The New Life Within
Judges 13:2-5 (2) And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. (3) And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. (4) Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: (5) For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Set before us is the announcement of the coming of Samson to deliver Israel. He would judge Israel as a deliverer and therefore a savior, the Judges of this 450 year period (ACT 13:20) even being called saviors (NEH 9:27). His name means “like the sun.” He therefore markedly foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior Who is seen in His role of judging His churches “...as the sun shineth in his strength” (REV 1:16). Unlike Christ, Samson proved to be a compromised deliverer and it may be observed that Samson only should “...begin to deliver Israel...” (JDG 13:5). Jesus Christ was not compromised at all (1PE 2:21-22), and He not only began deliverance, He completed it: “...It is finished...” (JOH 19:30). He is both the Author and Finisher of our faith (HEB 12:1-2), not just the Alpha but also the Omega, the beginning and the ending (REV 1:8; REV 22:13). It is furthermore guaranteed to the believer “...that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (PHIL 1:6). It is a comfort to know that our Savior of Whom it was said, “...he shall save his people from their sins” (MAT 1:21) actually did so; He “...by himself purged our sins...” (HEB 1:3). Those who believe that enter into His rest, the sweet sabbath of ceasing from going about to establish their own righteousness (HEB 4:10-11 c/w ROM 10:3). In our text, the angel was announcing that Samson would be “...a Nazarite unto God from the womb...” (JDG 13:5). The vow of the Nazarite under Moses' Law was one of special separation of holiness unto God in which some of the normal liberties were suspended (NUM 6:1-8). Any breach of these special requirements made the Nazarite spiritually unclean (NUM 6:9-12). Of particular interest is the fact that the Nazarite had specific restrictions on food and drink: (NUM 6:3) He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. (NUM 6:4) All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. But our text shows that his mother, although not herself under the vow of the Nazarite, was forbidden from eating or drinking the things which would defile a Nazarite. Since the child in her womb would partake of whatever she ate, she was to forego these things even before conception, and logically as long as she was pregnant or breast-feeding. This establishes that God views life as beginning with conception. Similarly, by comparing ISA 7:14 with MAT 1:23, to conceive is to be with child. These and various other such proofs in Scripture should answer the question once and for all for a believer as to when life begins, and the intentional killing of innocent life is murder (EXO 20:13 c/w MAT 19:18; DEU 27:25, etc.). The conception of Samson was a new life formed in the mother's womb. For the sake of what was formed in her, she was not to let an area of liberty cause defilement. Believers should note this carefully: liberty should not be allowed to be an occasion to the flesh (GAL 5:13) lest it cause defilement. Those who have come to the knowledge of the truth are consistently warned, “...that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (2CO 6:1). Sadly, some who are raised up by grace are brought low by not tempering their liberty, not governing their desires. They feed their new man fleshly desires until it is overcome. The victorious Christian is one who reins in his bodily desires lest they occasion his demise: (1CO 9:27) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. As Manoah's wife was to cleanse herself of those things which would defile the holy Nazarite within her, so believers should consider their call to separation and act accordingly: (2CO 6:17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2CO 6:18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2CO 7:1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Mind that 2CO 7:1 orders a cleansing from filthiness of flesh and spirit. It is not enough to only cleanse oneself of bodily defilements but also of spiritual defilements. Paul thus deemed his former religious thinking as dung (PHIL 3:5-9). Doctrines that oppose the gospel are the products of seducing spirits that should not be heeded (1TI 4:1). The Galatian saints who had been saved to the knowledge of Christ had yielded themselves to false teachers with a false gospel. Paul's teaching had reformed them from sin, conformed them to Christ, only to see them deformed by a flesh-pleasing heresy. NOTE: doctrinal corruption is an open door to practical corruption and many immoralities are rationalized by heresies: lust-oriented people desire teachers who will scratch their itch (2TI 4:3) and there is seldom a shortage of false teachers who “...allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error” (2PE 2:18). Of those Galatian saints who had been converted by Paul's gospel, he would have to write: (GAL 4:19) My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, Paul had amply shown them Christ yet Christ was not yet formed in them. It was as if they had aborted Paul's efforts. The problem was that they had fed their own souls a defiling diet of heresy and fleshly desires, corrupting and deforming any potential they had to be deliverers of anyone. They were the ones that needed deliverance but where was there a Samson among them? Low is the condition of a church among whom not even a compromised judge and deliverer arises. Low is the condition of the saint whose light is darkness (LUK 11:34-35), who must be taught again and again the first principles (HEB 5:12) because Christ is still not formed in him. Lust-oriented thinking underlies this form of abortion even as it underlies the willful abortion of a natural conception.