Tuesday, Judges 13:1-7, The Birth of Samson
This story is included in the readings for this week because of the Nazirite vow that Samson took. Our main text for the week is Matthew 3:1-17, and it seems that John the Baptist took a Nazirite vow as well. However, look back one more verse to Matthew 2:23. It says that Jesus was a Nazorean. That could simply refer to the fact that Joseph settled them in the town of Nazareth, but it could also mean that he, too, took a Nazirite vow.
The Nazirite vow is described in Numbers 6:1-21. It was taken when a person wanted to set himself apart to the Lord and accomplish a certain task. It didn’t last forever, but was a limited time of extraordinary devotion. The Nazarite vowed to do three things. 1. Abstain from any grape products. 2. Not cut his hair. 3. Stay away from dead bodies. When the time of the vow was ended (usually when the task was complete), the Nazarite would then shave his head, burn the hair at the altar, offer a sacrifice, and drink wine and bread.
The Nazarite was set apart and focused on a specific mission for God. This describes John’s life, and Jesus’ life. We also see that the Apostle Paul took a Nazirite vow (Acts 18:18).
The question for us today is simple, but scary. Are we dedicated to God’s mission? I’m not saying we should all grow out our hair and eat locust, or take a nazarite vow. But, we are all called to die daily in our baptism. That’s a dedication that even goes beyond the vow of the Nazirite.
Take some time today to invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart. What are some things in your life that are distracting you from the mission that God has called you to pursue?