In Judges 12, Ephraim told Jephthah: “Why did you cross over to fight against Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you.” Jephthah said their concern was unwarranted because they didn't respond to his call for help in delivering him from Ammon. The Gileadites followed Jephthah into battle after they were accused of being fugitives in midst of Ephraim and Manasseh. A linguistic test was designed to sort out whether someone was a Ephraimite (Judges 12:1-6). People often get their identity and sense of worth from work, accomplishments and family connections.
Israel's wickedness caused them to be ruled by the Philistines for 40 years. The angel of the Lord said to Manoah's wife that she would give birth to a son even though barren. Drinking wine or eating any unclean thing would be prohibited because their son would dedicated to God as a Nazirite in delivering Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:1-5).
After hearing about the angel's appearance, Manoah asked the Lord to teach them what to do when their son was born. God listened and the angel came to woman again. Manoah asked the angel, “When you words come to pass, what shall be boy’s mode of life and his vocation?” The angel responded, “Let the woman pay attention to all I said. She should not eat anything that comes from vine nor drink wine, nor eat any unclean thing, let her observe all I commanded.” After Manoah expressed his desire to prepare a kid (he was clueless who he was speaking to), the angel told him to prepare a burnt offering and offer it to the Lord. After asking for his name, the angel said, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” (Judges 13:6-18). The process of spending intimate time with Christ is more important than your goal-directed behavior.
Manoah offered a grain offering on the rock to the Lord and He performed wonders while Manoah and wife looked. The angel ascended in the flame of the altar. Then Manoah knew he was the angel of the Lord. After expressing his concern that they would die after seeing God, his wife said, "If the Lord had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time" (Judges 13:19-23). Knowing and obeying God is more important than discovering our mode of life and vocation.
1. Do you get your identity and sense of significance from your vocation? yes or no
2. Do you get your identity and sense of significance from your ministry? yes or no
3. Do you get your identity and sense of significance from your family? yes or no
Meditate on 1 Peter 2:9-10 and ask God to renew your mind so your identity comes from your relationship with Christ.