The word Nazirite in the Hebrew is Naziyr and simply means the one who is devoted and/or consecrated to the Lord. We are all familiar with Sampson and his life-time vow, but according to [some] modern-day rabbinical thought, a vow of this type is typically for a month, a year, ten years, etc. The rest of the chapter (Numbers 6) bears witness to that since it refers to a time of fulfillment, or when the season of a vow comes to an end. A contemporary Christian application might be that of a short (or long) term missionary, a Sunday school teacher, or even a pastor of a flock of believers.
We are reminded that these things were spoken by God, to Moses, for the people of Israel, but the fact that we have been grafted into that vine makes it applicable to the us as well. As we examine the passage, three (3) distinctives leap out of the text regarding prerequisite criteria for the potential vow-ee.
There is no alcohol for the person who is going to be set apart for service to the Lord. I suspect there are some Christians who would disagree with that interpretation, but let them find some comfort in knowing alcohol is not forbidden across the board. However, for those who are dedicating a specific chuck of time to the Lord, it is exceedingly pertinent.
…It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Proverbs 31:4-5
So if we are taking the text literally, does it mean we are not to cut our hair during this dedicated period? Perhaps, but what I really believe the Lord is mandating is that the Nazirite should be easily identified—even from a mile away. In other words, our behavior, our language, every deed should be beyond reproach consequently identifying us as God’s property. It’s so much more than hair!
A love the axiom, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Imagine if all we had as our proof was our long hair (or our Christian bumper stickers); we would certainly be released of all charges. The follower of Jesus knows (or should know) that hair and/or bumper stickers become stumbling blocks of hypocrisy when we venture no further than the Christian labels that they are.
.For every tree is known by its own fruit. Luke 6:44
“Dead bodies, ” you might say, “not a problem; I can stay away from those!” but what is God really saying to His church? Jesus said it this way; “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” In other words, the born again believer has absolutely no business hanging out with dead things—we are called to leave the past behind and to move forward towards that which gives new life.
Does that mean we should not associate with the unsaved; our own family perhaps? The Numbers verse points out that we are not to go near the dead—the implication being we are to keep a safe distance. How close is to close? That’s where Holy Spirit discernment comes into play—I do not believe we can construct any hard-set rules on the matter. Suffice it to say, it’s always better to play on your own (God’s) turf, for a wise man once said, “If you hangout in a barbershop, eventually you’re going to get a hair cut.”/
…You have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Colossians 3:9b-10