Friday – Judges 13-15
Waiting is hard, like really hard. Most boxes of frozen foods give two sets of directions, one for the microwave and one for the oven. I’m the kind of person who always picks the microwave. I’m also the kind of person who abandons a movie if it hasn’t struck my interest in the first five minutes, and you bet I’ve read the last page of every book I start because I can’t wait to see how it ends. On every road trip, I ask “Are we there yet?” dozens of times.
“Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years” (Judges 13:1). The Israelites have fallen back into sin and in desperation, they call out to God… and wait.
Suffering for forty years, I imagine many Israelites were wondering what God was doing in their waiting. Did He hear their prayers? Did He still care for them?
Another woman, Manoah’s wife, was also waiting, but for a child. “A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth” (Judges 13:2).
Even when they could not see it, in their waiting God was working. You see, the answer to Manoah’s wife’s prayer was also the answer to the Israelites’ prayers.
“The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, ‘You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines’” (Judges: 13:3-5).
This baby boy, Samson, grew up to liberate his people from the Philistines. In those forty years of waiting, God was preparing for them a leader who would bring deliverance.
Are you in a season of waiting? Whether you’re waiting for a promotion, a spouse, a child, a house, a cure, or a plan, God hears your prayers. Child of God, your heart’s deepest desires are in the hands of the Almighty; in the meantime, trust that God is working. Maybe He isn’t working in the way you’re expecting, but He is still working.
We’ll jump more into Samson’s (spoiler alert: crazy) life tomorrow, but for today I want to leave you with scripture that has encouraged me in my times of waiting:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7).
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:13 & 14).
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope (Psalm 130:5).
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).
In your waiting, He hears you. He fights for you. He is working.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=judges+13-15&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Judges 16-18 as we finish another week on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan. And, it’s always a great place to start up, too!