04 Jun Judges 11: Surprising grace
Judges 13:1-5 – And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. 2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. 3 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. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”
What comes to your mind when I say “Samson”? For most of us, what comes to our mind are strong, long hair, womanizer, or Delilah. For me, when I hear the word “Samson,” what comes to my mind is the image of Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) or Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). I always pictured Samson as someone who was well-built, muscly and went to the gym seven days a week. He was like Popeye the sailor man on steroids. But when I studied the book of Judges, I realized I was wrong. Samson was super strong, but he was not strong because he worked out a lot. Samson was strong because the Spirit of the Lord was at work through him. So, Samson was probably looking less like Rambo or Terminator, and more like Edrick. Not saying that Edrick is not muscly. Although we cannot be sure of Samson’s physical build, we can agree that Samson’s story is extremely fascinating. His story is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible.
Let me give you a bit of context on Samson. Samson is the last judge in the book of Judges. And Samson has more airtime than any other judges before him. He gets 4 chapters for himself. Why? Here is why. Samson’s life is the summary of the entire messages of Judges and points us beyond the book of Judges. Through Samson’s life, we see a clear contrasting picture of both Israel’s unfaithfulness and God’s faithfulness. And Samson is very different from all the other judges before him. All other judges still reflect some degree of godliness in their lives. For example, the first judge Othniel is the ideal judge who trusted God, fought God’s battle, and thrived in his marriage with Achsah. But when we get to Samson, Samson is everything Othniel is not. Samson is a man driven by his own desire, fights his own battle, and gets involved with the wrong women again and again. How do we get from Othniel to Samson? Samson’s life is the picture of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God. But at the same time, Samson’s life is the picture of God’s faithfulness to Israel. Because despite Samson’s unfaithfulness, God is using Samson to save Israel. That’s why Samson is a very fascinating character. And if we can be honest, Samson’s life and Israel’s life are the reflections of our lives. Their unfaithfulness is our unfaithfulness. But the good news is that even when God’s people are unfaithful, God is still faithful to save His people. Because here is what we see throughout the book of Judges. The focus of the book of Judges is not on the judges God raise to save His unfaithful people but on the faithful God who saves.
Today we are going to look at the story of Samson’s birth. I have four points for my sermon: Surprising condition; Surprising intervention; Surprising revelation; Surprising salvation.
Judges 13:1 – And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.
And so, the Judges cycle repeats itself again. Remember the Judges cycle? From rebellion to oppression to distress and to rescue. However, this time it is not the same. There is something different about the cycle this time. As we mentioned throughout the series, the cycle is not simply circular, but it is getting worse and worse with each cycle. Let me show you what happened. So, Israel rebelled against God, and God gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. 40 years. That’s a long time. This is double the next longest oppression, which is 20 years during the time of Deborah and Barak. So, who are the Philistines? The Philistines are very sophisticated people who are very advanced in their weaponry, architecture, and culture. They are far beyond any other civilization at the time. They are the first people to work with iron and make iron weapons. And they will become Israel’s archenemies for many years to come. If you remember the story of David and Goliath, Goliath is a Philistine. So, the conflict between the Israelites and the Philistines will continue for many years after Samson. And the Philistines are very depraved and extremely cruel. They represent the enemies of God at their strongest. They are far superior to Israel in every way.
But, and this is very important, the way they infiltrate Israel is not simply by force. What they do is they introduce and bring the Philistine values to the people of Israel. And the people of Israel adopted the values of the Philistine world. Israel recognizes the rule of the Philistine god, Dagon, and there is no clear distinction between them and the Philistines. There is this hopeless resignation that things will never change. Israel has accepted that this is how they are and will always be. How do we know? Because something we have come to expect is missing in the Judges cycle. Does anyone notice what it is? We have rebellion and oppression, but there is no distress. There is no cry for help. In the times of Gideon, there was no repentance, but Israel still cried out to God. But now, Israel not only does not cry out in repentance from sin, but they also do not cry out for relief from misery. They are content with being oppressed by the Philistines. This is very problematic.
And notice the phrase that has been repeated throughout the book of Judges. Judges 13:1 – And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord… This is the last time it appears. Later in the book, the author of Judges will say the same thing in a different way. Judges 17:6 – In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. He changes the phrase “evil in the sight of the Lord” to “right in his own eyes.” Why? The author is making a point that many of the things the people of Israel do are evil in the sight of God but are not evil in their own eyes. In other words, they think what they do is perfectly acceptable. They do not think, “I know this is evil. I know I should not do it, but I am going to do it anyway.” They think, “Hey, this is cool. This is awesome. Let me do it.” And yet it is evil in God’s eyes.
