The better Nazarite (Numbers 6:1-21)

Numbers 6:1-21

Nazarites were supposed to be holy. Samson was not.

When Samson was a boy his mother dedicated him as a Nazarite. Nazarites were not suppose to drink or eat anything that came from the grapevine. They were not allowed to have a razor touch their head. They were not to go near the dead.

Samson was a wild man. He had a Romeo-Juliet love affair with a Philistine woman. Good Jewish boys do not marry Philistines. On the way to marry the girl, he dipped his hand in the carcass of a lion to pull up some honey from a hive that grew in it. Nazarites were not supposed to touch the dead, even for honey. (Judges 14)

Samson had super-human strength. Nobody knew the secret of his strength but him. One day, a woman named Delilah seduced him into telling her his secret. It was on account of his long, lush locks of hair he had grown as part of his Nazarite vow that he was very strong. Delilah let Samson lay his tired head on her lap. When he was fast asleep, she called on the Philistines. They cut off his hair, bound him, gouged out his eyes, and hauled him off to prison for a real long time. (Judges 16)

Samson may not have been a good Nazarite, but God used him to do something extraordinary before he died. One day the Philistines became cruelly festive at a feast to their god Dagon. They had old, blind Samson brough in to have some fun with him. After they mocked him, Samson asked to be brought to the pillars that supported the temple. What they did not know was Samson’s strength returned, because his hair was growing back. Blindly grasping for one pillar with one hand and the other with the other hand, he pushed the pillars and brought the temple toppling down. All were killed, including Sansom. (Judges 16)

The world needed a better Nazarite than Samson. Someone who was truly holy and good. Jesus was the true Nazarite the world needed. He perfectly obeyed his Father in heaven, showing himself holy (John 15:10). He gave up his life to defeat God’s enemies, not Philistines but sin, Satan, and death. He sacrificed himself for his people, not out of resentment but out of love. Everyone who looks to this true Nazarite will not only be saved from sin, death, and Satan but also be given his true righteousness.

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