“Beware” – Instructions for a Nazarite
“Beware” – Instructions for a Nazarite
Judges 13:9-16 9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. 12 And Manoah said, now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? 13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. 14 She may not eat of anything that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe. 15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.
Verse 9 – I find it interesting that it was Manoah who prayed to the LORD for guidance on how to bring up the child. The LORD hears his prayers, but the LORD chooses to appear before his wife – again. Why wouldn’t the LORD appear to him? Or at least to both of them together. Why? I submit, that even though it Monoah who specifically prayed for this when he asked to please let the man of God come again to “US” – it is possible that his wife was in a place spiritually and even logistically that was more conducive to the LORD’s appearance. It seems that the LORD deemed it fit to appear to her first and not him! Also because it was concerning child birth, it would have more to do with the woman than he as a man.
Verses 10-11 – Monoah “followed” his wife! This speaks to how it is that sometimes husbands need to follow their wife’s lead.
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Ephesians 5:21 infers that first and foremost there is a mutual submitting of one to another. Then verse 22 follows.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
There is nothing wrong with the husband who the LORD has placed as the head of the home following his wife’s advice or lead if she has specifically heard from the LORD. In a covenant marriage – both are expected to submit to one another first. Likewise, the Bible doesn’t say to the wife “wife – love your husbands”. NO! It says “husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).
Upon getting to the place where the angel of the LORD was waiting for them, Monoah asks the “angel” if he was the one who appeared to his wife previously. The “angels” response – “I AM”. Now there is the biggest clue that Monoah was given about who was speaking to him, but the penny hasn’t dropped for Monoah – yet! It was “I AM THAT I AM” who was speaking to him – the LORD Himself.
Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Verses 12-14 – Did the LORD totally ignore his question on how they were to raise this child? That was his prayer request to the LORD. Why is it that instead of giving them instructions or at least answering Manoah’s question, He simply says let her beware. He then goes on to explain in detail what she is to be careful in, in terms of the Nazarite vow. This may be viewed as a (1) Physical being careful, and (2) a Spiritual being careful. While pregnant the baby in the womb has a God given ability to sense the emotional and spiritual well-being of their mother – whilst in the womb. Basically, what the LORD was telling her here was to be very careful, because it has spiritual applications. It seems that the LORD is more concerned with the parenting of their child than the child himself.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Verses 15-16 – Monoah is satisfied with what he had said, and perceiving that he chose to say no more, and was about to depart, Monoah invited him to eat a meal with them, as a token of gratitude for the trouble he had been at in bringing these messages to them. Taking him to be a man, a prophet of the LORD, for whom they were accustomed to make entertainments.
The angel refuses to be detained by them, and suggests that if he is to offer anything, he should offer a burnt offering unto the LORD. Manoah needed this explanation because he was going to offer this to Him, not as the LORD Himself, or even an angel, but just a human messenger. The instruction is intended to emphasize that this visitor is indeed the LORD. The angel is not opposed to Manoah preparing an offering to the LORD. He just does not want the offering made to him. He will not take of the offering. Angels are not to be worshipped.