This tells us two truths about sin. First, the definition of sin. What is sin? Sin is not so much about violating our own standards but violating God’s standards. Sin is not judged by what we think is evil in our sight but by what is evil in God’s sight. If evil is determined by our own eyes, it means that there is no absolute standard of right and wrong. Everyone gets to choose what is right and wrong for themselves. And this is the mantra of our culture. They say, “This is my life. I have the right to do whatever I want to do. Who are you to tell me that I can’t do this and that? Who are you to tell me that it is wrong for me to marry the same sex? It feels right to me so it must be right.” But this is very problematic. Because if that’s true, how could we tell Nazis that it was wrong to exterminate Jews? Because they were convinced that they were doing the right things in their own eyes. Can you see the problem? Our own eyes are not sufficient in defining sin. But the Bible tells us that sin is defined as violating God’s standards for us. What God sees as evil is sin, regardless of what we feel, or what the culture agrees on.
Second, the deception of sin. These verses show us how easily self-deceived we are. Deep inside their hearts, the Israelites know what is right and wrong in the eyes of God. But they rationalize their sin and convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. Apostle Paul puts it this way. Romans 1:18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Paul argues that everyone knows the truth. Every single person. No exception. But what they do is they suppress the truth that they know to justify their lifestyles. We do not know what rationales they use, but we must remember that the heart of every sin is idolatry. What is an idol? An idol is not always a bad thing; it is often a good thing that becomes the most important thing. For example, loving our children is a good thing. Children are a gift of God given for us to enjoy God. The purpose of the gift is to glorify the Giver. God wants us to have a family centred on God. But if we are not careful, we can easily make an idol of our children and make our life centred around them. Instead of a God-centred family, we have a child-centred family. So, rather than making decisions based on what God says, we make decisions based on what’s good and convenient for our children. We put the needs of our children above our worship of God. We prioritize their nap times, lesson times, birthday parties, and assignments above coming to church. And we justify our decisions by telling ourselves that we are simply being sensible, caring, and loving to our children, when in fact we have put our children in God’s place in our hearts. And this is evil in God’s eyes. Can you see how deceitful an idol is? The line between loving our children and making an idol of children is a very thin one. That’s why we must constantly evaluate ourselves by God’s words and that’s why we need to be planted in a gospel community. Because here is what I know about all of us. We are experts at rationalizing our own sins because they don’t look bad in our own eyes. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to speak to us and remind us of what’s good and evil in God’s eyes. But here is a question. What does God do with His people who don’t even care about Him and don’t cry out to Him for help? What does God do with His people who are so comfortable living in sin that they don’t think it is wrong? Let’s move on with the story.
Judges 13:2-3 – 2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. 3 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 is a surprising intervention. Because Israel does not even cry out to God for help. Israel does not even want to forsake their sins. If you ever experienced the pain of being cheated on by your loved one, then you know that there is no pain like it. It is pain on steroids. And what do you do when you are being cheated on and the other person has no intention whatsoever to work on the relationship? You move on. You walk away from the hopeless relationship. And this is what happened between God and Israel. Israel cheated on God and had no intention to forsake their sins and work on their relationship with God. The smart thing for God to do is to move on. Walk away from Israel. But God’s answer to His people’s refusal to forsake their sins is grace. Samson is a gift of unmerited surprising grace. God intervenes in the situation of Israel even though Israel does not ask for it. This shows us that it is God’s grace alone, not Israel’s repentance, that is the basis for Israel’s deliverance. Because if God’s grace is only given when people ask for it, let me tell you, none of us would be here today. We would still be dead in our sins. But the good news of grace is that while we were still sinners, while we were still enemies of God, while we still did not want to have anything to do with God, Christ died for us. Praise God that His grace is greater than all our sins, greater than all our stupidity, and greater than all our stubbornness. God’s grace is not something that we deserved; it is something that we can only receive freely.
