There is a woman, the wife of Manoah. She is barren. Though we don’t know how long she and Manoah have tried to have children, God sends an angel to her with good news. He promises she will become pregnant and have a boy. However, he also requires something of her.
She must not drink alcohol or eat anything that isn’t kosher. Though we might assume this only applies while she is pregnant, the Bible doesn’t say that. This might be a lifelong requirement for her, because when she and Manoah later ask the angel how they should raise their baby, the angel repeats these same instructions to her.
As far as their son, he also has restrictions placed on him. He should never cut his hair. They are to raise him as a Nazirite, though Scripture doesn’t explain exactly what this means. However, the instructions for living a set-apart life are not just for Samson but also for his mom. If she doesn’t do her part, Samson might not be able to do all God has planned for him.
She does indeed get pregnant and gives birth to a baby boy. She names him Samson.
Unfortunately, Samson grows up to have many character flaws, which eventually lead to his downfall. Despite his shortcomings he accomplishes much for God and the nation of Israel. The key to his success, however, may have hinged on his mom’s compliance to do what God said. A godly, obedient mother establishes the spiritual framework for Samson to move into his calling and rescue God’s people.
Just like Samson’s mother, many women change their dietary habits when they are pregnant. They do this to give their baby his or her best chance of enjoying a healthy life. Many moms continue to forgo their personal desires for the sake of their children as they grow up and even after they move into adulthood.
Our sacrifices for others are an expression of our love for them. What are we willing to give up for someone else’s benefit?
[Discover more about Samson’s mother in Judges 13:2–24.]
Read about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and numerous books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.