It was a blessing straight from God. The answer to my prayers. My dream come true. What I'd been hoping for since I was a little girl.
Or so I thought.
Then again, who would blame me for expecting the best? When the angel of the Lord shows up on your doorstep not once, but twice, who wouldn't think life was about to get rosier? Yet, that's not exactly how it ended up for me.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Maybe I should just start from the beginning.
When Manoah and I got married, we planned to have a houseful of children. We were soon reminded, however, that we could prepare all we wanted, but it was only the Lord's plan that was guaranteed to come about.
As the years went by, we (actually, I) began to wonder if I'd done something to fall outside of God's favor. Children are, after all, a blessing from Him, and we just weren't getting any.
I have to admit I was close to losing hope when the angel showed up. That all changed the minute I looked into his face. How could a woman be pessimistic when an honest-to-goodness angel announced that her prayers would be answered beyond her wildest imagination?
Not only was I going to be blessed with a child, it would be a boy. To top that off, he would be a Nazirite from birth, dedicated to our Lord, and he would grow up to deliver us from 40 years of Philistine rule. What could be better than that?
Apparently, several things. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.
I told my husband what the angel said, but it seemed he needed confirmation from a higher source, so to speak. He asked God to send the angel again, and before I knew it, that awesome figure was before me. He informed Manoah that our son was to avoid anything from the vine and all things unclean, and all the other Nazirite restrictions (Exactly what his loving wife had told him earlier, by the way). So, it was settled.
Manoah and I assumed our job as parents would be easy. After all, God had hand-picked our son for the job. Our sovereign Father would raise him up to follow Him devoutly, right? We were certain our boy would graciously and wholeheartedly live up to his Nazirite vows. After all, why would God have us devote him in the womb if our son wasn't going to follow through?
I hate to say I may never know the answer to that question.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love my son. He is God's gift to Manoah and me. It's just that he seems to have this tendency to go against our, and the Lord's, commands. Trouble seems to be his middle name, and, besides his physical strength, defying authority appears to be his defining characteristic, if you know what I mean. We tried to bring him in the training and admonition of the Lord, but there's only so much a parent can do.
Like that Philistine woman. I tried to warn him that she was trouble, that he should marry one of his own kind. But did he listen to me? Not for a moment. He dragged us off to Timnah to arrange the marriage with that pagan anyway. Imagine our shame. Our son, a Nazirite, marrying outside the faith.
Fortunately - thank the Lord - their marriage didn't last very long. His exploits didn't stop, however. It seemed all he wanted to do was incite the Philistines to anger. I thought the angel said my son would deliver us from our oppressors - not rile them up at every opportunity. He doesn't seem to be making much progress, either. Makes me wonder if that really was an angel.
I do have a bit of hope. He's found himself a nice girl, it seems. She's certainly pretty, but seems sweet too, and our son clearly adores her. Perhaps my dream come true is still possible. Maybe all he needs is the right girl to help him get straight with God, to help him live up to the promises the angel made all those years ago.
Maybe, just maybe, Delilah is that girl.
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