Judges 13: Samson’s Mom the Theologian

Samson’s mom has got it goin’ on. 

Seriously. She does. Let me give you a few reasons:

Reason #1: The Angel of the LORD appears to her

This doesn’t happen to just anyone. Hagar, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon . . . I might be missing a few. These are special people.

Or maybe the Angel of the LORD showing up is something that makes you special. In that case, God chooses a nameless woman from Zorah to be quite special indeed.

Reason #2: She is cool under pressure.

After the angel visits her and tells her she will bear a son, she calmly walks to her husband, explains what happened, and then uses the phrase (in what might be the best translation choice the NIV ever uses) “very awesome” to describe said angel.

I love it. I just picture her saying it very matter-of-factly. “Yes dear, like I said, very awesome. Now can you pass the sugar?”

Reason #3: Her husband trusts her.

Why is this a reason? Well, you could just chalk it up to her husband being a rather trusting fellow, but we will see that this may not be the case.

I think she has earned his trust.

Twice in this chapter she has an encounter with the Angel. Her husband believes her before he has even seen him. He easily could have dismissed the account of a woman too crazy for God to have entrusted with the ability to procreate. But he didn’t. He knew she was telling the truth.

Reason #4: She teaches her husband good theology.

This is my favorite.

After the pair discover that the Angel was the Angel of the LORD, her husband flips out.

“We shall surely die, for we have seen God”

Here is her response:

“If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these”

That is calm, reasoned, rational theology. And let me be clear: she has to teach it to her husband who, by the way, is freaking out like just about everyone does when they see God. Everyone thinks they are going to die but they never do!

I agree with her, God doesn’t show up and tell us things just so he can kill us.

So What?

Pay attention to the nameless women. They might be the very people God is speaking to.

Keep an eye on people who can’t have kids. God seems to like them a lot. (not that he doesn’t like people with kids. I am just noticing some recurring themes)

Sometimes men are the ones who react “emotionally” and need a strong, thoughtful woman to talk them down. 

Women are just as capable of teaching good theology as men are.



8 responses

  1. I LOVE this, Ben. Years ago, I wrote a series of 1-act playlets for a Bible study I was leading, all of them about OT women. And Manoah’s wife was one of those. I was struck by the very things you have noted so well here. And of course by the fact that she is never given a name, though she is arguably the very center of this story. Great job.

  2. Haha, love this!
    “Keep an eye on people who can’t have kids. God seems to like them a lot. (not that he doesn’t like people with kids. I am just noticing some recurring themes)”

    my husband and I are 6yrs down our infertility journey but God has done epic things in our lives in the area of family and we are holding on to some promises from Him… which we believe this delay in conception is actually a vital part of the journey…
    However, because people misquote “children are a reward from God” we have had all sorts of comments about how this is proof of how far from God we are, it’s a result of unrepentant sin and more colorful opinions – boo! Christians can be thoughtless and mean!

    • It seems like us Christians have a knack for putting our feet in our mouths when we try to comfort people. Glad you and your husband have your heads in the right place. Keep on the journey! Excited to see where it leads!

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