Numbers 5-6 and Psalm 37
This past year has been quite the crazy one to say the least! The main contributor to this for many was COVID-19 and how we responded to it. Many governments throughout the world encouraged their citizens to quarantine because of the virus. These decisions received a lot of support and a lot of backlash at the same time (you’re never going to be able to please everybody!). I’m not here to provide support or backlash for these decisions, but I am here to inform you that this was nothing new. In Numbers chapter 5 verses 2-3, God commanded the Israelites to “quarantine” the “unclean” people. The word “quarantine” isn’t found in any translations that I found, but that is precisely what was taking place. Now obviously the circumstances are by far and away vastly different in Numbers chapter 5 compared to the year 2020. Therefore, take this bit of information for what it is worth in comparison to our past year’s circumstances.
Chapter 5 also describes a test to see if a woman has committed adultery against her husband. Sex outside of marriage was not something that the nation of Israel took very lightly, as God had very strict rules for them in this regard. It’s a shame that our society does not value the sanctity of marriage like the Israelites in the Old Testament. Our society teaches us that the physical benefits of marriage are for everyone, whether married or not, and that hinders many marriages. Let’s revisit and exemplify the positive values demonstrated by the Israelites and live a sanctified life.
Speaking of living a sanctified life, there were some Israelites who took this concept above and beyond. Those Israelites took on the Nazirite vow. The purpose of the Nazirite vow was to “separate himself to the LORD,” (Numbers 6:2). There were a number of different rules revolving around the Nazirite vow, but the two most well-known ones are abstaining from alcohol and cutting your hair. Some may recall that the judge Samson took on the Nazirite vow, and he did not cut his hair – until a lady came in and ruined it for him. We don’t necessarily need to take on the Nazirite vow ourselves, however, we shall strive to live lives that are set apart from the rest of the world – the purpose of the Nazirite vow.
A note from Psalms:
“The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.” Psalm 37:29
What a glorious hope that we have! If we live a sanctified life, then we can inherit the land forever and ever!