Read Numbers 5 -- 6
In Today 's Reading:
Laws concerning cleansing, confession and restitution, jealousy; the Nazirite vow
The Nazirite vow committed an individual to a life set apart to God for a specific period of time or even for life. The Nazirite vow prohibited drinking any grape juice or eating fresh grapes or raisins. . . . The Nazirite is never to go near a dead body. . . . During the period of consecration, the Nazirite is holy to the LORD (Numbers 6:2-8).
The Nazirite's separation unto God was expressed in several ways including abstinence from grape juice and eating fresh grapes or raisins, representative of physical satisfaction, and by refusing to be defiled with the dead, representative of spiritual deadness (vss 6-12). However, the Nazirite was still responsible for offering all 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 Nazirites. One was Samson (Judges 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 (I Samuel 1:28) to the Lord led him to free the nation from Philistine domination and unite the tribes in preparation for a united kingdom. Although the Nazirite vow no longer applies, our personal consecration and dedication is vital to fulfilling the will of God.
There was nothing sinful about eating grapes, for God created the fruit of the vine; but, often, even the "good" can take the place of Christ. Those who have a desire to dedicate their lives to Christ will abstain from pleasures that interfere with serving Him and also stay away from every form of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22).
The apostle Paul was led to write: I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Nazarite is the transliteration of a Hebrew term meaning "dedication by separation" (Numbers 6:1-8). Jesus dedicated Himself to do the will of His Father separating Himself from sin even unto death. Your will be done (Matthew 26:39,42).
Government Officials: Sen. Judd Gregg (NH), Rep. Nick Lampson (TX), and Rep. Richard Neal (MA) · Country: Paraguay (5 million) in southern South America · Major languages: Spanish and Guarani · Religious freedom · 96% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Rely upon the Lord at all times; He is your refuge (Psalms 62:8).
Optional Reading: Luke 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9