Daily D – Judges 13:18
He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.”
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Jdg 13:18.
“Why do you ask my name?” the angel of the LORD replied. “It is too wonderful for you to understand.”
Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jdg 13:18.
The angel of GOD said, “What’s this? You ask for my name? You wouldn’t understand—it’s sheer wonder.”
Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Jdg 13:18.
I asked a woman about her name last week. It was somewhat out of the ordinary. She explained how she was named after her aunt and her mother. Her first name is her aunt’s first name. Her middle name is her mother’s name. When asked if her name was a name to live up to she replied, “Not yet.”
The story of Samson’s birth in this chapter is filled with awakening understanding and a mysterious visitor whose name is too wonderful for human ears to hear or human minds to understand. The next time we see this name it is used as a title of the coming Messiah:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This name describes God to whom Moses and Israel sang a song of worship (Exodus 15:1-18). Verse 11 says,
Who among the gods
is like you, LORD?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
Our wonderful wonder-working God paid a visit to a trusting (unnamed) woman and a trust-but-verify man. Trace her awakening understanding through this chapter. Trace his attempt to take control of the situation. Why would God speak to the woman first, he wondered.
Observe how God is the one who “delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years” because “the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD,” (verse 1). See how he likewise engineers their deliverance through Samson. Before Samson was conceived, God had a mission for his life (verse 3). This was also true for David (Psalm 139:16) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5). It is also true for you (Ephesians 2:10).
Samson enjoyed the unearned characteristic of overpowering strength. He also lived an undisciplined life. Combine unearned characteristics with self-discipline and self-control and live a life of purpose and meaning. Live a life of maximum contribution. Live the kind of life making your name one to live up to.
Our wonderful wonder-working God has a plan and a purpose for you to live up to and into. Fast forward to Revelation 2:17 and see how our Wonderful Messiah will give each of us a white stone with our unique new name, the name we became with our lives of unearned characteristics combined with self-discipline, self-control, and joyful obedience. This is a name to live up to.
Where are you in your story? Is your name a name to live up to yet? If not, what’s stopping you? What can you do today that will move you in the direction of all God ever dreamed you would be?
I will live up to my new name.
Our Father, work your wonders in me to make me all you ever dreamed I would be. I give you all that I am and have. I will follow your path wherever it leads. Amen.
This text always brings to mind Sandi Patti and Larnelle Harris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRTwUvZG5a0
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.