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Judges 13:1-7, The Birth of Samson

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

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 13:7

NL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


After Israel was freed from slavery and governed by God, but before Israel had kings, God spoke to the people through prophets. Regularly throughout Israel’s history they strayed from God’s ways. This period of time in Judges was no exception.

God sent a son to a woman previously barren (quite a gift already). This child would grow to be one of God’s greatest prophets, Samson.

You may know parts of Samson’s story, especially the part when Delilah cut off all his hair and then he brought down a building. There’s quite a lot more to the story, of course. When I was younger I thought that Samson’s hair was magic and all his strength was in those locks. But it wasn’t that his hair was magic. His hair, uncut, represented his total devotion to God. When he betrayed his secret to Delilah, who had already tried to kill him several times, and thereby to the Philistines, who wanted to conquer Israel, he betrayed his devotion to God. It was this betrayal that led to his demise.

We can see in this reading that God intended for him to be loyal from birth to death. Even as a child, he was not allowed to cut his hair. He was marked a prophet from the very beginning.


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Judges 13:1-7

The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” 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.’”

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