“Then the woman went and told her husband, saying, ‘A Man of God came to me and his face was like the face of the Angel of God, to be greatly and reverently feared. I did not ask him from where he came, and he did not tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall become pregnant and bear a son and now drink no wine or strong drink and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.’”
Judges 13: 6, 7
“A Verifiable Word”
“The Bible cannot at the same time be unbelievable history and evangelical truth.” - A. H. Mjorud
How do I define and recognize truth?
If someone appeared to me as they did to Samson’s mother, how would I know if they were sent from God and whether what they said was the Truth?
“Christianity is not a drug which suits some complaints and not others. It is either sheer illusion or else it is the Truth. But if it is the Truth, if the universe happens to be constituted in this way, the question is not whether the God of Christianity suits us, but whether we suit Him.” - William Temple
“And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”
John 8: 32
We live in an interesting age – the age of the internet. I love the ability I have, through this unique piece of technology, to communicate with my sisters and brothers in over 160 countries around the world right here in Transformation Garden. What a blessing to be able to pray for Liz in Scotland or Sheri in Jamaica or Audrey in Zimbabwe.
But, as with everything on planet earth, while a virtuous use can be made of this technological wonder, there are abuses which come with this innovation. One thing I’ve noted is that the speed of communication on the internet makes it possible for false information to be spread around just as quickly as reliable information. The internet, unfortunately, can be a breeding ground for the dissemination of lies as well as truth. Sometimes, when I receive messages regarding news items or political propaganda, I find the claims so outrageous I immediately ask myself. “How do I know what is true and what isn’t?”
Let’s apply this question to our text for today. The Bible doesn’t say exactly where Samson’s mother, (“Faithful”), was when an “Angel of the Lord” appeared to her with a message that she was going to have a son who would be the consecrated deliverer, a Nazirite who would be led of God to bring the Israelites release from Philistine bondage. How was she to know this was the truth? How would you or I have reacted to such a pronouncement?
I’d like to offer three specific ways you and I can recognize heavenly truth when it is delivered to us as it was to Samson’s mother.
First, as we found out previously in our studies of this Godly woman, she wasn’t just a once-a-week follower of God. Going to church for a couple of hours each week did not define “Faithful’s” spiritual life. We find that in a time of utter disregard for Jehovah, she kept her life in the shelter of the God of Heaven all the time. She walked with God. In fact, to underscore this point, I want to go back to Joshua 2: 8-13, and encourage you to reread this passage we covered in our study about the life of Rahab. We often think this heathen woman got to know about God when the spies arrived at her door. Wrong! As she told these two Israelite visitors, “I know your God who is the God of Heaven and earth.” Furthermore, Rahab gave these two men quite a history lesson on God’s leading of His children. Hers was no fly-by-night knowledge. And neither was Samson’s mother.
We can’t expect to recognize God’s messenger or His truth if we have only a passing fancy in studying and learning and getting to know our Father.
Second, Samson’s mother, “Faithful,” recognized Truth by what was said. In John 8, Jesus laid out to all His followers down through the ages, words we would do well to read every day. For as with Rahab and “Faithful,” when you live each day within the protective presence of your Heavenly Father, the Truth will be recognizable by comparing it against the words of our Father. The prophet Isaiah emphasizes this point in Isaiah 8: 19, 20 (Amplified Bible) when he writes, “When the people, instead of putting their trust in God, shall say to you, ‘consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? Direct such people to the teachings and the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” Please remember, if anyone tries to get you to believe something that is not in God’s Word or is out of agreement with God’s Word – run in the opposite direction.
When the Angel of the Lord came to Samson’s mother, she recognized this Angel as the face of one who came from heaven because she, herself, dwelt every day within the shadow of the wings of the Almighty. But she also recognized that the words spoken by this heavenly messenger were “in accordance” with the Word of God. And dear daughters and sons of God, if we don’t want to be deceived by false messengers, we had better, like Rahab, know the God of heaven and earth, and like “Faithful,” Samson’s mother, infuse our lives with the Word of God every day so we will be aware when what we are told doesn’t match what God says. Even when the so-called truthful messenger says they are a representative of God. I encourage you to take God’s Word and devour it and then when someone comes along and tells you they have a message from heaven, take the advice from Isaiah, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.” In other words, get out of the darkness and into God’s light.
Third, Samson’s mother, “Faithful,” verified the Truth by seeking the input of another trustworthy person – in this case, her husband, Manoah. I love the part of our text which says, “And the woman went and told her husband.” I can’t tell you how often I’ll take a devotional to my husband, Jim, and ask him if he would take a few moments to read it. Bless his precious heart, he’s never said, “I’m too busy.” I appreciate his input, for this wonderful man of God, radiates a love for his heavenly Father that is a rare gift. From our very first date over 33 years ago, I knew that God had showered upon me a treasure beyond compare. And while we have had the normal struggles that invade every human relationship, it has been our united love for God, that through the years, has held us together even when battered and bruised by outside forces that the evil one sent to wreck havoc on us. I know for certain that if an Angel appeared to me, like “Faithful,” Manoah’s wife, I’d go to Jim first. I’d want advice, input and reflection from him because I know who is the “Guide” of his life. And I will add, even here at Transformation Garden, there are ten people who read all the daily devotionals and supply me with heaven-sent advice. They keep me accountable to the Word of God. How thankful I am for their input.
Several weeks ago, I used a quote which was a wonderful and appropriate quote. It was even taken from the Encyclopedia of Christian quotes, so I assumed, wrongly, that the words were spoken by someone who held the beliefs I hold dear. One of God’s daughters here at Transformation Garden called me out, and rightly so! I thanked her and used this opportunity to recognize that my daily study and work on the devotionals must go deeper and I must be more careful, for nothing I write must ever contradict God’s Word.
Do you want, like Manoah’s wife, to recognize heaven’s Truth when it comes to you? Then walk with your Father so you can say, “I know Him.” And when you do, you will recognize the Truth of anyone’s words when compared to God’s Word. Finally, surround yourself with those who believe in and are walking every day with our Father in heaven. Seek their guidance and prayers, as well.
May our prayer today be that of David in Psalm 51: 6 (K.J.V.), “Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” This is the word of truth I want to be able to verify every day as I walk with God.
“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure.”
Psalm 111: 7
“O Lord almighty, Father of Jesus Christ our Lord, grant us, we pray thee, to be grounded and settled in thy truth by the coming down of thy Holy Spirit in our hearts. That which we know not do thou reveal; that which is wanting in us, do thou fill up; that which we know do thou confirm, and keep us blameless in thy service, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Clement 1st Century
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