How did you discover you were pregnant for the first time? Or how did your mother know that you were on the way? Samson’s mother’s experience was definitely out of the ordinary!
Israel had fallen into the familiar cycle of sin, suffering, “sorry,” and salvation. God continued to send judges who try to steer the nation back on course, but they failed to remain steady time and time again. In the midst of this sad state of apostasy, the account of Samson begins with a miraculous appearance of the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Christ, to announce to Samson’s mother that she would have a son despite being barren.
This is the only time in the Bible that we see God calling someone to follow the specific Nazarite vow throughout their lifetime (in fact, his mother is commanded to follow it even while she carries him). Why? Why Samson? Why these particular parents?
I don’t know, but it is revealing that the Angel of the Lord tells them, “He will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.” He didn’t say Samson would deliver them, just that he would begin to save them. Even before he was born, God was fully aware of Samson’s abilities and his weaknesses. God had a plan for Samson’s life even before he was conceived, just as he had a plan for each of our lives before we were conceived.
Before we were born, God designed our DNA for specific tasks. Every good and perfect gift is from Him. Throughout our life, he provides opportunities – but we have the choice, as Samson did, whether to walk in the works He created beforehand (Ephesians 2:10) or whether to turn away. We’ll see tomorrow what choice Samson made, but what about you? What choices has God laid before you? Most of us make some choices to follow God, and make some to turn to our own way, and reap the results of those choices.
It may take a lifetime to fully embrace God’s calling and be willing to give everything just to know we are doing what He designed us to do.