Manoah’s Prayer [13.8]
Scripture (KJV): Judges 13:8
8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.—Judges 13:8 (KJV)
8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, saying, “Lord, please let the man of God come back to us again and give us more instructions about this son who is to be born.”—Judges 13:8 (NLT)
Then Manoah entreated the Lord…Josephus has advanced the idea that the woman entreated (prayed to) the Lord; but the text is clear that it was Manoah that prayed. When he was informed by his wife of the pleasing prediction, the husband made it the subject of earnest prayer to God. This is a remarkable event, and is useful to illustrate the connection which God has established between prayer and the fulfillment of His promises.
Manoah earnestly prayed for the child they were promised. He was not skeptical of the story his wife told him; he knew she was a virtuous woman, and therefore he trusted her. He knew she would not attempt to impose upon him, and Josephus was wrong to unworthily represent him as being jealous of his wife's conversation with this stranger.
Article 13.4: Manoah—The Father of Samson
Manoah was the father of Samson, and a member of the tribe of Dan. His wife is unnamed in the Bible. When Manoah's wife (who was barren) told him an angel came to her with the news "You will be with child and will bear a son," Manoah then prayed to the Lord. An angel then appeared to Manoah and his wife again. Upon the angel's suggestion, Manoah offered a holocaust* to the Lord. The flame rose up to the sky from the alter, and the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Manoah thought he and his wife would die "for we have seen God." But his wife pointed out "If the Lord had meant to kill us, He would not have accepted a holocaust* and a cereal offering from our hands." (Judges 13). Samson was born later. Manoah and his wife tried to persuade Samson not to marry a Philistine woman, but Samson was too determined to do so. Manoah and his wife accompanied Samson to Timnah where the ceremonies took place. When Samson died, he was buried "between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah." (Judges 16:31).
The name Manoah means "rest."
*holocaust: a burnt offering.
and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send unto us; and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born;… he believed that the man that came to his wife was a man of God, and that God had sent him; and he was not skeptical of the message he brought, as it appears from the following verses.
Being firmly convinced of the truth of this announcement, and at the same time reflecting upon the obligation which it imposed upon the parents, Manoah prayed to the Lord that He would let the man of God whom He had sent come to them again, to teach them what they were to do for the boy that would be born to them, i.e., how they should treat him. But:...
1. He takes it for granted that this child of promise shall eventually be given to them, and he speaks without hesitation of the child that shall be born. There was not found so great faith, no, not in Zechariah, a priest, that served at the altar of the Lord, and to whom the angel himself appeared, as he did to this honest Danite. Things hidden from the wise and prudent, are often revealed unto babes, who know how to prize God's gifts and to take God's word. Blessed are those that have not seen and yet, as Manoah here, have believed.
2. All he cares about is what they should do for the child that would be theirs.
Note, Good men are more concerned and eager to know the duty that is to be done by them than to know the events that will occur as a result; for duty is ours, events are God's. Solomon enquires concerning what the good men should do, not the good they should have, Ecclesiastes 2:3.
3. He therefore prays to God to send the same blessed messenger again, to give them additional instructions concerning the raising of this Nazarite. Perhaps he feared that his wife's joy over this child might have made her forget some part of the instructions given by the angelic messenger. He wanted to be fully informed so that they do not make a mistake: "Lord, let the man of God come again unto us, for we desire to commit his words to our hearts and minds.
He believed there would be a child born, and he knew what was to be done to a Nazarite, according to the law of God, and the angel had mentioned some of them to the woman; yet this was an extraordinary case; the child was to be a Nazarite from his birth to his death. For that reason, he wanted to know everything that he was supposed to do for him, or if there was anything special and in particular to be done for him; which showed his readiness and cheerfulness to obey the will of God in all things.
The OT Law not only gave instructions concerning Nazirites and clean and unclean foods, but also it told parents how to raise their children. (see Deuteronomy 6). It wasn’t necessary for the Lord to give Manoah and his wife additional instructions when the word of God also told them what to do.
This deep desire to be guided by God in the upbringing of their child is one which all parents should desire. Teach us what we are to do is the prayer of countless parents as they face their parental opportunity and know they are not wise enough or good enough to do it without God.
Note, Those that have heard from heaven will want to hear more, and to meet with the man of God.
Observe: Manoah does not go himself or send his servants abroad, to find this man of God, but seeks him upon his knees; he prays to God to send him, and, thus seeking, he finds him. Would we want God's messengers, the ministers of His gospel, to bring us words for our instruction? (see Chapter 63). Entreat the Lord to send them to us, to teach us, Romans 15:30, 32.
___________________________verse 8 notes______________________________
(Ecclesiastes 2:3; ASV) “I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life.”
To give myself unto wine, (yet acquainting [נהג noheg, "guiding"] mine heart with wisdom)—I did not run into extremes, as when I gave up myself to mirth and pleasure. There, I threw off all restraint; here, I took the middle course, to see whether a moderate enjoyment of the things of the world might not produce that happiness which I supposed man was created to enjoy here below.
(Romans 15:30, 32: KJV) “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;… That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.”
Verse 30. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit -- or, "by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit" -- not the love which the Spirit bears to us, but that love which He kindles in the hearts of believers towards each other; that is "By that Savoir whose name is dear to all of us and whose unsearchable riches I live only to proclaim, and by that love one to another which the blessed Spirit diffuses through all the brotherhood, making the labors of Christ's servants a matter of common interest to all -- I beseech you."
that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me -- implying that he had his grounds for anxious fear in this matter.
Verse 32. That I may come unto you with -- "in"
joy by the will of God -- (Ac 18:21 1Co 4:19 1Co 16:7 Heb 6:3 Jas 4:15)
and may with you be refreshed -- rather, "with you refresh myself," after all his labors and anxieties, and so be refitted for future service.