"A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth." Judges 13:2
So far in the book of Judges, we've seen the Israelites rise and fall. We've seen them turn TO God and seen them turn AWAY from God. One thing we find constant is this: God never forsakes His people. We also find another important detail throughout the book of Judges: God uses normal, everyday people to do His work. In Judges 13, we find that the Israelites once again did evil in the sight of God. At this point the Israelites had been enslaved by the Philistines for forty years. But God used an unlikely couple to bring His plan of rescue into fruition. God sent His angel to Manoah's wife. The angel of the Lord told her she would have a son, one who would be a Nazarite. In Judges 13:4-5, he says, "Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazarite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines." God chose Manoah and his barren wife to do an incredible work for the people of Israel. It may have looked like Manoah and his wife would finish out their lives and have no children to carry own their name or their legacies, but God had other plans. He took the most unlikely people and gave them an opportunity to do something Godmazing! Of course, Manoah had questions and concerns, but God spoke to Manoah and his wife through the angel. Manoah was so scared that he actually thought they were going to die. In Judges 13:22, Manaoh says, "We are doomed to die! We have seen God!" But Manoah's wife calmly reassures her husband that God has spoken to them and chosen them to bring His plan of rescue to the Israelites. And Judges 13:24-25 says, "The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol."
While many of us are captivated by the story of Samson, the Israelite deliverer, let's not overlook what God did to and through Manoah and his wife. This barren man and woman prayed to God, and they were obedient to the commands the angel of the Lord delivered to them. Even though many of their friends and neighbors couldn't see it or understand it, God was working through them powerfully. Manoah and his wife would have the responsibility of raising up a Nazarite son who would one day lead the Israelites out of the hands of the Philistines. I don't know what plans or purposes God has for you. I don't know if you are young or old or in between. I don't know if you are a likely candidate or an unlikely candidate. However, I do know this: GOD USES PEOPLE! God uses all kinds of people to do His work. The question is whether we will believe God and will we be obedient to His commands and plans???