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Sunday, December 10th, 2023
the Second Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 6

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-27

  1. INTRO:
    1. Separation? What do we mean? (Boy in bubble idea?)
      1. Name of a church seen in Michigan, “Original Church of God, Number Two.”
    2. “We are not to be isolated but insulated,” said Vance Havner, “moving in the midst of evil but untouched by it.”
      1. Separation is contact w/o contamination!
      2. Jesus was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26), yet He was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34).
    3. Last week was provisions made for purity of the camp, by the exclusion of the unclean.
      1. (i.e.) All infectious diseases; confess w/restitution; expose adultery & false accusations of adultery
    4. This week deals w/personal & voluntary devotion to a life of peculiar separation to God
    1. ​​​​​​​SEPARATION! (1-12)
    2. Though all people were holy to the Lord, some Israelites were called to express their desire for personal & community holiness in public formal ways.
      1. There was nothing monastic(Gk.“live alone”) in this order, they did not separate themselves from ordinary life.
    3. Three vows are named for separation: from wine (fermented drinks; 3,4); from haircuts (must let hair grow; 5); from dead bodies(must avoid them; 6,7, no matter how dear).
    4. Nazarite means “to dedicate”.
      1. Referred to both men & women who have totally dedicated themselves to God
      2. Could be for a brief period or a lifetime(see Judges 13:1-5).
      3. The separation was 2-fold: to the Lord(2) & from what defiled(3-8).
    5. Who was the best known Nazarite? Samson (Judges 13)
      1. How carefully did he keep his vow? - Touched dead Lion(bee hive); Hair cut.
        1. Beware of Delilah! Many are the razors waiting to deprive us of our crown.Jud16:19
    6. Paul was a temporary Nazarite. - Acts 18:19 (he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea).
    7. John the Baptist was a lifer. - Lk.1:15 (no wine, nor strong drink).
    8. Was Jesus a Nazarite? Nope. A Nazarine (from Naz; Mt.2:23).
    9. (4) From seed to skin - Even the littlest of things can defile! (like the skin or seeds)
      1. The little foxes (S.oS.2:15) - foxes would come & eat the low hanging tender grapes as they harvested.
        1. These lil foxes are the kind of problems that can disturb or destroy a relationship.
        2. Tender grapes could represent young relationships that can be easily hurt.
        3. This urges diligence in dealing w/those things that can harm the relationship.
        4. It can also be interpreted “Let us catch the foxes” – Speaking of a mutual decision to protect their relationship.
          1. Q: What lil foxes are spoiling your vine?
      2. About 10 years ago, a bacterial disease killed a third of our Temecula Wine Country Vineyards and caused $20 million in damage.
        1. This disease called Pierce's disease kills vineyards by cutting off the vines' water supply. It is spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter(leafhopper), which often lives in citrus groves. Many vineyards in our Temecula Valley Wine Country are next door to citrus trees.
        2. Temecula Vineyards were getting wiped out because of a tiny-tiny insect.
          1. It is often the little foxes...that cause the biggest problems!
      3. Spurgeon said, “Eat the grapes of Sodom & its only time before you’re drinking the wine if Gomorrah!”
        1. Be faithful in the little things; a little leaven…; avoid even the appearance of evil.
    10. (7) Can’t break even for family - The kingdom of God must supersede all earthly ties.
    11. (12) If the Nazarite became defiled, all the days of the dedication were lost.
      1. It is a costly thing to disobey the Lord.
      2. How many of our days have we rendered void?
    12. TERMINATION! (13-21)
    13. The Nazarite stated at the beginning how long the vow would last.
      1. But our separation to the Lord must be for life.
        1. However, it is not wrong occasionally to set aside periods of time for special devotion to the Lord. (e.g. fast)
    14. Even though a Nazarite had lived in separation to the Lord, it was still necessary to bring sacrifices to the Lord, for nobody is perfect before Him.
    15. The Nazarite seems to be a type of the child of God who is separated from evil, that he may be wholly surrendered & given over to the divine service.
      1. Your God expects of you a more careful walk than is required of others.
      2. If a plumber or electrician molests a youth, you rarely hear of it; but if it’s a teacher or police officer it is immediate news. Why is that?
