Numbers 6

Numbers 6 gives direction to those who are willing to set aside time in separation as a Nazirite.  The meaning of the word Nazirite is to “set apart”.  Thus the vow of the Nazarite was to express one’s special desire to draw close to God and to separate one’s self from the comforts and pleasures of this world.  “When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink”.  This was a choice that was made to give up some of the normal things of life and focus on God.

Scripture talks about three specific areas where a Nazirite needed to take action:

  1. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes
  2. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long
  3. He shall not go near a dead body

This may not seem like a huge sacrifice, but remember that wine was a very important part of the culture then.  Generally speaking, wine and grape products were thought to be a blessing, something to be gratefully received from God.  The hair was a visible and outward way to let the world know that you were under this vow.

And then comes the requirement to stay away from dead bodies.  Most of us aren’t really into being around them anyway.  So what is this all about?  Separation from death – the effect of sin – was essential during the period of the vow.  And to drive home that point, God even takes the instruction to an extreme by addressing the rather unexpected potential of “if any man dies very suddenly beside him”.  That seems like a stretch, doesn’t it?  How many times have you had someone die unexpectedly beside you?  But God is thorough and knows the reality that it would happen.  So Scripture addresses it.  God’s Word has far more answers to the issues of life than we give it credit.  We need to know His Word in order to work thorugh the challenges of life.

He ends this chapter with a very familiar blessing.  We hear it often as a benediction in church.  There is power in blessing, and this one was given to Aaron and his sons for God’s people which includes you and me.  “Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace”.  Blessing, a shining face, grace and peace.  What more could we ask for from God.  Know you are blessed by God Himself.  He loves you.  He has a plan for you.  He will grant you grace and peace and make His face to shine upon you.  We simply need to make sure we are receiving it!

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