Samson’s story began like so many others in the Bible, with a woman who was unable to conceive and had no children. But also like so many of these other stories, that would not continue to be the case. One day the angel of the Lord appeared to this woman and told her that she would have a son. Then, unlike many of these kinds of stories in Scripture, the angel of the Lord went further and gave specific instructions for how the boy was to be raised, even while he was still in the womb: no wine or beer, nothing unclean to eat, and no haircuts. He would be a Nazirite from birth.
The woman reported all that she had been told to her husband, Manoah, who then prayed. But his prayer was not what many of us would have expected. He did not thank God for this promised gift, nor did he ask God for strength and wisdom to obey. Instead, he asked God to send the man of God back once more to teach them what they should do for the boy to be born. In other words, Manoah prayed for the very thing his wife had just been given.
If we are honest, we have to admit that there is some of Manoah in each of us. We too are prone to ask God for the very things He has already given. Perhaps it is because we doubt Him and want confirmation. Perhaps it is because we secretly hope He will give us a different answer the second time. Or perhaps it is because we just don’t listen well. Whatever the reason or reasons, we can do the same. And this is why we need to pay attention to how God responded to Manoah. He sent the angel of the Lord back again! Let us never fail to remember that God is a patient God, full of grace and mercy for His people.
What have you asked God for repeatedly, even after He answered you? Why?