June 25, 2014
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD...
LET IT GLOW
Are you keeping your wedding vows? Did you dedicate your children unto the Lord? Is there a vow you promised to fulfill unto the Lord Jesus? We find out more about taking vows in this chapter.
We read the last chapter which dealt with the cleansing of the camp by dealing with the unclean and sinful. In this chapter, we read about the consecration to the Lord was possible for all Israelites.
Although only the family of Aaron could be priests, any man or woman could be "priestly" (dedicated to God's service) for a time (from a month to a lifetime) by means of the vow of a Nazarite. Such a vow was made by people usually devout toward God and dedicated to His service.
In verse 2, the first vow, nadir (pronounced naw-dar') in Hebrew, means to promise (to do something to God); make a vow.
The second vow, neder (pronounced nay'-der) in Hebrew, means a promise (to God), also a thing promised.
It sounds like the difference between the two words is that the first one is a verb and the second is a noun.
According to The MacArthur Bible Commentary, the word Nazarite transliterates a Hebrew term meaning dedication by separation.
The Nazarite separated himself to the Lord by separating himself from:
- grape products (verses 3,4)
- the cutting of one's hair (6:5)
- contact with a dead body (verses 6,7).
- to drink wine while serving in the tabernacle (Lev. 10:9) and
- to touch dead bodies (Lev. 21:11).
LET IT GROW
Liberty Bible Commentary explains the meanings of those three prohibitions in the Nazarite vow:
- He was prohibited from drinking any fruit of the vine (verse 3). Wine was the symbol for joy (Ps. 104:15), but the Nazarite was to receive his joy from God alone.
- He was not to cut his hair (verse 5). In the New Testament (1 Cor.11:14) Paul states that long hair for a man was a shame and disgrace. It may be that by this method the Nazarite male could both understand and demonstrate the reproach of the Lord.
- He was not to come into contact with a dead body (verse 6). Physical death, of course, was a direct result of Adam's rebellion against God (Gen. 2:17). The Nazarite vow was so binding that one could not attend the funeral even of a loved family member.
There were several well-known biblical Nazarites. Samson is, perhaps, the most famous (Judges 13:5,7; 16:17). It would appear the prophet Samuel also became one (1 Sam. 1:11-28). In the New Testament, John the Baptist immediately comes to mind (Luke 1:15), and the Apostle Paul (Acts 18:18).
Is there something that we consider such a serious thing, so important that we would take the Nazarite vow for a given time? God would bless our commitment. We will find out tomorrow about it.
Do we take seriously our vows which we hold make unto the Lord?
Deuteronomy 23:21 states, when thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
LET IT GO
Keep the vows I make unto the Lord God.
Follow the Holy Spirit's leading and obey.
Look for His blessings.