“A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son.’” (Judges 13:6-7)
Long before the Son of God came into our flesh, before the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to predict the birth of John the Baptist, or to Mary to predict the miraculous and virgin birth of Christ our Savior, the Angel of the Lord appeared to the wife of Manoah.
Read all about it, dear Christian. You need to know your history better. Read and learn how God did not leave His people without a testimony of the One Who was to come as our Redeemer. But that One came even to the people who were waiting.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the preaching of Christ, even before He was born!
So when the angel of the Lord declares that his name is “wonderful,” remember what Isaiah says of Jesus: “He will be called WONDERFUL, Counselor, Mighty God . . .”
When the angel of the Lord ascends in the flame of the altar, remember how one of the seraphim took a live coal off of the altar of the Lord and touched it to Isaiah’s lips, saying, “Behold, this has touched your lips, Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged.”
Then mark how Manoah says to his wife, “We shall surely die because we have seen God.”
But they did not die. Instead, the woman bore a son and named him Samson, and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
Long before the Son of God was born into our flesh, the Angel of the Lord appeared and gave a son to Israel, for their deliverance. That was foreshadowing what would happen later, how God would send the Only Son of God, the Sinless Son of God, Whose power and might do not reside in uncut hair, Who overcame the devil’s temptations while poor Samson fell for Delilah’s wiles.
Samson died a sinner. Jesus died in place of Samson and the rest of us who needed saving. The Angel, the Messenger of the Lord, Who descended in our flesh, but was consumed upon the altar of God’s Wrath on Calvary, that One still touches our lips with His Flesh and His Blood, still visits us with His Redemption, and does not destroy us. His Name is Wonderful. His Name is Jesus.
Daily Lectionary: Judges 13:1-25
Higher Things would like to thank the Rev. Rick Sawyer (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School, Brandon, MS - email@example.com) for writing this season's Reflections.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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