When I was young, I listened to records. A scratch in the surface of a vinyl record would cause a song to repeat at the same spot over and over again. We called it a “broken record.” It would sound something like this, “And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord – And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord – And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”
Judges 13:1, “And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” In the Bible, when something is repeated, you are looking at a theme, and the theme of Judges is God is faithful when we are not. Israel would do evil, a foreign nation would enslave Israel, and God would do something special that only he could do to remind Israel that he is their God.
Samson was going to be special, it was obvious before he was born. “There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son’” (Judges 13:2-3).
Some of my favorite records were my Bill Cosby albums. In one sketch, Cosby recounted his days as a college high jumper. Back then it was believed that no one could jump higher than they were tall, but girls were watching, so Cosby said, “Set the bar at 6′ 2″. Bill Cosby is 6′ 1”. “If I can’t jump my own height,” he reasoned, “why can’t I jump one inch over my own height?” Only three kinds people make ridiculous statements like that: nonsensical people, comedians, and God.
God said to the wife of Manoah, “You are barren and sterile. You will have a son.” The difference is, God clears the bar. Manoah’s barren wife had a son. Samson.
God Almighty, I can do all things through You. You give me the strength to find peace and contentment in any circumstance. Whether I have plenty or am in need, weak or strong, You are my strength. If You are for me, who can be against me.
God, may I walk in the confidence of Your strength, and the humility of mine. I pray that I grow daily in dependence on You, and in replacing my will with Yours.