Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Vow of the Nazarene

Numbers chapter six tells us about the vow of the Nazarene. It seems that when an Jewish man or woman wanted to completely dedicate themselves to God and His service that they would make this vow or promise to Him. There were those who took upon themselves this vow for a period of time, and then there were those like Sampson and John the Baptist who were Nazarites from birth.

The vow consisted of three parts:

  1. They weren't allowed to touch anything that was dead.
  2. They couldn't eat or drink anything from a grape vine; wine, grapes, and raisins.
  3. They couldn't cut their hair during the time of the vow.
In the New Testament in Acts chapter twenty-one we find the Apostle Paul seems to have taken part in the vow of the Nazarene.

Jesus was often referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth." This does not mean that Jesus had undertaken the vow of the Nazarene. It just means that he was from the town of Nazareth in Galilee.

As we think about the Christian life in light of the vow of the Nazarene let me make a few observations:
  • We have been chosen.  Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
  • We have been chosen before the new birth (our salvation) to be holy and without blame.
  • This is accomplished by means of the cross of Jesus both positionally before God and practically in our daily life.
  • We are very much like Sampson and John the Baptist in that God has called us to be holy and provided the means to do so before our birth.
  • The vow of the Nazarene gave some rules about what the individual could not be involved in, namely anything to do with death and grapes. There are also principles (rules if you will) for what we should and should not be involved in.
  • The vow of the Nazarene involved an outward symbol, hair that was not cut. You see, it is not just our heart that must be right with God, but others must be able to see from our outward actions and even appearance that we are walking with Him.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

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