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Europe Field Story

A Message Beyond Understanding

"People are curious, searching and seeking and many are finding the hope and love of Jesus. In a country with less than 2% believers, the church is growing!"

Beyond Understanding

Ants are amazing creatures. Although small in size, they are able to lift weights 50 times greater than their own. They have no ears and many cannot see. Somehow they communicate through their antenna, and they sense approaching danger through vibrations they pick up. They may sense that a human is near, but they are unaware of who we are much less have the capacity to communicate with us.  

Now, tuck that thought away for a moment, and consider Judges 13.

Judges 13 launches the story of Samson. You’ll remember that to deliver Israel from the Philistines at this point in history God chose to instill a man with incredible physical strength. But, the part of the story we want to look at happens before Samson is born. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s parents, a childless couple, and announced they were going to have a son. The couple is so awed by this announcement that Manoah, Samson’s father, asks the visitor a question. We pick up the narrative at v.17:

17Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”

18He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding."

Other versions render the term “beyond understanding” as “Wonderful" or “Secret.”

So, who is this visitor, and what do ants have to do with it all? 

Who is the visitor?

“The precise identity of the “angel of the Lord” is not given in the Bible. However, there are many important “clues” to his identity. It seems when the definite article “the” is used, it is specifying a unique being, separate from the other angels. The angel of the Lord speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the responsibilities of God. Therefore, it is clear that in at least some instances, the angel of the Lord is a theophany, an appearance of God in physical form.”[i]

The phrase translated “beyond understanding” is not the proper name of the angel of the Lord, but expresses the character of the name. It is to be understood in an absolute sense— 'absolutely and supremely wonderful'. The idea here is that the Angel was telling Manoah and his wife that they could not fully comprehend the significance of who He was.

We cannot comprehend the significance of who God is, no more than an ant can comprehend who we are. We would not know God if it were not for his taking initiative to reveal Himself through natural revelation, His Word, and His Son Jesus.

Sharing the One who is Beyond Understanding

The One who is beyond understanding made Himself known to us, demonstrated His love for us by sending Christ to die for us, and displayed His power to us by raising Him from the dead. That precisely is the beautiful message of hope that we get to share with those we are ministering in Spain and North Africa. Our prayer is that many would come to know the love that the Father has for us that He sent His Son to die for us, this message of hope.

Every day at our media center in Spain we are engaging in conversations and producing media in hopes that it will be a tool the Father will use to draw many to himself. The Lord is working in the lives of many, and we give Him praise. People are curious, searching and seeking and many are finding the hope and love of Jesus. In a country with less than 2% believers, the church is growing, believers are being encouraged and growing in their love of Christ. There is much work to be done but we trust in the One who is beyond understanding who made Himself known to us.

[i] Who is the angel of the Lord?

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