Then the woman came and told her husband, "A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from and he did not tell me his name; but he said to me, 'You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.' " Judges 13:6-7 NRSV
Manoah and his wife, from the tribe of Dan, have no children. An angel comes to the barren woman and announces she is going to have a baby boy but he is going to be especially consecrated to God, so she is to watch her diet as well as the boy's. And they should never cut his hair.
Obviously, angelic appearances and announcements to barren women are common throughout the bible. The birth of any child is a miracle, but the birth of a child to someone who was considered barren is an awesome miracle. If an angel comes to let you know you are going to have a baby, then it is quite apparent that God's hand is in the conception and life of the child.
This child is going to continue to be special because he will be a nazirite, set apart from others for God. His diet must be pure and he cannot consume alcohol. In fact he cannot eat anything from the grapevine (see Numbers 6 for more details about the nazirites)! In addition, a nazirite must never have their head shaved. The real significance about this nazirite is that, instead of choosing to live this life, God sets up this life for him.
Obviously, we are to pay attention to this child - he is going to be special!
God, thank you for the miracle of birth and for children everywhere! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of the day: What sets you apart as a child of God?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims