The Nazirite

Judges 13:1-7

1Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

2A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

6Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’”

Introduction

The term “Nazirite” evolved from a Hebrew word for consecrated, holy, devoted, or separated for the service of the Lord. Samson was the first Israelite who was named in the Bible as Nazirite for life beginning from pregnancy. He served the purposes of the Lord until his death.

When we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, we are called for God’s purposes. We were set apart for the service of the Lord. In a sense, our lifestyle should be like a Nazirite except for requirements not to cut hair and abstinence from grape products or unclean food.

Peter was criticized by the circumcised believers when they heard that he ate with the Gentiles. Gentiles were unclean to Jewish people. Peter testified in Acts 11:7-10, 7Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

There are instructions of the Lord that are particularly required for Jewish people that believers of Gentile background may or may not need to abide with. Christ’s Spirit will reveal to us if those instructions are helpful to our testimony or not. Our lifestyle is a practical proof if Christ is active as Lord in us or not. When God’s righteousness prevails in us, Christ is actively reigning as Lord in us.

1Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

Israel in the time of Judges represents a lifestyle whether one is controlled by human nature or by the Holy Spirit. A lifestyle controlled by the Holy Spirit is exhibited practically when we are obedient to the Lord’s instruction.

1. Instruct

2A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

Here is another example of a deprived woman chosen by the Lord. Barren and childless wife is considered a disgrace among the Israelites.

Before Samson was born, his mother may have endured some form of ridicule from neighbors and relatives. Children are a blessing to from the Lord.

In Psalm 127:3, Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

Samson’s mother may have accepted her life of not having any children.

But her life was changed when the angel of the Lord told her that she will have a child. Not just any ordinary child. Her son will be a Nazirite who will be separated for the service of the Lord starting from the womb.

The Law on Nazirite

The Lord instructed in Numbers 6:3-5, 3Nazirites must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. 4As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins. 5During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.

The angel of the Lord instructed Samson’s mother while pregnant. The instruction was the same requirement for Nazirites given by the Lord to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. So, it was not something new. Why did the angel give such instruction specifically? God sends messengers to reiterate His command.

As believers, when we were set apart for God’s purposes, what is it that the Lord has instructed us? It says in 1 Timothy 5:22, 22Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

How can we be pure? It says in 2 Peter 1:3-4, 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

It is natural to be attracted to secular lifestyle and forget that we are set apart for Christ. Christ may return sooner than we expected. Are you prepared for life in eternity? Pray that your love ones will be informed about this reality.

2. Inform

       6Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’”

Manoah’s wife was very respectful to him. She did not decide on her own.

She did not keep secret to herself alone what the angel told her. She informed her husband right after she heard the angel’s instruction. She may have been excited to inform Manoah that she will be pregnant. Perhaps, Manoah have been hoping also to have a child for a long time.

What the wife of Manoah did when she informed him about the instruction of the angel about her prenancy displayed that she was a law abiding woman. Did she know the command about Nazirite vows? Did she ask Manoah’s approval for her abstinence from wine or anything that comes from grapevine?

It says in Numbers 30:10-13, 10If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 12But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the Lord will release her. 13Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. 

Would you consider it necessary for believers with Gentile background who are married to inform each other about their personal spiritual decisions?

What is your opinion about prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial Agreement

prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement is a contract entered into prior to marriage, civil union, or any agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage.

A prenuptial agreement exemplifies a secular reality in marriage these days. The solemn vow in the name of God, to take, to have and to hold their spouse from wedding day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until they are parted by death has lost its sacred essence among many including believers.

As believers separated for God’s kingdom, should we adhere or follow the secular patterns of this world like prenuptial agreement? Some people may not find it necessary to have prenuptial agreement if there’s sincere intention.

Someone said that prenuptial agreement is like having spare tire ready for unexpected flat tire. You wish not to use your spare tire. Similarly, if you have prenuptial agreement, pray to avoid the necessary use of it in your marriage.

It says in 1 Corinthians 1:24, 24To those whom God has called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

May God bless us to avoid secular lifestyle and to be consecrated for Him alone!

<‘)))>< ltsii/2018 ><(((‘>

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.