When a powerful typhoon swept through the city of Tacloban, Philippines, in 2013, an estimated 10,000 people died, and many who survived found themselves homeless and jobless. Necessities became scarce. Three months later, while the town was still struggling to dig itself out from the destruction, a baby was born on a roadside near Tacloban amid torrents of rain and strong wind. Although the weather brought back painful memories, residents worked together to find a midwife and transport the mother and newborn to a clinic. The baby survived, thrived, and became a symbol of hope during a time of despair.
Forty years of Philistine oppression marked a grim period in Israel’s national history. During this time, an angel informed an Israelite woman that she would give birth to a special son (Judg. 13:3). According to the angel, the baby would be a Nazirite—a man set apart to God—and would “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (v.5). The infant, Samson, was a gift of hope born in a troubled time.
Trouble is unavoidable, yet Jesus has the power to rescue us from despair. Christ was born “to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace” (Luke 1:76-79). By Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Samson was set apart as “a Nazirite to God” even before he was born (vv. 5,7). Nazirite means “dedicated” or “consecrated.” Numbers 6:1-21 sets out the requirements for those who were Nazirites. Besides Samson, other well-known Nazirites in the Bible are Samuel (1 Sam. 1:11) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15).
Lord, help me to see beyond my circumstances and put my hope in You. All authority and power are Yours. Remind me of Your goodness, and let me rest in Your love.
Jesus is the hope that calms life’s storms.