Laws concerning cleansing, confession and restitution, jealousy; the Nazarite vow.
Verses for Today:
When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink . . . neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, or dried. . . . there shall no razor come upon his head. . . . he shall come at (touch) no dead body. . . . All the days of his separation he is holy (consecrated) unto the Lord (Num. 6:2-8).The Nazarite vow was a commitment made by the few who desired to go beyond what was required and be wholly committed to God. It committed an individual to a life set apart to God for a specific period of time or even for life.
The Nazarite's separation to God was expressed by abstaining from the fruit of the vine, grape juice, fresh grapes, or raisins, representing the best of physical satisfaction; and all impurities including touching a dead body, representative of spiritual deadness (6:3-8). However, the Nazarite still offered the usual sacrifices, such as the Sin Offering. This points out that even in doing our very best to separate ourselves from the world we still fall far short of being free from all spiritual defilement.
Only two people in the Old Testament are recorded as lifelong Nazarites. One was Samson (Judg. 13:7) who failed in his separation from the world and, consequently, did not fulfill his opportunities to lead the Israelites to victory over the Philistines. In contrast, Samuel's dedication to the Lord (I Sam. 1:28) led him to free the nation from Philistine domination and unite the 12 tribes in preparation for a united kingdom. Although the Nazarite vow no longer applies, our personal consecration and dedication is vital to our fulfilling the will of God.
The disciple, like the Nazarite, who will go beyond what he thinks is necessary to "just be a Christian," will gladly release his hold on all he possesses to please the Father.
The Apostle Paul was led to write: I beseech (beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present (offer) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).
Thought for Today:
This is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments (I John 5:3).
Nazarite is the transliteration of a Hebrew term meaning "dedication by separation" (Num. 6:1-8). Jesus dedicated Himself to do only the will of His Father even unto death: Thy will be done (Matt. 26:39,42).
5:7 recompense =make restitution; 5:13 neither . . . be taken with the manner =not caught in the act; 6:3 moist =fresh; 6:4 vine tree =grapevine; 6:6 come at =go near.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Gresham Barrett (SC), Sen. Judd Gregg (NH), and Rep. Richard Neal (MA) • Country: Vietnam (78.5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Vietnamese and French • Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter • 60% Buddhist; 8% Catholic; 1% Protestant; 3% Cao Dai; 2% Hoa Hao; 3% Islam; 13% Other; 10% None • Prayer Suggestion: Unite with others in prayer; God will bring your request to pass (Matt. 18:19-20).
Optional Reading: Luke 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:12