|Listen to the Bible|
Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:In Judges 13 we read the story of how an angel appeared to Samson's mother and father, announcing his birth. Samson was to be a special person, set apart by a Nazarite vow, for his entire life.
Monoah, Samson's father, must have been thrilled at the news that they would have a son - for his wife had been barren. But he was also in awe at the responsibility with which Heaven was entrusting them. We can see this by his great concern about getting Heaven's clear instructions for how to raise this special child:
Judges 13:8, 12 "Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born... And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?"As I read this story, and Manoah's question to the angel, I remembered back to the first moment when I held my own children in my arms. (My son, Christopher, was born on August 31, 1994 and my daughter, Katrina, was born on August 18, 2000.) My husband and I held those tiny hands and looked into the precious faces of our newborn children.
|My husband saying Grace before a meal with our son, Christopher|
I remember thinking, as I beheld the perfectly formed little ones in my arms, "such a perfect gift from God deserves a perfect parent." And a perfect parent - I was not! I am not...
Have you ever experienced this? -The overwhelming awe of realizing Heaven has entrusted you with a job that is too much for you to accomplish? Parenting is the ultimate "you-aren't-able-to-do-this-right-on-your-own" kind of job assignment. Thankfully, as Manoah realized, we don't have to do it on our own - in fact, we must not do it on our own.
One of the most amazing things about God - I think - is that He never sends the most qualified ones to do a job. Instead He qualifies the ones He sends! Think about it... If God were to choose the most qualified preacher to give a sermon, He would have to send one of His holy angels. Angels never disconnect from God. They do His Will perfectly every time without fail. But God sends people like you and I. He uses us, imperfect though we are, to accomplish His salvational Work! And He entrusts people like you and I with the work of raising the next generation to know and love Him. It's pretty amazing to consider.
God knows that we need to be used of Him for these things. In fact, we grow in our love for Him and our own personal character development, on the job with God. And it is by remaining aware of our deficiencies and His Strength, that we - like Manoah - may be wise enough to stay connected with Him. In Him, we can do all things, through Christ Who strengthens us!
As Dr. James Dobson once said, "No job can compete with the responsibility of shaping and molding a new human being."
But to equip us and make us up to the job, did you know that God has blessed us with 65 Bible promises concerning the offspring of His people? To see them all, and how they apply, I highly recommend the book God's Promises for Your Children, by Mike Shreve. I want to share some of these with you today, to help you in your prayer life (and parenting) for your own children - whether they are still in your home, or grown.
These are the Words of Yahweh, showing what is His Will for you and your family:
1) Life & Obedience to God - Deuteronomy 30:19-20
2) Circumcision of the Heart - Deuteronomy 30:6
3) For you and your family to be in God's Covenant - Deut 7:9
4) For you and your family to be saved - Acts 16:31
5) A legacy of integrity and blessing - Proverbs 20:7
6) Trust in God's Provision - Psalm 37:25
7) That you and your seed will inherit the earth - Psalm 25:12-13
8) That you and your children will be blessed, spiritually grow, and ultimately receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - Isaiah 44:3-4
9) God Himself will instruct your children, if you ask Him - Isaiah 54:13
10) God will impart His Righteousness to your children - Psalm 103:17
11) Hope for restoration if your children are lost - Jeremiah 31:17, Isaiah 43:5-7
12) Your children are to be anointed, filled with God's Spirit, spiritually strong, and fruit-bearing for the Kingdom - Psalm 128:3
13) You and your children will proclaim the Word of God - Isaiah 59:21
14) Your children have angelic protection - Matthew 18:10
15) God will bless you with an eternally enduring house - 1 Kings 11:38
In closing, I leave you with this powerful blessing over you and your family:
"Yahweh shall increase you more and more, you and your children." (Psalm 115:14).