Manner of life


Judges 13:12: And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what is to be the child’s manner of life, and what is his mission?”

Manoah, who would be Samson’s father wanted to find out two things concerning to the child, what kind of person he would be and what kind of things he will do (Judges 13) from an angel of God.

His son was among a select group of people in the bible who had information about them revealed before they started their lives. The first were Adam and Eve.

Before the creation of Adam, the son of God, God said He wanted a creature in Him own image, something that has not been seen before in the history of heaven and the earth. Man was to be the crowning achievement of God’s creative works.

His was made to have full dominion on the earth (Genesis 1:26-28), in cooperation with God, his creator. But he cooperated with the devil, the serpent, who cast his influence through an act of deception. From then on God’s divine product, man, began to malfunction.

When man refused to follow the manner of life as prescribed by God, not to eat a certain fruit in the Garden of Eden, the result is destruction and damnation. Adam and Eve thought they were making a decision that will affect just the two of them, but they were wrong. That choice against the manner of life designed by God for them, had consequences that resonates down the millennia. But that is not the end of the story, because Jesus’ (He also had words spoken about Him before His birth [Luke 1:26-35]) mission was to help us to get back to our right functioning (Romans 5:12-21).

However, realise that your manner of life will impart others, either for good or for evil. What you embrace or reject have the potential to affect multitudes.

Man was designed to be a multiplier. The divine proclamation upon him was “be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:26-28).” This is not just about procreation, but a designation of innate essence.

That was the power in man that Adam wrongly applied, taking a wrong step away from God, leading the whole unborn humanity down into ignominy with Him.

What God wanted was for Adam to trust him, to follow him. He walked with God for sometime but later rejected His word, and followed another, the serpent. Man lost his balance when he refused to be focused on the manner of life that God wants for him. The one, who was to dominate, is now dominated.

The next person who had words spoken about him before his birth was Isaac. His mother, Sarah, wife of Abraham was without a child for several years. When God was ready to perform the miracle of Isaac’s birth, He gave his name before he was even conceived (Genesis 17:19).

After he was born as a second son of the father, but the first of Sarah, his mother, Sarah said: “the son of a slave (the first son of the family) shall not be heir with my son Isaac,” asking Abraham to chase him away, which he did (Genesis 21:1-13).

The manner of life God has for Isaac was as the inheritor of the His promise and covenant relationship with Abraham. But a special thing was demanded from Him, he had to yield as a type of Jesus, to the will of his father to die on a mount.

God told Abraham to sacrifice his “only” son (Genesis 22:1-18), though that did not happen eventually, Isaac was as good as dead except for God’s counter instruction which came to Abraham. Because of that act of obedience, God released a greater level of blessing to Abraham and his lineage.

Jesus, the son of God went through the bitterest experience of death possible on the cross (at the hand of His father [Matthew 26:39]), and at the end of it, he said: “it is finished (John 19:30),” bringing us to a new relationship with God, putting an end to man’s search for peace between himself and God. Jesus is our peace; in him we have peace with God (Romans 5:1).

The next persons on this elite list are Jacob and Esau. Their mother, Rebecca, went to God after she was feeling uncomfortable with the rumbling in her womb because of her first pregnancy, with Jacob and Esau. She wanted to know what was going on with her (Genesis 25:20-23).

God told her that she has two nations in her womb and that the older shall serve the younger. It was based on that understanding that Rebecca helped Jacob to get the blessing of the father, Isaac, instead of it coming to Esau the first born (Genesis 27), after Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob for a meal (Genesis 25:28-34).

And that really shaped the life of Jacob from then on. He ran away from the anger of his brother to his mother’s relatives, where he got married. On the way there, he encountered God for himself.

The bible, explaining the implication life of Jacob and Esau, says that we should not be fornicators, like Esau, who for a morsel of bread sold his birthright and sought repentance with tears but could not find it (Hebrews 12:14-17).

In another place, Paul said that God declared: “Jacob have I loved and Esau, have I hated (Romans 9:10-16)” that the purpose of God by election and not by performance or merit, can stand. That is the basis of understanding the grace of God which operated to set us apart to God, with God having mercy on us because he chooses to. Not because of the good works we have done but by his grace he saved us (Titus 3:5). And that defines the manner of life we should live. Paul said that in view of the limitless mercy that God has shown to us saving us, we should now be fully dedicated to God (Romans 12:1).

The next person whose birth will be spoken about before he was born was Samson. The mother was told that she should not drink anything from the vine, because the child will have to be separated to God from the womb, because of the kind of assignment he would fulfil.

That was similar instruction that was given for John the Baptist, before his conception, who was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. What that shows is that there is no operation through the Holy Spirit without some form of separation to God (Luke 1:15).

Paul wrote that we should not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2), but there is another kind of conformation that we should have: it is being conformed to the image of the son of God (Romans 8:29). It is that manner of life that is prescribed and demanded of Christians so that they may be worthy of that name. To Timothy, Paul wrote: the foundation of the Lord stands firm having this seal, the Lord knows those who are his and let those who name the name of the lord depart from iniquity (2Timothy 2:19).

The other two people mentioned long before their birth in the bible was Josiah (1Kings 13:2, 2Kings 22-23) and Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28, 45:13, 2Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-3). Both were kings, of Judah and of Persia respectively. Both were tools in the hand of God bring the experience of restoration to His people.

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