Judges Chapters 12 & 13


Judges 12:1

Then the men of Ephraim gathered together, crossed over toward Zaphon, and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over to fight against the people of Ammon, and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you with fire!"

A)Here we see the men of Ephriam doing a similar thing here with Jepth. as  they did with Gideon


B) When Gideon returned from defeating the Midianites these guys met him and were mad!!

1)   Why didn’t you call us to come and Help?


C) But God didn’t want them to be a part of that Battle – because God wanted to bring the Victory thru 300 men { His Glory

1)But the men of Ephraim were all bent out of Shape – Why didn’t you call us – why didn’t you give us the chance for a position of pre-eminence ?


D) You recall how Gideon handled that situation? Instead of lashing out at them he took the road of Humility – Soft answer turns away wrath

1)Gideon said – You guys did more than me – You got the kings of the Midianites – I only defeated the army of 135,000 [ Sarcasm ]


E) But in their Pride the men of Ephraim – accepted that – Yea didn’t think of it that way.!”


Some leaders operate like Gideon – Soft answer turns away wrath – they try to focus on the good – entrust the situation into the Lords hands

A)Hope that those who are being rebellious see the folly of their position or come to their senses-  That was Gideon


B)But Jepthah WAS a different Breed – Maybe the men of Ephraim felt like they pushed Gideon around a little bit – not the case with Jepth.

1)   In fact they are all going to end up dead     RD v.2-3

C) Now basically Jepth. Is calling the men of Ephraim cowards here – telling them I called you to come & fight against the enemy – but you wouldn’t come –


D) But not that the battle is over you want to come & fight against those who saved the nation? You want to fight against God’s people?

1)   SO He rebukes them in all of this


The men of Ephraim are an interesting group – Lazy cowards – All they want to do is fight against someone who is really doing something

A)But they would not be creating this problem for God’s people if they would just get out into the fight!


B) And there are people like that in the Body of Christ – People who cause strife & create division in the body of Christ

1)   All because they are not in the real FIGHT!!!


C) Months ago – Abortion – Pretrib –  {35 times that year]

1)   There is a world going to hell and they are attacking the Church


D) The men of Ephraim were attacking the wrong entity in more ways than one – One attacking their Brothers – Two the wrong leader

1)   Jepth. Wasn’t as nice as Gideon – Read v. 4- 7



Ibzan / Elon / Abdon – Judge a total of 25yrs


Judg 13:1

Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.


Another Cycle – new oppressor – Philistines – New Judge




Now CH. 13 Begins the story of Samson – last Judge – but this Story is different from the others in that given more Back ground Parents

A)His story really begins with them – and in this Chapter we are given some neat insights into how God can revitalize a Marriage that is Barren


B) Guys you remember the day that you stood at the altar and watched your wife stroll down the aisle ? Hit the Jack pot

1)   She looked Gorgeous – you were excited – That moment you thought you would always feel the same about her


C) Honeymoon was great – Awesome time – But somewhere along the line the honeymoon ended


I read a story about a guy who married a nurse – Early in the marriage she would make the biggest fuss over HIS every ache or pain –

But he knew the honeymoon was over when he was crawling around his attic one day fix the attic fan –He Scratched his forehead – bleeding / he got splinters in both hands – from crawling around -/ Cut his fore arm while changing the fan belt – On his way down the ladder broke and he twisted his ankle –


As he limped into the Kitchen his wife took one look at him and shouted ARE THOSE YOUR GOOD PANTS



D) And there comes a point in every marriage when the giddiness and the delight of the honeymoon ends

1)   And the realities of  married life begins


E) But having said that it is also true that Even in a seasoned marriage – a husband & wife should retain some traces of that honeymoon happiness

1) every marriage should have it’s aspects of Joy / it’s sparks / and it’s Romance {that abiding companionship / partnership


What is sad though is to see a marriage that has gone flat or stale – a relationship that has become a burden instead of a blessing

