To assist you in spending time each day asking God for the overflowing presence of the Holy Spirit, we will share a brief devotion several times each week for the next two weeks. They come from Nicky Gumbel, creator of the Alpha Course. If you would be interested in his daily devotional, find it here: Bible in One Year. I encourage you each day to launch from Nicky’s concluding prayer into your own time of asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you more of Jesus, and to let His power move powerfully in your life. Today’s text begins below:
3. Extraordinary power
Arguably, we see a hint of the whole Trinity in this passage also. We read of ‘the Lord’ (13:1), but we also hear about ‘the angel of the Lord’ who appeared to Samson’s parents (v.3): ‘He looked like an angel of God, very awesome’ (v.6). Later, ‘the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: As the flame blazed up from the altar towards heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground … Manoah realised that it was the angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!” ’ (vv.19–22)
Could this be the second person of the Trinity? Jesus, in our New Testament passage for today, uses the language of the Son of Man ascending (John 6:62). Earlier in John’s Gospel we read of ‘the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’ (John 1:51).
The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is clearly at work here at the birth of Samson: ‘The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him …’ (Judges 13:24–25). The Holy Spirit gave Samson extraordinary and unusual strength and power.
We see in the Bible that God often blessed the children of those who had waited a long time to have children and had thought it was too late, for example Sarah with Isaac and Elizabeth with John the Baptist.
Samson was like John the Baptist in many ways:
- In both cases, it was thought that the mother could not have children and something of a miracle was required (Judges 13:3; Luke 1:7)
- In both cases, the angel of the Lord spoke clearly to the parents (Judges 13:7; Luke 1:13)
- Both children were set apart for God from birth (Judges 13:7; Luke 1:14–17)
- Neither of them was allowed to touch any alcohol (Judges 13:7; Luke 1:15)
- The Spirit of the Lord came upon both of them from a very early moment in their lives (Judges 13:25; Luke 1:15)
Prayer to guide you today:
Lord, thank you for the extraordinary strength you gave to Samson. Please fill us with your Spirit today. Give us spiritual strength and power to resist the enemy and live holy lives. May we bring the good news of Jesus Christ to others. Use us to bind up those with broken hearts and proclaim freedom to those imprisoned in their own wrongdoing (Isaiah 61). May we also bring the comfort of the Holy Spirit to those who are sad, grieving or mourning.