Recently I was reading the book of Judges and came across a man called Manoah, from the tribe of Dan. Reading his story, I couldn`t help but make comparisons between him and the priest Zechariah in the New Testament (Luke 1). Both Israelite men were living under the oppressive rule of foreign conquerors and both men loved their God. Manoah and Zechariah also had wives who were sterile and thus neither had a natural heir.
However when their destinies were about to be radically changed and the yearned after a child granted, only one of these men had the faith to immediately embrace the promise of God. That man was Manoah. He not only believed the testimony of his wife who had the first angelic visitation, but he also sought God himself and asked for wisdom on how to bring up his promised son. ‘When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?’ (Judges 13:12).
But his counterpart Zechariah responded in unbelief (Luke 1:19). `How can this be?` and then good ol` Zechariah went on to explain to the angel why this word could not be fulfilled (Luke 1:18). I hasten to add that God brought His purposes to pass through both men, and both sons born had an important part to play in Israel`s history, but only Manoah`s immediate response to the news pleased God (Hebrews 11:6).
A man or women of faith knows that nothing is impossible for God to accomplish nor any word of His beyond fulfilment (Luke 1:37). Zechariah is described as being a man who walked uprightly before God and observed His commandments blamelessly (Luke 1:6). But in this instance, his doubt stood out far more than his belief. I wonder when you read about the lives of these two men, which man you identify with the most. Let me put it another way. When God speaks, are you a Manoah or a Zechariah?
Prayer: Father God, I want to be like Manoah, who took You at Your word and wasn’t swayed by the impossibilities of his situation. Thank You that nothing is impossible for You, in Jesus` name. Amen.
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