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Saturday January 5 – The vow of the Nazarite

Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. – Numbers 6:5

Scripture reading: Numbers 6:1-21

An Israelite could make a vow and for a certain time separate himself to the LORD.  Numbers 6 gives the requirements: he had to stay away from anything that could intoxicate him, not cut his hair and not touch anything dead. If somehow he made a mistake, he had to start again. The beginning and end were marked with sacrifices. We know from the Bible of life-time Nazarites, e.g. Samson, but this chapter deals with people who made a temporary vow. They could dedicate themselves to the LORD. The Nazarites symbolized that Israel is a holy nation, a kingdom of priests.

 What did these three requirements mean? Alcoholic drinks were forbidden because when the Spirit of the LORD rules one’s life, then there is no room for other “spirits”. Letting one’s hair grow indicated that one has no control over his own life; his strength lies in the LORD. Because death is connected to sin, any contact with death had to be avoided to remain holy.

Do these requirements not describe how we are to live as Christians? We are to be holy for the LORD. Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), but be sober-minded (1 Peter 1:13). Let the Lord rule every aspect of your life, including your outward appearance (1 Peter 3:3-4). Flee from the corruption of sin (Hebrews 12:1). See also the marks of the Christian in Article 29 of the Belgic Confession. In Christ, this is our permanent calling.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for the blessing of being sanctified in Christ. Pray for His grace to live holy lives, to be filled with His Spirit, to be ruled by Him and abstain from sin. Ask for wisdom about how to live holy lives each day.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.


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