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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Making the vow

In a world full of promises and pledges, it appears that our words have become resounding gongs and clanging symbols. It is pretty easy to make a promise but sometimes fulfilling it is the difficult part. Take the example of Hannah, found in 1st Samuel 1. She is the wife, one of two, of the Levite Elkanah, who resides among the Ephraimites. She was a woman who was unable to have children. Her rival, Peninnah torments Hannah because she has sons and daughters. In those days and in our day most guys would like to know that their family line will continue on when they pass. A son affirms this at least to some degree. Year after year Peninnah torments Hannah, to the point that one specific year, Hannah goes to worship God and is intently praying. We see that prayer in chapter one of 1st Samuel, where she makes a vow to the Lord. The vow specifically is a Nazarene vow. This is explained in Numbers chapter 6.
Num 6:1 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Num 6:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD,
Num 6:3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes.
Num 6:4 'All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin.
Num 6:5 'All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.
Num 6:6 'All the days of his separation to the LORD he shall not go near to a dead person.
Num 6:7 'He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head.
Num 6:8 'All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.
Num 6:9 'But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day.
Num 6:10 'Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting.
Num 6:11 'The priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head,
Num 6:12 and shall dedicate to the LORD his days as a Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled.
Num 6:13 'Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting.
Num 6:14 'He shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering,
Num 6:15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering.
Num 6:16 'Then the priest shall present them before the LORD and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.
Num 6:17 'He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering.
Num 6:18 'The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.
Num 6:19 'The priest shall take the ram's shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair.
Num 6:20 'Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.'
Num 6:21 "This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD according to his separation, in addition to what else he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation."
This was not only a very serious vow, it was a vow of dedication to the Lord. Sanctification or cleanliness is of the utmost importance and when we make a vow to God we better make good on it.
I will be spending the next few weeks expanding on this vow. So today was just to get your feet wet.
Till next time
scripture was taken from the NASB Bible, Lockman Foundation.