Summary: What I at first thought was a dry and boring book with no relevance to my life, turned out to be one of the most profound and exciting books in the bible, with full of application to my life! Learn how to make it through the "wilderness" of this life succ
The Challenge of Complete Commitment
Series: A Biblical Guide to Wilderness Survival
September 18, 2011
Hi, I'm Samson... how many of you have heard of me? I heard your pastor was going to be preaching from Numbers 6 this morning, which is all about "The Nazarite Vow". So, since I'm the most famous Nazarite that ever lived, I decided I'd show up and give you a real life example of what a Nazarite DOES and DOESN'T do! You'll find my story in the book of Judges chap.13, but let me give you a quick overview... My Dads name was Zorah, and my Mom's name was Manoah. I came from the clan of the Danites. From my birth I was a special kid. God wanted to use me to free my people out from under the bondage of the evil Philistines! He had a special plan for my life and He gifted me to carry it out...but I squandered my gifts, and as a result I missed God's plan.
Being a NAZARITE meant that I abstained from drinking alcohol...I never cut my hair (you like my long hair????), and...I steered clear of anything that was dead. Because of the promises I made to God He made me strong! VERY strong! In fact... when the Lord came on me...I could break through ropes! (break a rope). One time, I ripped a lion apart with my bare hands! Another time I killed a 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey! AHHHHHH!
The Lord blessed me in a lot of ways. I had a great Mom and a great Dad who was a priest. You might say I was a "Pastor's Kid", (a P.K.!) My parents loved me and taught me about God. I had everything going for me... but instead of doing what God wanted... I did what I wanted. I rebelled against my parents. I rebelled against my God...and you know where it led me? I ended up in a dungeon, my strength gone, both my eyes poked out, my beautiful hair cut bald...pushing a millstone around in the dark, like a common animal! In the end I was given a great victory, but only after repenting of my sin and allowing God to work though me! So listen up as Pastor Chris talks to you this morning about "3 Commitments that will Strengthen Your Life!" It might just SAVE you from a life of misery and waste!
*** Shane read Numbers 6:1-8
Now what Samson didn't tell us was...that a Nazirite didn't make a permanent commitment to look like a hippie and act like a monk all his life. Taking the Naz. vow, was a "temporary" separation from normal life to be devoted to God in a special way. It was actually a mirror for Israel to look into, and be reminded of what she was permanently called to be as a "holy nation". The Naz. was a person who was consecrated to the Lord, just as Israel, as a nation was called to be consecrated and committed to the Lord.
The commitments of the "Naz. Vow" were the same commitments that were required of a priest...so in a sense, it was kind of a temporary lay priest. Someone who for a short time lived at a higher level of ritual purity. Again, the Naz. was a perfect picture of what Israel was intended to be. According to Ex.19:6 they were to become "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.". Of ALL the nations of the world, God had chosen THEM to be his people and to dwell in their midst. So when a person took a Naz. vow, it was a reminder of what they were called to be...different and holy. Set apart for God's purpose.
I want to talk to you this morning about commitments ...because, "Making commitments strengthens your life, while breaking commitments weakens your life." Samson is a perfect example of this. In Samson we have a man, who was exceedingly gifted, a man of great potential, a man who rocketed to the top of the Israeli nation, even becoming a judge....yet because of some char. weaknesses, this mighty man was brought down hard to the mat, because he broke every commitment he ever made. Here was the strongest man who ever lived... but spiritually and emotionally he was a wimp! Physically... He was the "Rambo" of the O.T. but spiritually...he was Pee Wee Herman! You couldn't find a less committed Naz. than Samson...1st he marries a Philistine woman (Judges 14:1-3). He didn't keep himself separate from the enemies of God...he climbed in bed with one! On the way to marry her, he sees a lion's corpse where bees have made their hive (14:8). He vowed to stay away from all corpses, but because he was motivated by his stomach, more than his calling...he went over and scooped some honey out of a dead body.