Saturday, April 9, 2011

Numbers 5 & 6 - Purity in the Camp and The Nazirite Vow

LINK: Numbers 5 & 6

BACKGROUND

In these chapters we see further preparation for holiness through removal of those considered defiled, restitution for offenses (we talked about that in Leviticus 6), and the mark of a more obedient, closer walk with God through the Nazirite vow.

In Numbers 5, I was curious about the "jealousy offering" in connection with the offering for marital infidelity. It is my understanding that this was not all bad for women in that innocent women were protected from jealous husbands who had no grounds for their suspicion. This also shows that God thought faithfulness in marriage was very important.

In Numbers 6, the Nazirite vow could be taken by people who wanted to commit themselves totally to God by consecration and separation to Him. It could be taken by either a male or female. There were many prohibitions connected with it. The two most notable ones were abstaining from fermented beverages and not cutting your hair which was in direct opposition to some pagan rituals that required shaved heads. We will hear quite a bit about the hair component of this vow when we read about the life of Samson in Judges 13-16.

Numbers 6 concludes with God's blessings on the sons of Israel through Aaron now called the "Barocha." Michael Card has written a lovely melody for this blessing. He encourages us to bless our families and fellowships with these words often!

REFLECTION

I love that the Nazirite vow was for both men and women! How often does that happen in the Old Testament? Usually it is just the men who get in on all the action.

As I have prayed in this chapter, I think that I want to be like a Nazirite in my heart. I do not have to worry about all the external trappings associated with this vow because I am a New Testament believer, but I can be a Nazirite in being totally consecrated to God through the decisions I make every day. I can think of one particular area where I can make deeper commitments to God. God had already started speaking to me about it at our women's retreat last weekend, and today's meditation just confirmed that leading. Pray I might follow through!

APPLICATION

Where are there areas in your life where you can make deeper commitments to Him? We have opportunities every day in the way we use our time, spend our money, love our neighbor, etc. Have you made a "Nazirite" vow in your heart?

PRAYER

Lord, teach us every day how we might be more deeply committed to You through our everyday decisions. May we do it according to the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Post a Comment