Highlights In Today's Reading:
Today we read about the laws of cleansing, recompense, jealousy; the Nazarite vow; the threefold blessing of the Lord. The Lord bestows a powerful blessing on all who dedicate their lives inwardly and outwardly to Him.
Taking the vow of a Nazarite meant separating oneself to God for a specific period of time — a month to a lifetime. When either man or woman separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord. . . . All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord (6:2-8).
During that period of time, the Nazarite was not to go near or touch a dead body or drink wine. Numerous times God has warned: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Proverbs 20:1). He that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich (21:17). Look not thou upon the wine (alcoholic), when it is red. . . . At the last it biteth like a serpent (23:31-32). It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink (31:4). The Nazarite willingly gave up physical satisfaction to be devoted to the Lord. He did not sacrifice merely his personal pleasures but his total being. The Nazarite's personal consecration to God was to serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willng mind (I Chronicles 28:9) at all times.
The Christian should, like the Nazarite, desire to go beyond what is necessary to "just be a Christian," recognizing the value of a personal relationship with Christ. Christians should also be willing to give up anything that keeps them from being their best to serve and worship the Lord.
The opposite of a Nazarite can be found in the following manifestation of a self-absorbed life: Pride, exalted sense of self-worth due to appearance or abilities; independence, refusing to submit to authority; discouragement, always expressing a negative attitude; anger and impatience, resentment and retaliation when others excel or things don't go one's way; self-will, having a stubborn and unteachable spirit; love of praise, seeking to be noticed; and deceit, evading and covering up the truth or exaggerating. All these result from a deadness of spirit (lack of love for God) which, in turn, is the result of an indifference to God's Word and His plan for one's life.
By prayer, hold your heart open to the searchlight of God as you pray: Search me,O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).
Thought for Today:
What or who is keeping you from giving the Lord His rightful place in your life? Our Lord expects us to reflect His character, not the world's.
Nazarite is a Hebrew term meaning “dedication by separation” (Numbers 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).
5:2 an issue = discharge; 5:3 defile =contaminate; 5:7 recompense =repay; 5:8 kinsman =relative; atonement =sacrifice; 5:12 a trespass =adultery; 5:13 close =undetected; taken with the manner =caught in the act; 5:22 into thy bowels =the body; 5:27 a curse =an outcast; 6:12 consecrate =dededicate; 6:14 blemish =defect; 6:15 unleavened =yeast free; 6:19 sodden =soiled, roasted; 6:20 wave =gesture of offering.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Tammy Rutherford's Birthday • Staff: Al Joslyn Jr. • Government Officials: Rep. Gresham Barrett (SC), Sen. Judd Gregg (NH), Rep. Nick Lampson (TX), and Rep. Richard Neal (MA) • Country: China, Mainland (1.242 billion) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) • Renewed persecution of the Church • 16% Asian (including Fulun Gong); 8% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing; 10% Atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and mercy (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Optional Reading: Luke 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 118:29