“You are barren right now, being harassed by the enemy, but you are about to conceive and have a son.”
That’s what the angel of the Lord said to a nameless woman, the wife of Manoah, and soon-to-be mother of Samson, in Judges 13.
In addition to this exciting promise, the angel of the Lord spelled out conditions that the family and soon-to-be son were to follow. No wine. No fermented drink. Nothing unclean. And, for the boy, when he was born, no razor.
This boy had been set aside by God, before conception even, as a Nazirite who would deliver Israel from its enemies.
Manoah was skeptical, so he prayed to God that the angel of the Lord would return and, “teach us how to bring up the boy.”
Didn’t the angel already provide that information?
A Nazirite. No wine. No fermented drink. Nothing unclean. No razor.
But Manoah wanted more information.
He added, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?” (Judges 13:12)
The angel answered.
“Your wife must do all that I have told her.” And then the angel repeated, verbatim, what he had already told Manoah’s wife.
It’s human nature.
We want details re: the future… so that we can remain in control of our future. We may never say it or admit it, but our desire to know and be in control of our future comes from the fall and Adam and Eve’s desire to be independent from God.
But Romans 8:14 spells out a totally different lifestyle for the believer. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons and daughters of God.” The verb in the Greek for “led” is present tense, an “on-going action with no assessment of completion.”
The Christian life is intended by God to be a day-by-day dependent relationship with Him by His Spirit… inviting the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us every moment of living.
God is after relationship even more than what we view as information or outcomes.
It is true that there will be times when the Spirit will “tell you what is yet to come,” (John 16:13) but, like the angel in Judges 13, it is usually just enough information to point you in a direction… but not so much that you won’t still need God along the way.
In Manoah’s case, more information would have been too much information. God gave him and his wife all they needed to know at that moment.
No more. No less.
Our job is to draw near. Listen. And obey what we have been given.