A)If that describes your marriage relationship – it you have lost the spark in your marriage – Judges Ch. 13 is for you


B) See this story contains some very practical truths concerning how God can Revitalize your marriage

1) So lets look at the story of Manoah and his wife – the parents of the Strong man SAMSON !!!    Rd v. 2-24



Now I want you to take note of how this story progresses – We see FIVE STAGES

A)1st  in v.2 the story starts with Desperation – A marriage is barren


B) 2nd V.3 Suddenly there is a Visitation { God shows up

1) 3rd Beginning in v.3 and ending in v.14 the Angel shares a Revelation – a message is communicated about what God wants to do in the marriage


C) 4th in v. 15-19 Manoah & his wife offer a sacrifice of Dedication: They pledge themselves to God and offer a sacrifice 


D) 5th in v. 20-24 God provides a sign of Revitalization in this marriage

           Lets take a look at this



We start with DESPERATION :  Problem – Barren

A)Our Culture – that can be difficult – but in their culture – much worse – Viewed as being cursed by God { Scorned & ridiculed by others


B) But there are other types of barrenness other than being Childless

1)   Some couples suffer from Emotional Barrenness – No expressions of love or affection in their marriage



C) Couple in marriage counseling: He never tells me he loves me - …

I told her I loved her the day we got married – and if that every changes I will let her know!!


D)Others: RELATIONAL BARRENNESS – two ships passing in the night – doing own thing – busy with stuff { Friendship is gone


E) Others SPIRITUAL BARRENNESS – All they talk about is trivial stuff – no building or bonding spiritually

1)   No Sharpening of each other in the Lord


A little girl named Jackie was playing with her stuffed animals  –

as grandma watched- she staged a wedding: Picking up her teddy Bear groom she said to the imaginary Pastor – Ok You can read us our rights now – Suddenly Jackie shifted roles from the bride to the Pastor – She said in a deep voice – You have the right to remain silent Anything you say can be held against you. You have the right to have an attorney Present – Now you may kiss the Bride.


Listen in a barren marriage, taking vows & reading rights often get confused .

A)So often what is said is used against each other – { Historical


B) But that is NOT the way that God intended the marriage relationship to be

1)   He wants them to be filled with Intimacy & fruitfulness – EMOTIONALLY / RELATIONALLY & SPIRITUALLY


C) Not reading RIGHTS BUT SHARING HEARTS – Which is why God pays Manoah & his wife a visit !!! 

1)   Pt. #2 a BARREN Marriage  needs a VISITATION from the Lord


We read in v.3 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.

A)GOD promises her offspring / fruitfulness – He promises that she is no longer going to be barren


B) I believe it is God’s heart for every marriage to experience a degree of Spiritual, emotional & relational fruitfulness

1)   For Manoah & his wife fruitfulness meant a son – But in your situation maybe it means something different


C) For you & your spouse it might mean Harmony & reduced tension

1) A restored trust / friendship restored / ability to relax & have fun again /

   A willingness to forgive & start over / desire to talk & communicate more


D) I don’t know what the need in your situation might be tonight – but I want to encourage you - don’t give up –

1)God wants to visit your marriage & create a fruitfulness that will last


Winston Churchill told the British people – WARS ARE NOT WON BY EVACUTION – Neither are good marriages – Don’t give up


E) Suddenly & powerfully God can pay your marriage a visit creating fruitfulness where there was only barrenness


So God pays this marriage a Visit & in doing so gives them #3 A Revelation

A)Not only would they have a son – but he would be  a NAZARITE

Meaning he would be consecrated to God for a special work  [rd v. 4-7]


B) In Num. 6 we learn that the Nazarite Vow was 3 fold – The Nazarite was to obstain from wine – a symbol of worldly pleasure

1) Not touch any dead body [animal or otherwise] – a symbol of temporal significance – unclean


C) Not cut their hair – symbol of external Beauty – Now there was no magical powers in having long hair

1) IF so your average Rock muscian would turn into a professional wrestler


The Nazarite stood in stark contrast to the things that make the world go around – Everywhere you look people are preoccupied with be:

A)Worldly Pleasure / External Beauty / Temporal Significance


B)Those are things are world says make a marriage work –TS/  Live in the right neighborhood / Drive right car /

A) EB-   Look right  { In Shape – work out - Plastic Surgery

  WP -  Being able to go on the right vacations –


C)But the Bible tells us that The Cure for Barrenness in a marriage is not WORLDLINESS but HOLINESS !!!!

