Today’s devotional reading comes from the Book of Judges Chapter 13.
This chapter recounts the circumstances occasioning the birth of the mighty Samson. It presents a good example of what Godly expectant parents should do to make sure that their newborn child will be consecrated to the Lord and have the best chance to grow up happy, healthy, and above all, Godly.
As the story goes, Samson’s mother, Zorah, was barren—she could not have children. One day an angel appears to her who tells her that she will soon conceive a child. He also tells her that she must avoid strong drink because the child will be consecrated to God. The woman runs to tell her husband, Manoah, what happened. The man then offers to God the following prayer:
“O my Lord, let the man of God (the angel) which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.”
This is a marvelous example of what the Christian attitude ought to be about our children. We should ask God what He want us to do to make sure that our children will be born healthy. James, the brother of the Lord, tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it, “and it shall be given [us]” (1:5). This should certainly apply to pre- and postnatal care as well as child rearing, as most of us know nothing of these things.
To continue, God grants Manoah’s request and the angel revisits the couple. Manoah then asks the angel:
“How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?”
The angel answered:
“Of all I said unto the woman let her beware…[don’t] let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing…”
This answer is interesting on two levels: For one, Manoah asked what they should do to the child once he is born: how it should be raised. But the angel tells them what to do before the child is even born. This is very practical advice. God is practical. While it is important to consider how one will raise a child once it is born, it would be pointless if the child will not make it to term.
Secondly, the question concerned the baby, but the answer concerned only the mother. Prenatal care did not become a prominent health concern until the twentieth century. Prior to this, many women drank, smoked, and generally did all the things they did before they got pregnant. The fact that what the mother does to herself she also does to her baby is a relatively new discovery. Yet, here we have Biblical testimony that God specialized in prenatal care thousands of years ago. And they say that the Bible is only a book of myths.
So, mothers, if you want to know what to do for your baby, both before it is born and after, ask God: the world’s greatest obstetrician. And don’t worry that you don’t have experience in child rearing. Truth be told, neither do 99.9% of America. But God knows, and He loves children. So if you ask Him how you should raise your child, He will tell you what to do.
Trust God to raise your children right.