they did not know
Judges 13:8-25 (JDV)
Judges 13:8 Manoah prayed to Yahveh and said, “Excuse me, Lord, let the man of God you sent come again to us and teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born.”
Judges 13:9 God listened to Manoah, and the agent of God came again to the woman. She was sitting in the field, and her husband Manoah was not with her.
Judges 13:10 The woman ran quickly to her husband and told him, “The man who came to me the other day has just come back!”
Judges 13:11 So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” “I am,” he said.
Judges 13:12 Then Manoah asked, “When your words come true, what will be the boy’s judgment and work?”
Judges 13:13 The agent of Yahveh answered Manoah, “Your wife needs to do everything I told her.
Judges 13:14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine or drink wine or beer. And she must not eat anything unclean. Your wife must do everything I have commanded her.”
Judges 13:15 “Please stay here,” Manoah told the agent, “and we will prepare a young goat for you.”
Judges 13:16 The agent of Yahveh said to him, “If I stay, I won’t eat your food. But if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to Yahveh.” (Manoah did not know he was the agent of Yahveh.)
Judges 13:17 Then Manoah said to him, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your words come true?”
Judges 13:18 “Why do you ask my name,” the agent of Yahveh asked him, “since he is miraculous.”
Judges 13:19 Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to Yahveh, who did some miracle while Manoah and his wife were watching.
Judges 13:20 When the flame went up from the altar to the sky, the agent of Yahveh went up in its flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell face-down on the ground.
Judges 13:21 The agent of Yahveh did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the agent of Yahveh.
Judges 13:22 “We’re absolutely going to die,” he said to his wife, “because we have seen God!”
Judges 13:23 But his wife said to him, “If Yahveh had intended to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted the burnt offering and the grain offering from us, and he would not have shown us all these things or spoken to us like this.”
Judges 13:24 So the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew, and Yahveh empowered him.
Judges 13:25 Then the Breath of Yahveh began to stir him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
they did not know
There were a lot of things that this couple did not know in this story. Manoah and his wife were trying to put all the pieces together and they needed each other to stay focused. God was doing something amazing, but he did not fill in all the blanks for them.
Most of our lives — particularly during those periods when God chooses to work his miracles among us — we will be gloriously ignorant. We just need to help each other through those times. Someday we will see the big picture.
LORD, thank you that you do not require our understanding to do what you are doing.