Brief Thoughts on the Separation of the Nazarite: 1

Numbers 6:1‑8  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
WE have here, in type, the separation of Christ, and of those that are in Him, from the world unto God. That we might thus be set apart by His separation, He commenced it afresh in resurrection through His offering for sin.
The sanctification of the Nazarite did not go beyond the purifying of the flesh. It was in this, like the other shadows of the law, ceremonial, and not that which purgeth the conscience. But as the sanctuary made with hands was the pattern of heaven itself so did the carnal Nazarite set forth Him Who was always, thoroughly, intrinsically separate from sinners, and unto the Lord. From His mother's womb, Christ was really that which the Nazarite outwardly prefigured— “that holy thing” (Luke 1:3535And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)). As a child, He was the same. The grace of God was upon Him (Luke 2). Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business? He alone could say in its full force: “My flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (Psa. 63). Again, as in Psa. 84: “My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” Besides other and higher glory of His person, Christ was the blessed man who never walked in the counsel of the ungodly nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. Other blessed men there are whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. (Psa. 32). But Christ was the one blessed man who, regarded as made of a woman, made under the law, had no transgressions to be forgiven, nor sins to be covered, but His delight was in the law of the Lord, and in His law did He meditate day and night. In this, then, He stood alone, truly and totally separate unto the Lord, wholly apart from the world for God. Here below, in the flesh, He was the pure and holy Nazarite, blessed in Himself. All others were sinners. If these were blessed, they were blessed exclusively through Him: and this was by death and resurrection.
But if, in the flesh, He stood thus alone, in resurrection Christ is the first born among many brethren. This is another condition and most precious it is to us.
Now, let us consider in what the separation consisted.
First, “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink; and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink; neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk” (Verses 3, 4).
Wine maketh merry; it maketh glad the heart of man. But Christ had not one feeling in common with a world estranged from God. He could love and pity, but kept aloof from all earthly joy and gladness. To Him in Whom God was well pleased, nothing here below yielded enjoyment. He needed not that any should testify of man; for He knew what was in man (John 3). If men would come and take Him by force to make Him a King, He departs into a mountain Himself alone (John 6). If His unbelieving brethren would have Him to show Himself to the world, He says, My time is not yet come (John 7). This blessed Nazarite walked as God's heavenly stranger through the world; and the more He knew the fullness of joy in Jehovah's presence, and the more He detected and stood aloof from the spurious pleasures of men, the more did He feel the wretchedness, and sin, and sorrow, of all around Him. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge; but man hath no ears, no voice for God. Could this gladden the heart of the Nazarite? Looking up to heaven, He sighed (Mark 7:3434And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. (Mark 7:34)).
Secondly, “All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head; until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord; he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow” (ver. 5).
The head and beard are referred to in scripture as the seat of glory and strength. Thus, in Psa. 133, “it is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard;” and, therefore it was that the priests, in the case of the death even of near kindred, were forbidden to make baldness upon their head, or to shave off the corner of their beard (Lev. 21). These tokens of humiliation did not become those who enjoyed special access to God. On the other hand, he who typifies the defiled and defiling outcast from God and His people, the leper, even in the days of his cleansing, had to “shave all his hair off his head, and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off” (Lev. 14). Sin has utterly tainted that which otherwise would be comely. But the Nazarite is typical of Christ in His separation as a man unto God, and He was without blemish and without spot, and all that sprang up in that Holy One was lovely and acceptable to God. Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 3). His meat was to do the will of Him that sent Him, and to finish His work (John 4). Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God, He could say throughout; even as at the termination of His earthly career, He told the Father, I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. To have cut off the beauteous locks of the untainted Nazarite, would have been to have cut off the feelings, interests, thoughts, affections, purposes and acts of Christ, which were all fragrant and precious in the sight of God.
Thirdly, “All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body. He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord” (ver. 6-8).
Christ is life and the prince of life, as Satan is he who hath the power of death. And when one, bidden to follow Him, said, Lord suffer me first to go and bury my father, Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9). This world will care for its own things, but Christ and His people are for the living and true God—for Him only. So truly was this verified in Christ, that even death itself He accepts as having to do with God and God with Him. It is not Judas, nor the Jews, nor the Romans, nor Satan, that His eye is upon; but “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18).
(To be continued, D.V.)