So now, God intervenes in the situation of His people and begins another story of deliverance. And what is interesting is the people God uses to accomplish His purpose. We are told that the name of the husband is Manoah, but we never get to know the name of his wife. Let’s call her Mrs Manoah. And Mrs Manoah has one massive weakness; she is barren. In those days, barrenness is the worst thing that could happen to a woman. Barrenness is a symbol of hopelessness because without children there is no foreseeable future for themselves, their family, or their people. The cultural identity of a woman is strongly connected to how many children she has. If she has many children, she is considered blessed. If she has no children, she is considered useless. And I am sure Mrs Manoah has been longing to have a child for many years. She tried everything she can to conceive but she could not. Her situation is just as hopeless as Israel’s. But then something happens. The angel of the Lord appears to her and says, “Yellow, I know you are barren, but you are going to get pregnant and have a son.” After years of struggling with barrenness, those words from the angel are life to her. But the angel has more to say.
Judges 13:4-7 – 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” 6 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. I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name, 7 but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”
The angel makes it clear that this miraculous son is not like any other son. He will be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines. And to be a Nazirite, there are three basic stipulations. These are called the Nazirite vow and we can find them in Numbers chapter 6. Three stipulations. First, you must not cut your hair during the vow. Second, you must not drink any produce from the vines, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. This included red wine, white wine, champagne, Heineken etc. Even grape juice and purple Fanta are off-limits. Third, you must not have any contact with any dead body. The purpose of the Nazirite vow is to ask for God’s special help during a crucial time. It is a sign that they are looking to God with great intensity and focus. So, they separate themselves for God and live before the presence of God. But here is what’s interesting about Samson’s Nazirite vow. The Nazirite vow is usually made voluntarily and only for a definite period of time. But Samson’s vow is different. Samson is born into the Nazirite vow involuntarily and he is to stay a Nazirite all his life. Even when Samson is still in the womb, his mother is not allowed to drink any wine or eat anything unclean. So, God set Samson apart for God from the womb. Samson is the only judge who is chosen and set apart by God from before his birth. Samson is very special. At this time, we can’t help but have high expectations of the kind of judge he will become. Then Mrs Manoah tells Mr Manoah everything the angel told her.
Let’s pause here for a bit. This motif of the barren woman is a familiar pattern in the Bible, isn’t it? God has often worked in the world through a child whose existence is impossible, humanly speaking. Think about Isaac. God promised Abraham that he would have a child through his wife, Sarah, who was barren. And when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old, when it was humanly impossible for them to give birth, voila, Isaac was born. Think about the prophet Samuel, the person God used to anoint the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. He was born to a woman who was unable to bear children, Hannah. Think about John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord. He was born to Elizabeth who was barren and old in years. And in this story, we find Samson is born to a barren woman, whom we don’t even get to know her name. Why? God is trying to communicate that the salvation He brings for His people is something that is impossible for humans to do. I love the way Dale Ralph Davis puts it. “There are times in Yahweh’s history with His people that He refuses their help and will not allow them to add their touch. Instead He brings His salvation or relieves their distress in the face of impossible human odds. He displays His power precisely when and where they can contribute nothing, and all in order to lift our eyes to Himself, so that we will have no illusions or delusions about where our help is found.” The reason why God chooses impossible means to achieve His salvation is to show that God is the God of the impossible. And when God makes the impossible possible, all eyes will look to Him. Salvation belongs to God alone.
And don’t miss the important lesson about God’s salvation. This passage not only teaches us that God’s salvation will be accomplished through impossible means, but God’s salvation is given to the undeserving people. God brings His salvation to people who are not looking to be saved. It tells us that God’s salvation is never dependent on us. Let’s be crystal clear. God does not love us because we are beautiful; God makes beautiful those He loves. God does not save us because we are righteous; God makes righteous those He saves. God does not choose us because we are strong; God makes strong those He chooses. It means that no matter who we are, no matter what kind of circumstances we are in right now, no matter what kind of mess we did, there is hope for us. And that hope is not found in us trying to do better to save ourselves. That hope is found in receiving God’s undeserved unmerited grace for us.
Judges 13:8-14 – 8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” 9 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. But Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, “Behold, the man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.” 11 And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?” And he said, “I am.” 12 And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what is to be the child’s manner of life, and what is his mission?” 13 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. 14 She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.”
When Manoah heard everything from his wife, he prays to God to send back the man whom He sent to his wife. Not because he does not trust his wife, but because Manoah has questions. And the question is, “How am I supposed to raise my son? He is certainly unique and special. What am I supposed to do with him? I need help on how to raise him.” And God hears Manoah’s prayer and sends the angel back to them. And when Manoah meets the man, he asks, “Tell me more about the child. What is his mission? What kind of life will he live? How am I supposed to raise him?” And I love the angel’s reply. He says, “Go and talk to your wife. I’ve told her everything you need to know. I am not going to give you any new information.” Let’s continue.
