The Lord spoke to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man
or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the
Lord as a Nazirite.” – Numbers 6:1-2
In the book of Numbers we get introduced to a specific vow that either a man or woman of Israel could make. This is a vow of commitment to the Lord that could either be made by the person themselves or by their parents when the child was young. In Scripture we see three examples of this vow in Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. This is a vow that could be a commitment of 30 days or up to a lifetime. There were three requirements for someone who would take this vow: (1) they must abstain from wine and fermented drink, (2) their hair could not be cut, and for a man his beard could not be shaved, and lastly, (3) touching a dead body was prohibited. These vows were to raise up a group of people that would be totally committed to God. This was a public commitment that would be known not just to the Nazirite but also to the people around them. The length of their hair and beard would draw attention and the Nation would know the commitment they had made.
Today we do not take quite the same vow to God. However, much like our call to be holy, we are expected to have a certain level of commitment to God and be different in the same way as a Nazirite. As mentioned before, these people stood out as different. We can apply this to our lives in the sense that we, as believers, should be dedicated, set apart, committed and separated to God. Do we stand out as different to the community around us because of the commitment to God that we have?
The Nazirites were willing to give up something in order to better commit their lives to God. Paul in Philippians 3:8 says, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Paul wanted to be closer to Christ than to anything else in this world. Our desire should be the same; this world has nothing to offer us, while Christ has everything to offer us. All He wants is a commitment from us to live differently and as those with hope in this dark world.