Daily Readings: Joshua 13-16, 2 Corinthians 2
Reading for the Day:
Joshua 13:22 “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!”
In Judges 13-16, we read the story of Samson, the son of Manoah. The Israelites had done evil so they were delivered in to the hands of the Philistines, one of the more ruthless enemies Israel had ever faced. In the midst of this, an angel appeared to Manoah's wife, who was barren and childless, and she is told she is going to have a son. He would be set apart at birth by the Nazarite vow, and no fermented drink would touch his lips. He was also never to be shaved, or a razor to touch his face. At first Manoah did not believe his wife, so he begged for the "man of God" to come again. The angel of The Lord came back to his wife in the field, and she called her husband out to meet him.
After re-affirming to Monoah that she would have a son who would be set apart from birth Manoah says, "We are doomed to die, since we have seen God." You can read the rest of the story about God, who grew in the power of the Spirit, which was upon him since he was born. Though making many mistakes along the way, God performed amazing miracles among Samson, as he delivered God's people from the Philistines for twenty years.
We will see this story again in 1 Samuel, Samuel's mother is also barren and yet bears Samuel, who would be Israel's last judge, and anoint Israel's first two kings, Saul and David. Then, in the New Testament, we have John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, and also was not to touch any fermented drink. John's mother, Elizabeth, was also old in age, childless, and thought be barren. John would be the prophet who announced Jesus' coming to the earth.
Most of the time a person sees an angel in the bible, the first words the angel says are, "Fear not!" Apparently angels are pretty intimidating. They are direct messengers of God, and manifest His presence and glory. When people meet angels they often believe they have seen God face to face. In this case when Manoah speaks with the angel, and he utters, "We are doomed to die we have seen God!"
Many people who claim to see God say it is a very wonderful and joyous occasion, especially those who think they have seen what heaven is like. While I have no reason to doubt these stories, nor would I want to, we also see several examples in the bible when people see God they fall down to their knees in absolute fear. They realize they are before the One who created the heavens and the earth and no words can explain the power and awe they experience.
God wants us to approach him and through Christ we know can stand before Him without fear of judgment. But at the same time this story reminds us of how awesome is God's presence and we should approach him accordingly.
As we remember how great is our God and what it would be like to meet him face to face, let us have a healthy fear of God's presence and person We can be thankful during this Easter season that through Christ one day we will meet God the Father face and he will welcome us into His kingdom forever! Amen.