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Sunday 11 May 2003 - "Hidden in the cleft of the Rock" - mother's day

(Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen)

Judges 13:22

And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Manoah was the father of Samson, the mighty man of God. At the beginning of the chapter we read how that the children of Israel were given into the hand of their enemies, because of their wickedness. God rewards wickedness and will not let it go unpunished.

Although Manoah's wife was barren, God said that He would work and raise up a deliverer to destroy the enemy. God heard the sigh of His children under the heel of the Philistines. Samson was the start of God's working, but God continued working through others afterwards, with David being the Philistines' knock-out blow.

God wanted the child sanctified even before birth, and told her to act accordingly. She was not to drink intoxicating drink or eat anything unclean. Maybe while your child was still in your womb, you consulted ancestral spirits and did other occultic practices, and you're still asking why your child is such a devil and obstinate. You have to come to God first, confess your sins, then your children will be saved. Or maybe you listened to wicked talk and it defiled you and your unborn child.

When Manoah heard that his wife would conceive, he called on God to teach them how to bring up the child. What a couple! We need such parents, and not those that bring up worldly children.

In verses 9 - 11, when the angel appeared again to his wife, we read that he followed his wife. Wives need to be such 'men' of God. Blessed are men with such wives. It is not a shame, even if they follow such women.

When Menoah asked Him if it was He who revealed Himself to the women, His reply was, 'I am'. He was the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament the 'angel of the Lord' is the Lord Jesus. It is not the same in the New Testament. When they offered their sacrifice, the angel did wondrously and ascended up to heaven in the flame. Then they knew they've met with God. Have you met with God? Do you walk with God? We are made in God's image to walk with God. For Enoch, one child was enough, and he walked with God since then.

When Menoah met with God, his words were, 'We shall surely die, for we have seen God.' Such were the words when they met God, but today people play the fool and claim to have met with God. Billy Graham said that when he was young, people came sobbing to the altar, but today they come with a smile. When we are confronted with the purity and holiness of God, we realise that it is only mercy and grace that we are not blotted out. Remember God's words to Moses that no man can see His face and live.

If we see God's holiness and the awfulness of sin, we cannot but tremble and plead for mercy. Real conversion is not as the frivolous conversions seen today. Where do you stand with regards to this Man? Words fail to describe His majesty. Even as the hymn 'Rock of ages cleft for me' says, Moses was hid in that cleft and lived. Unless you are hid in the cleft of His wounds, you will surely die. Come today and be hidden in His wounds.

 

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