There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children. An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. (Judges 13)
The Jewish people had a strong believe that God breaks into the world and set things right. We all know the examples in the Old Testament: He delivered the Israelites from the slavery in Egypt, He send manna in the wilderness and gave them water to drink. God, was very active in the ordinary lives of the people and showed his care for them. This kind of faith we see in the scripture verse of today. In the book of Judges we read about Manoah’s wife who was barren. But God steps in and gives the couple new hope.
A child is given to the couple, and Samson is consecrated to the Lord. In the Gospel we this story echo’s in the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah and Elizabeth. They can have no children but God steps here in as well and John will be born out of them. And just like Samson…in the Gospel we hear that John is also consecrated to God. More than that…he is the herald that announces the coming of our Savior. Just like the people in ancient times, our lives are far from perfect as well. We might be struggling on many levels, especially now in this pandemic. Perhaps we feel barren in a spiritual sense at this time. Maybe we find it hard to believe in Gods promises right now. But we can be confident that he wants and will break in and set things right!
Zechariah had his doubts too. He questioned the angel and was not being able to speak for a while. Until he reflected on what God was saying. Until he spiritually grew into maturity and understood what God was saying. Zechariah’s muteness is a great lesson for us. We need to be silent, not literally muted, and listen to what God wants to tell us. God wants to break into our lives and show us his plan. He wants to make things right. He wants to fill us with his Holy Spirit and make us spiritually alive and fruitful. In that way we become the people he wants us to be. Amen.