1)   What really makes a marriage work is when two people are consecrated to God


D) Two people understand – Marriage isn’t about Finding the right person but being the right person

1)   Two people who understand that the closer they get to the Lord the closer they get to each other { Forged a Spiritual Bond


D) Time Spent Seeking the Lord together & serving the Lord together are two of the richest things we can do with our Spouses

1)   Denise dating -  WOW!!!!


Now it is interesting that the Angel first appeared to the woman & not to Manoah - Maybe she was spiritual Sharper or more in tune

A) Maybe he needed to be humbled – 


B)But I like the fact that Manoah believed his wife { Sign of respect for her relationship with the Lord – { Guys that is key

1)   God speaks to your wife – realize that – Listen to her – show interest in what the Lord is showing her !!!  


C) Manoah believed his wife & then went to the Lord to seek out further Revelation - And God grants it to him   RD [ 8-14]

Response Manoah & his wife offer a Sacrifice of #4 Dedication to God

Now this is where marriage really turns the corner – when it is presented to the Lord as a Sacrifice   

A)Don’t misunderstand I take seriously the vow that I made to my wife & I know that she takes seriously the vow that she made to me


B) But the thing that keeps us pressing thru & working on our marriage in good times & the bad times is the realization that we not only made vows to each other but we MADE A VOW to the LORD


C) We promised God that we would be faithful to each other & to Him

1) You see there is a higher AUTHORITY  at work in my marriage, holding both my wife & I accountable for what we say & do / how we treat each other


D) Sometimes that stinks: The other day- Denise Reacted to some bad news I took it personal – Snapped at her – She was Mad { I was wrong but

1)   I felt I had a reason for snapping at her – I didn’t want to apologize – but the Lord was Killing me – Felt awful { But that is a great thing


E) I realized I could not carry on in my relationship with the Lord and be mad at my wife – One way or the other { So I apologized –

1)   Eventually she did too. { Kiss & make up


But listen for a marriage to work it has to be grounded in a commitment to an authority that is greater than the two people involved

A)I have taken a vow to God – I am responsible to the Almighty for what king of Husband I am regardless of what Denise does or doesn’t do


B) This is where so many people go wrong in marriage – they are always playing that game – well if he did this – then I would respond the right way


C) Hey you made a Vow to God & that Vow didn’t have a What if Clause in it


D)So Manoah & his wife offered a Sacrifice of Dedication to the Lord & we who are married need to offer up our marriages as a dedication to the Lord

Well when they offered up their sacrifice of Dedication God provided them a sign #5 of Revitalization - 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on --  20 it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar -- the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar!


A)The Prophet Elijah ascended to heaven in a Chariot of Fire. This Angel doesn’t even wait for the Chariot –

1)   He just jumps right into the flame & ascended into heaven


B) Now here is the thing I want you to see here: All thru out this story this Angel is referred to as the Angel of the Lord or the Lord

1)   This is another Christophony – Pre- incarnate appearance of Christ


C) That being the case catch the picture here – Manoah & his wife offer this sacrifice of Dedication to the Lord

1)And  Jesus jumps in to be a part of their flame!!!


D) That is how your marriage gets revitalized – You dedicate yourself & your marriage to God & Jesus joins your flame

1)   When the Lord jumps in it is like putting gas on the fire – He adds the combustion


He supplies the fuel – the power to do & be what God the FATHER CALLS US TO BE !!!!


Tonight -