Restoration & Praise
Christian Fellowship Center
Devotional Reading: Judges 13:19-23
Background Scripture: Judges 13-16
LESSON SCRIPTURES: Judges 13:1-7, 24, 25
Exerted from: Standard Lesson Commentary 2016-2017 (KJV): StandardLessonCmy2016KJV.
JUDGES 13:1-7, 24, 25
1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
After participating in this lesson, each learner should be able to:
1. List factors and conditions intended to shape Samson’s spiritual development.
2. Evaluate how expectations may have shaped Samson’s attitudes and actions as he grew up.
3. Describe a parental or community expectation that has shaped his or her life in a positive way.
When you reflect on your childhood, what memories come to mind? Is it that family outing to the beach during which you were first taught to swim? Is it the aroma of your favorite meal being lovingly prepared? Is it a favorite family tradition that was always practiced during holiday times?
But maybe it is a curfew that you had to follow that was an hour earlier than the curfew of your friends. Perhaps it is your parents’ insistence that you not go to a movie that everyone was talking about, because it celebrated ungodly behavior. Possibly it is going to church every Sunday, even when you didn’t want to!
Good parents make a real difference in the lives of children. Some parental actions are pleasant and affirming. But some will seem unpleasant and even unreasonable in the mind of a child. Yet both are necessary to bring a youngster to maturity. Today we will conclude our look at some famous judges of Israel, not by looking at the judge himself, but at this judge’s parents.
Understanding the Lesson
This is the last of the studies on four delivering judges in the book of Judges, the seventh book of the Old Testament. There were two other major judges (Othniel and Ehud) and six judges who seem only to have served as magistrates in different parts of Israel.
In the previous lesson Jephthah defeated the Ammonites that had oppressed the central portions of the land for 18 years. Judges 12 gives the details on another problem that confronted Jephthah: Ephraimites from the western side of the Jordan came to complain that he had not called them when he led the battle against the Ammonites. Jephthah’s reply was that he had called them and they had not come (Judges 12:2, 3). It could be surmised that after Jephthah’s situation with his daughter (see last week’s lesson), he did not feel like trying to appease men who wait until the battle is over before they choose sides.
The outcome was a battle between two groups of Israelites. Jephthah and his Gileadites defeated the Ephraimites from the western side of the Jordan (toward the Mediterranean Sea).
As the Ephraimites retreated, Jephthah’s men gained control of the fords where the Ephraimites would cross the Jordan River. Each Ephraimite who attempted to cross the Jordan was asked to say a certain word. Anyone who pronounced the word a certain way was recognized as being an Ephraimite and therefore executed (Judges 12:6). Tribes had conquered the promised land some 300 years previously (11:26), which provided time for regional dialects to develop.
The last verses of Judges 12 give basic facts of three men who seem to have served only as magistrates in their areas: one in the south, one in the north, and one in the middle section of Israel.
In 1946, Dr. Benjamin Spock published The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. For more than half a century, this book was a consistent best seller, selling more than 50 million copies and being translated into about 40 languages. Mothers were encouraged by a basic message: you know more than you think you do!
Samson’s parents lived well before Dr. Spock. They received direction, not from a popular author, but from God himself. Child-rearing experts have some value, but we can encourage parents to this day with the words of God, who knows more than all of us combined!
From the Standard Lesson Commentary 2016-2017 (KJV): StandardLessonCmy2016KJV.