Numbers 6

Numbers 6

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The Creation of the World

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

(ESV)


Numbers 6 Commentary

by Hank Workman

It was not something to take lightly.  The vow of a Nazarite was considered a great decision for a person to enter for work and dedication to God.  Many times this was done with babies as parents dedicated their children, other times it happened as an adult.  The word Nazarite literally meaning to be set apart, this was acting on a desire to be set separately from the world and many of the things common to it, in order to follow God wholeheartedly.

A few notable Nazarites in Scripture were Samson, John the Baptist, and even Paul.  Women sometimes took this vow as well although the only reference to one is found in Manoah’s wife while she was pregnant with Samson.

Taking this vow required decision, action, and a desire to follow God with their whole heart, be used by Him, and yield continually to His calling.  Many times this held a specific time frame when at the end of it a sacrifice was offered.

The guidelines and restrictions during the vow was the individual was to abstain from wine or any fermented drink, nor eat grapes or raisins.  This was a bold statement because anything associated with grapes or wine were thought to be a blessing and something given by God.  It was denying yourself of the blessing through such a commitment of self-denial.  The individual was not to cut their hair during the entire time of the vow.  This was an outward sign to people that you were under a specific commitment in following God. 

Finally, they could not go near any dead body – even if it was a member of the immediate family.  This too had meaning as it was an act of separation from death or the effect of sin.  Ultimately these 3 things alone made you stand apart from others as you were giving up things to be drawn and used by God.

Although this was an Old Testament statement and ritual, the New Testament brings about a calling very similar to Believers today.  Paul wrote:

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:1-2

For Believers, the vow of the Nazarite reminds us that our calling is not of this world or the things within.  We are called to live a life pleasing to God, setting ourselves apart from the trappings so often set before, and yield ourselves to ultimate service to Him.  Accepting Jesus is not just a prayer we make, but a life we live.


Numbers 6 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

People are probably surprised to learn that this famous prayer of blessing comes from the book of Numbers.

The LORD bless you, and keep you;  25  The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;  26  The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’

Numbers 6:24-26 NASB

This blessing immediately follows the section which outlines what it means for someone to take a Nazarite vow. However, this particular promise offered by God is not dependent upon any act of holiness or devotion. It stands on its own as an offering of grace and mercy freely given by God.

The word ‘bless’ is an interesting term today. To some, it means material prosperity. It is certainly true that God blesses us with basic needs along with the ability to enjoy various material pleasures. But here, it is a general word that indicates God’s desire to bring the purest joy and significance to His people during their lives. It’s far deeper than what our minds can fathom. As you can see, this text illustrates that God has always been about grace, even in the Old Testament.

More than anything, God’s desire was that they would taste Him and experience His goodness above all else. When this was done, just as Moses experienced on Mount Sinai, the people would begin to understand just how glorious God’s blessings were compared to what the world offers.

The most encouraging part of this prayer is the ending.

“So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”

Numbers 6:27 NASB

God wanted to place His Name on the people so that they could bear witness to His grace and mercy. The image of God was something we were created in but also something that we smeared with our choice to sin. Now we know that we do bear God’s image in the form of the Holy Spirit which resides in us and works through us. It wills us to obey Him and becomes a spiritual branding of sorts that people can identify as only coming from God.

The greatest compliment we can receive in this life is a statement that identifies us with Jesus. At the end of your life, the goal is for others to reflect on how you lived and be able to say, “That person knew Jesus.”

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