Part 2
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
“So Jesus returns, but not to Manoah. He comes back to Mrs. Manoah while she’s sitting in a field. Interesting, with a kind of Mary and Martha thing going on, it looks like Manoah is too busy, but his bride is sitting out in a field. That’s where Jesus goes, to people who are available, receptive. This should say a lot to us today. Are we too busy to receive Jesus?
“Mrs. Manoah ran as fast as she could to get her husband and brought him back to meet the ‘man’. Look at verse 11, Manoah asked Jesus, the Angel of the LORD, if He was the man who’d spoke to the missus earlier. And what does the Angel of the LORD say? ‘I am.’ Sound familiar? Sound like a confirmation that this is God? It sure does to me.
“Manoah asks the Angel of the LORD how they should raise the child. This is huge for family leadership! He’s humble. He’s looking for guidance. I know a bunch of you guys are at least a few years from getting married and starting a family, but do not think that this stuff is irrelevant for you. Learn it, know it, live it.
“So Jesus repeats to Manoah the rules for his wife to follow and the life their son will lead. Here’s another very large family minute: it’s not about the kids, it’s about the parents! Did you get that? The LORD says in Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’
“As a husband-wife, mother-father team, we’ve got to model Scriptural living for our children. The best thing a parent can do in this dark, brazen society in which we live is to let your children see you walking joyfully with the Lord! No compromises. Model the behavior Jesus calls us to in front of your kids and all the time.
“Back to Judges 13. Through all of this, even the ‘I am’, Manoah still does not recognize the ‘Man’ as the pre-incarnate Jesus, the Angel of the LORD. But, because he was taught good manners, he invites Jesus to dinner.
“In verse 16, Jesus again affirms who He is. He says that He won’t eat their food, but it would be good for them to offer a burnt offering to the LORD, to YHWH. Now, to be sure, Jesus is not making a negative comment about Mrs. Manoah’s cooking, He is giving them a second demonstrative statement on who they are talking to, trying to let them know how important this encounter is.
“Now Manoah sees a little bit of light and asks the ‘Man’ what His name is. Jesus says, in verse 18, ‘Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?’ That’s another hint. Remember in Isaiah 9:6? ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be on His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful…’ There you go.
“Do you think maybe Jesus should be getting impatient with this guy? Three major, major league hints as to Who He is and Manoah still doesn’t get it. That’s another word for us. Jesus is all about patiently showing us the Way, if we’ll listen. In life, in parenting, in our careers, in our financial dealings, He is there for you.
“Manoah is a lot like many of us. He goes about things with a religious fervor. He’s a believer, not necessarily in the LORD, but in the right thing to do. So he took a young goat and a grain offering and made a burnt offering on a rock altar to God.
“Now watch this. Verse 20 says, ‘It happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar – the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar!’ When Mr. & Mrs. Manoah saw this, they fell on their faces on the ground. They finally got it! In verse 21, it says Manoah, ‘knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.’ Yet another model for parents. Be on your faces, together, before the Most Holy LORD.
“I believe that the Monoahs were strong, staunch, religious people. But they’d been living under a spirit of busyness in a lewd, licentious culture. Just like the proverbial frog in a slow-boiling pot, they were fried. It took four very, very demonstrative signs for them to even recognize Jesus.
“Is it possible that we, today, in the American church are much like Mr. & Mrs. Manoah? Are we too busy to know when Jesus shows up in our lives? And even if we saw Him, spoke with Him, could it be that we’d not know Him? This wasn’t like the two believers on the Emmaus Road in Luke 24. The Lord made Himself unrecognizable to them. This would be our doing. Are we so entangled with our culture that ‘I am’, ‘Wonderful’, ‘the LORD that deserves all worship and praise’, could come to us and we not know him? May it never be!
“The bottom line is we must conquer, vanquish, and wipe out the Canaanites in our lives. Lust is a Philistine in your world. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh. Take its city, make rubble of its walls, slaughter its inhabitants. But, once you’ve conquered, refuse to be like the nation of Israel in Judges. Do not entertain the idols of the former inhabitants. Don’t let the Philistines back into your Promised Land. Remember, there is a generational nature to sin, we must break the cycle for our children.”Judges 14 – Go!