Judges 13:15-20 – 15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” 16 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your 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 And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the Lord, to the one who works wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground.
At this time, Mr and Mrs Manoah still have no idea whom they are talking to. They think they are talking to an ordinary man. So, Manoah offers to prepare food for him. But the angel refuses and instead tells him to prepare a burnt offering to God. Now, Manoah is getting more curious about the man. So, he asks the angel, “What is your name? Tell us your name so that we may honour you when the child is born.” Listen to the angel’s reply. Judges 13:18 – And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” The ESV translation of this verse is not clear. Let me show you the CSB translation. Judges 13:18 – “Why do you ask my name,” the angel of the Lord asked him, “since it is beyond understanding.” The angel is telling Manoah, “My name is too wonderful for you to understand. It is beyond your understanding. It is too much for you to take in. Even if I tell you my name, you won’t be able to comprehend it.” Hmmm… that’s interesting. Do we happen to know any other character in the Bible who has a wonderful name that is beyond our understanding? Perhaps we sing, “What a wonderful name it is… what a beautiful name it is… what a powerful name it is… the name of…” I wonder if this angel could be… And so, Manoah offers the offering to God. And when the flame goes up from the altar, the angel of the Lord goes up in the flame of the altar. When Mr and Mrs Manoah witness it, they fall on their faces to the ground.
So, what’s the lesson for us? A few weeks ago, I received a message from a mom who asked for a book recommendation on family and parenting. She was concerned about how to raise her child amid our anti-Christian culture. She said it is “scary scary tasty” (ngeri ngeri sedep). And isn’t that what Manoah wants from God? Manoah wants the details of what he must do to raise his son well. He wants information. He wants principles. He wants rules. That’s why he asked God to send back the angel. But when the angel returns, he gives no new information at all to Manoah. So why would the angel return if he has no new information to give? The angel does not give Manoah what he wants. But the angel gives Manoah something else. The angel gives Manoah what he needs. Manoah thinks he needs information; God says Manoah needs revelation. Instead of giving Manoah instructions on how to raise his child, God reveals to Manoah who He is. God says, “I am someone whose name is beyond understanding. It is too wonderful for you to grasp. That’s all you need to know.” In other words, God is saying to Manoah, “Do you want to know how to raise your son? What you need is not more information. What you need more than information is to know who I am. Having more rules will not help you raise your son. Only when you truly know who I am you can have the guidance you need to raise your son.”
Parents, do you hear that? Do you want to raise your children well? In reply to my friend’s message, I gave her Paul Tripp’s book on parenting. It is the best book I’ve read on parenting. But do you know why it is the best book on parenting? Not because Paul Tripp’s name is beyond wonderful but because his book points you to the only one that can help you raise your child. Timothy Keller puts it like this. “We think we need rules, but we need to know God. God does not, and will not, give us a guidebook for every twist and turn, every doubt and decision in our lives. He gives us something much better – He gives us Himself.” Parents, listen carefully. What you need to raise your children well is not more regulations and rules, but for you to know God. And the more you know God, the more you love God, the more you can help your children to do the same. Because what your children need above all is to know and love God for themselves. I am not saying rules are not important. When your child is little, you must give them rules. You have to keep telling them, “Don’t do this, don’t do that. Don’t touch that, don’t eat that.” Otherwise, they would touch electric sockets, and eat poop. Children need rules. But the older they get, the less rules work. They start to formulate their own thoughts and values. So, if all you give them are rules, it won’t be sufficient. What you need to give them is a revelation. They need to know God for themselves. And their knowledge of God begins with you knowing God for yourself. In other words, get this. The best parenting you can give your children comes from your personal relationship with God. So, parents, do not settle with simply giving rules to your children. Gives them what they truly need. Gives them God. Show them who God is in and through your lives. That is the best gift you can give to your children. And this not only applies to parenting but every area of life. Friends, do you want to know who you should date? Do you want to know which job to take? Do you want to know where you should live? Listen. What we need more than information is a revelation. To the degree we know who God is, to that degree we know how to navigate through life with wisdom.
Judges 13:21-25 – 21 The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.” 24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Let’s make it crystal clear. This angel of the Lord is no ordinary angel. When Manoah realises who he is, he says that they have seen God. Not an angel, but God. And this angel of the Lord has appeared a few times in the book of Judges. And every time he shows up, there is always a blurred line between the angel of the Lord and the Lord Himself. In other words, this figure is the angel of the Lord, and yet also the Lord. It is one of the mysteries of the Old Testament which is impossible to understand without the New Testament. If there is one God, how can He be both in heaven, having sent this visible figure, and at the same be the visible figure? The only explanation that makes sense is that this angel of the Lord is none other than the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. The angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Now it makes sense why he has a name that is too wonderful for human understanding.