        1. We require more of those in authority, those in position of trust.
        2. How much more of you, as a representative of God Himself, to humanity.
    1. ​​​​​​​BENEDICTION! (22-27)
    2. Joseph Parker described this portion of scripture, “There is wine in the grape of every syllable; he who presses most in the agony of his need will drink most abundantly & most refreshingly of the wine of God’s love!”
    3. The SOURCE of Blessings! (22,27)
      1. Q: In our text who is this blessing from? Aaron? Moses?...Nope!
        1. We don’t have Aaron say, “Hey Moses, I have a formula of benediction that I think the children of Israel would be pleased with.”
        2. This is Not man made! But 100% God made! [See 22,27 The Lord; I will bless them]
          1. This is a flower that God brings right out of Paradise itself!
          2. Or, a bar of music right from heaven’s anthem!
      2. I’ve thought in the past…“who am I to call down a blessing upon someone?”
        1. But I realized there’s nothing contingent on the “blesser” or the “blessee”! But from “Him from whom all blessings flow”!
        2. God is always in charge of blessings! (Balaam in Deut.23:5)
    4. The COMMAND to Bless! (23)
      1. This was a divinely appointed liturgy of worship!
      2. Note: This blessing was to the common man.
        1. Let everyone tonight humbly ask, “Bless me also Lord”!
          1. Don’t cheapen this blessing to only material blessings. Oh, it includes that, but pales in comparison to the spiritual blessings here...of God’s gracious smile upon your life!
          2. His relationship; His favor; His smile; His grace!
        2. Let the man/woman farthest away from Him this evening say, “I will arise & go to my Father!”
    5. The VEHICLE of Blessings! (23)
      1. OT Priests How did Aaron do it? – Lev.9:22 “Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings.”
        1. Jewish writers tell us that during this ceremony the high priest not only pronounced the benediction 3 times, but 3 times w/a diff accent. (JFB; pg.527; my paraphrase.)
        2. He would elevate his hands, shoulder high, & separate out fingers (e.g. Spock) & otuch hands forming the “shin” (Hebrew letter looks like W)
      2. NT Priests We believers are Priests! – Rev.1:5,6 “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests (a kingdom of priests).”
        1. It thus becomes our business to pronounce this benediction on men wherever we go! (Morgan, Westminster Pulpit; pg.140)
        2. This is the duty of not just the preacher but of all saints then.
    6. The SUBSTANCE of Blessings! (24-26)
      1. Lets’ define His 3-Fold Blessing:
      2. [1] "The LORD bless you and keep you”
        1. Means that all the benefit & protection come from God.
        2. The blessing of God is the Goodness of God in action! (Keil & Delitzsch(quoting Calvin); pg.41)
      3. [2] "The LORD make His face shine upon you & be gracious to you”
        1. The thought here is the face radiant upon you!
        2. Prov.16:15 “In the light of the king's face is life,”
        3. Q: Have you felt the warmth of God’s face shine upon you?
          1. Step out of the world’s cold chill into His radiant love!
      4. [3] "The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, & give you peace”
        1. Countenance & Face are exactly the same Hebrew word.
          1. The difference is between “making the face shine” & “lifting it up/ upon” (“stoop in active kindness toward me Morgan).
          2. It’s the opposite of God “looking away” in displeasure.
          3. It’s the picture of a drowning victim looking to shore & crying for help; when finally he sees the lifeguard “look up”…help is on its way!
        2. The Beatific Vision is the promise of the vision of God that carries w/it the ultimate blessedness(Happiness) of the human soul! (R.C.Sproul; pg.281; Essential Truths of the Christian Faith.)
    7. Peace/shalom - comprehensive word meaning, “completeness, security, health, tranquility, & peace w/God & man.” (Wycliffe Bible commentary; pg.121)
      1. No matter how trying your circumstances may be, you can have God’s peace as you live under the blessing of His smile!
      2. When Jesus came the song was, “Peace on earth”; & When He left His farewell speech was, “Peace, I leave w/you.” (Joseph Parker; pg.163)
    8. Trinity? - The name Lord is 3 times repeated:
      1. The Jews thought there was some mystery behind this. We know what it is… the NT having explained it.
      2. We are directed to expect the blessing from The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor. 13:14)
        1. Jehovah the Father (the Source of all blessing)
        2. Jehovah the Son (the Channel of all blessing)
        3. Jehovah the Spirit (the Imparter of all blessing)
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Numbers 6". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/numbers-6.html. 2017.
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