Thursday, November 1, 2018

Nazarite Vow November

Patrick Lankford wanted us to join him in a "No Shave November."  When we upped the ante with "Nazarite Vow November," he was all in!  So, rather than not shaving or cutting your hair in fall months, let's do what "Nazarite" really means.  Devote ourselves to God!

So, what would it mean to take a Nazarite Vow today?  
Like the Nazarites we would:

  • Let no razor touch our head
  • Not touch any wine or fermented drink. (That means I have to change my mouth wash to something without alcohol). 
  • Not eat or drink anything grape related. (Except Communion on Sundays). 
  • Don't touch or go near any dead bodies. (I'll make an exception for a funeral). 
  • Consecrate or set apart ourselves and our time daily for study and service to God. 
  • Pray Daily that God would set us apart for His purposes. 
  • Offer a "sacrifice" of praise on Saturday, Dec 1st, when we shave & cut our hair. 
So, if you want to do more than "No Shave November" to consecrate yourselves to God, simply let Topher or Patrick know, we'll be happy to walk through a modern day Nazarite Vow together.  We'll talk later about what our Saturday, December 1st will look like later.

Suggested Readings
Thurs - Nov 1 - John 1:45-46 "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" "Come and see!"
Fri - Nov 2 - Numbers 6:1-21 - Amos 2:11 - Details of the Nazarite Vow
Sat - Nov 3 - 1 Samuel 1 - Samuel is born.
Sun - Nov 4 - 1 Samuel 2
Mon - Nov 5 - 1 Samuel 3
Tues - Nov 6 - 1 Samuel 4
Wed - Nov 7 - 1 Samuel 5
Thurs - Nov 8 - 1 Samuel 6
Fri - Nov 9 - 1 Samuel 7
Sat - Nov 10 - 1 Samuel 8
Sun - Nov 11 - 1 Samuel 9
Mon - Nov 12 - 1 Samuel 10
Tues - Nov 13 - 1 Samuel 11
Wed - Nov 14 - 1 Samuel 12
Thurs - Nov 15 - 1 Samuel 15
Fri - Nov 16 - 1 Samuel 16
Sat - Nov 17 - 1 Samuel 19:18-24, 1 Samuel 25:1
Sun - Nov 18 - Judges 13
Mon - Nov 19 - Judges 14
Tues - Nov 20 - Judges 15
Wed - Nov 21 - Judges 16
Thurs - Nov 22 - Mark 1
Fri - Nov 23 - John 1
Sat - Nov 24 - Luke 1
Sun - Nov 25 - Matthew 3
Mon - Nov 26 - Mark 6
Tues - Nov 27 - Acts 18:1-18
Wed - Nov 28 - Acts 21:17-24
Thurs - Nov 29 - Mark 14:22-25
Fri - Nov 30 - Luke 22:15-18
Sat - Dec 1 - Num 6:1-21

Extra info from Jewish Encyclopedia


Nazarite Laws.—Biblical Data:
Three restrictions are imposed upon the Nazarite, according to Num. vi.: he may not take wine, or anything made from grapes; he may not cut the hair of his head; he may not touch the dead, not even the body of his father or mother. If a Nazarite has become unclean by accident, he must offer a sacrifice and begin the period of his vow anew. He is "holy unto the Lord" (Num. vi. 8), and the regulations which apply to him actually agree with those for the high priest and for the priests during worship (Lev. x. 8 et seq., xxi.; Ezek. xliv. 21). In ancient times the priests were persons dedicated to God (Ezek. xliv. 20; I Sam. i. 11), and it follows from the juxtaposition of prophets and Nazarites (Amos ii. 11-12) that the latter must have been regarded as in a sense priests. Young men especially, who found it difficult to abstain from wine on account of youthful desire for pleasure, took the vow. The most prominent outward mark of the Nazarite was long, flowing hair, which was cut at the expiration of the vow and offered as a sacrifice (Num. l.c.; Jer. vii. 29).
In Ancient Israel.
The history of Nazariteship in ancient Israel is obscure. Samson was a Nazarite, whose mother abstained from wine during her pregnancy. His superhuman strength lay in his long, unshorn locks (Judges xiii. et seq.). Samuel's mother promised to dedicate him to God during his whole life, saying, "There shall no razor come upon his head" (I Sam. i. 11); the Septuagint concludes from the latter promise (to which it adds "he shall drink no wine") that Samuel was a Nazarite. Neither the nomadic Rechabites nor their wives or children drank wine (Jer. xxxv.; II Kings x. 15 et seq.).
Extent.—In Rabbinical Literature:
The Nazarite law was minutely developed in post-Biblical times and became authoritative, while the popularity of Nazariteship and the influence it exercised on men's minds appear from its numerous regulations, which form a voluminous treatise of the Mishnah, and from the many expressions and phrases accompanying the taking of the vow. If one said, "May I be a Nazarite," he became a Nazarite at once (Naz. i. 1). As a consequence of the universal custom, peculiar words and phrases, some of which are now unintelligible, were formulated for the taking of the vow (Naz. i. 1, ii. 1; p. 10a; Ned. 10a, b, et passim). "'Let my hand, my foot be nazir,' is not valid; 'Let my liver [or some other vital part] be nazir,' is valid" (Naz. 21b; Tos. to Naz. iii. 3). When the sanctuary was defiled at the time of the wars of the Maccabees the people assembled all the Nazarites before God as persons who could not be released from their vows (I Macc. iii. 49); yet when Nazarites returned from the Diaspora and found the sanctuary destroyed they were absolved from their vows (Naz. v. 4), although at the same time others took it (ib. v., end).
The expenses of the offerings of poor Nazarites were borne by the wealthy, this charitable obligation being expressed by the phrase "to have [his head] shorn"; and King Agrippa had many Nazarites "shorn" (Josephus, "Ant." xix. 6, § 1; Naz. ii. 5, 6; Acts xviii. 18; xxi. 23, 24 [Nazariteship ofPaul]). "At the time of R. Simeon b. Sheṭaḥ 300 Nazarites came to Jerusalem. In the case of 150 he found a reason for annulling their vows, but in the case of the others he found none. He went to his brother-in-law King Jannai [103-76 B.C.] and said to him: 'There are 300 Nazarites who need 900 sacrificial animals; you give one-half and I will give the other half'; so the king sent 450 animals" (Yer. Ber. 11b and parallels). Noble persons also, both men and women, took Nazarite vows. Queen Helena was a Nazarite for fourteen (or twenty-one) years (Naz. iii. 6; see Jew. Encyc. vi. 334, s.v. Helena), and Agrippa's sister Berenice was at Jerusalem on account of a Nazarite vow taken before the outbreak of the great war against the Romans (Josephus, "B. J." ii. 15, § 1).