Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 281

Samson, the Strongest Yet Weakest Man

This chapter is based on Judges 13 to 16.

Amid widespread apostasy, the faithful worshipers of God continued to plead with Him deliver Israel. Though it seemed as if there was no response, in the early years of the Philistine oppression a child was born through whom God planned to humble the power of these mighty enemies.

“The Angel of the Lord” appeared to the childless wife of Manoah with the message that she would have a son through whom God would begin to deliver Israel. The Angel gave her instructions concerning her own habits and also how to treat her child: “Be careful not to drink wine nor similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.” The child was also forbidden to eat or drink these things. The Angel further instructed that his hair should not be cut, for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazirite from his birth.

Importance of Prenatal Training

Afraid that they would make some mistake, the husband prayed, “Let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”

When the Angel appeared again, Manoah asked, “What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?” The previous instruction was repeated—“Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. ... All that I commanded her let her observe.”

To be sure that the promised child was properly qualified for his important work, the habits of both the mother and the child needed careful control. The habits of the mother will affect the child for good or evil. She must be controlled by principle, practicing temperance and self-denial, if she wants the best development for her child. Unwise advisers will urge the mother to gratify every wish and impulse, but by God’s command the mother is placed under solemn obligation to exercise self-control.

And fathers as well as mothers share in this responsibility. If the parents are intemperate, the children often lack physical strength and mental and moral power. Liquor drinkers and tobacco users may transmit their intense craving, inflamed blood, and irritable nerves to

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