When Manoah realises who the man is, he immediately says to his wife, “Honey, we are going to die. We have seen God. And there is no way anyone can see God’s face and live.” Manoah knows his Old Testament. He understands God’s holiness and he trembles at God’s presence. And I love Mrs Manoah’s reply. She says, “Babe, use some common sense. After all the things the angel told us, there is no way we are going to die. I am miraculously pregnant. And we have to raise this child as a Nazirite. If we die now, we can’t have a child and raise him. Where is the logic in that? Think, babe.” And Manoah probably replies, “That makes sense. You are right honey.” Husbands, there is an important lesson here. When you disagree with your wife, just give in straight away. It saves you a lot of time and energy, and she’s probably right anyway. Okay, that’s a joke. I can sense some wives are eagerly shouting amen in their hearts. But I love the fact that Mrs Manoah is more logical than Mr Manoah. It tells us that women can be very rational as well. In fact, wives tend to be more rational than their husbands in desperate situations. So much pain and mistakes could be avoided if husbands learn to value the common sense and insight of their godly wives. Amen, wives?
So, Mrs Manoah gives birth to a son and named him Samson. And here is what’s interesting about Samson’s name. It means “little sun,” which is attributed to the sun god that the Canaanites worshipped. It is concerning that a future judge of Israel is named after a pagan god. It’s like naming your Christian son, “little buddha”. Nevertheless, God is at work in the life of Samson. As Samson grows up, he is blessed by God and God’s Spirit begins to work in him. So, Samson is a boy conceived miraculously, chosen by God, set apart for God’s purpose, blessed by God, and filled with God’s Spirit. Samson has every spiritual advantage. Everything about this chapter tells us that Samson is a very special person. He is the last judge in the book of Judges, the last great hope for Israel. We can’t help but look forward to the many great things he would do to save God’s people. There is new hope for Israel. Dawn has come. God has broken through their barrenness and given them another saviour to save them. But let me give you a spoiler. We will find ourselves disappointed in almost every way. Because Samson will not turn out as we expected at all. But that’s next week’s sermon.
Here is where I want to land the plane today. Why would the author of Judges give us the details of Samson’s birth? The author obviously thinks Samson’s birth narrative is very important or he wouldn’t have devoted much attention to it. But why? I think God is trying to give us a hint of the kind of salvation we need. Remember this is the first time a judge is promised before birth. It is as if God is saying to us that the Saviour we need is not someone from among us that God will just make stronger. In order to save us, God is going to have to start from scratch. And note what God says in verse 5. Judges 13:5 – for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines. That’s interesting. Samson shall begin to save Israel. That means he won’t finish it. But Samson is the last judge in the book of Judges. So, who will finish what Samson begins? The answer is David. David will be the one who defeated the Philistines. But even David’s salvation is not complete. David’s salvation is only a shadow of the true salvation that is to come.
Let me tell you about another Saviour who will complete the work of salvation. This Saviour is also promised before his birth. This Saviour is also born miraculously. An angel came to a virgin girl and told her that she would conceive a son. And the name of this Saviour is Jesus Christ. The birth of Samson is a shadow of the birth of the ultimate Saviour, Jesus Christ. But if the birth of Samson brings honour and joy to the barren family, the birth of Jesus brings shame and disgrace to the family. If all other judges gained honour and glory in saving God’s people, Jesus lost all his honour and glory to save God’s people. But through his sacrifice, Jesus completed what Samson began. Jesus’s salvation is the only complete salvation because He is the only Saviour who finished the job. That’s why at the cross, Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” To let us know once and for all that the work that he came to do, the work of God’s salvation for His people, has been completed. The battle is over. Jesus has won. Sin is defeated. And now we can rest in the victory that Jesus has purchased for us. Jesus is the true Saviour of God’s people. Jesus is the ultimate gift of unmerited surprising grace to God’s people. Let’s pray.
- What struck you the most from this sermon?
- Explain the danger of the deception of sin. List out some practical ways to battle it.
- What is so striking about God’s intervention in giving Samson to Israel? What does it teach us about God’s grace?
- What is the difference between information and revelation? Why do we need revelation more than information?
- How does Samson’s birth point us to the gospel?