July 04, 2020

Standing Out for God

Numbers 6:1-21

“This is the law of the Nazirite. . . . They must fulfill the vows they have made. . . .”

—  Numbers 6:21

The Nazirite vow was a voluntary and temporary vow that any man or woman in Israel could take. During the period of the vow, a Nazirite could not eat or drink anything from the grapevine, cut their hair, or be in the presence of a dead body. Because of these unusual restrictions, Nazirites stuck out. Some Nazirites were dedicated for life. Probably the most famous Nazirite was Samson (Judges 13).

Why would anyone make a Nazirite vow? It was a way to consecrate yourself fully to God. By taking the Nazirite vow, you were saying, “I’m stepping away from the normal routines of life to give myself to God.” Today we might do something similar by giving up food or technology to devote ourselves more fully to prayer.

What can we learn from the Nazirite? They provide an example of a kingdom-minded, God-treasuring disciple, dedicated to the Lord. Our devotion to God should be sacrificial, total, and public. God must come first in our lives, meaning that we are willing to give up things to follow him. God must come before food, drink, family, and friends. Even more important, our love for God should be obvious to others. We live this way because we have a Savior who gave himself up for us. As in the words of a hymn, we declare that “love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Jesus, we are often afraid to stick out for our faith. May we completely live for you, remembering that you first loved us. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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