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before the LORD.

Judges 13:8–14

Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, “O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”

And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!”

So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, “Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?”

And He said, “I am.”

Manoah said, “Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?”

So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe.”

Many of the events in scripture are glorious and comical at the same time. Manoah’s prayer is answered beautifully and the Angel of the LORD appears to Manoah’s wife again. Then she bolts, leaving Him just standing there.

Of course, He’s God, and He knows what’s going on, but it’s amusing to imagine Him patiently twiddling His thumbs waiting for her return. As we’ll soon see, He’s going to reveal Himself and blow their minds.

But for a few minutes, He has to just sit tight until they return.

Manoah finally shows up and sounds like the king of silly questions. He asks the Angel of the LORD if He’s the same guy that showed up yesterday. It’s the perfect set up for a comical comeback like, “No. That was my twin brother.” Or even, “Someone was here yesterday?!?”

But the Angel of the LORD is there on serious business and plays it straight saying, “I am.”

All kidding aside, Manoah’s questioning is actually excellent in an important way—posture. He’s asking in the way a servant should ask his Lord. Manoah’s pumping Him for information, but he’s not pushing Him to do anything in conformity with Manoah’s will. That’s the correct posture when dealing with the Almighty.

This explains what happens next. Manoah asks, “What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?” It seems that the Angel ignores the question, but He really just edits it. Manoah asks for the information he thinks he needs. The Angel gives him the information he actually needs. She must avoid eating grapes, drinking wine or similar drink, or eating anything unclean. That’s what’s important; nothing else matters.

He's answering Manoah’s original prayer, “Teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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