Today’s Reading: NUMBERS 6:1-27; NUMBERS 10:1-36
There is an Oil and Vinegar store near where we live. I am sure they have them in the US, it looks like a US chain store, but we never really visited them before we moved here. Inside it is a gourmand paradise. They have many tools and gadgets for the kitchen, most you never need or use, but hey they are fun to look at. They have fancy stylish serving dishes you can use for entertaining. Of course they have Oil and Vinegar just like the name says. They easily have 30 types of oils (mainly variations of Olive oil) and easily 30 varieties of Vinegar (mainly variations of balsamic). The store is a great place to get samples.
Since we found the store we have become more of an oil and vinegar for our salad types of people. Less often do we use the thick creamy dressings. We have become finicky oil and vinegar snobs. It is one of a few luxuries we afford ourselves.
Another change to our lives since we moved here is that we cut my hair every six weeks ourselves. I use to go to a corner barber and pay $15, here they charge 30 Euro (about $40) so we bought some clippers do it ourselves(slightly better than a flobee) . In 2 1/2 haircuts we already saved money. Over the last 4 years I would say we saved over 500 euro between my son and I.
While I have come to love vinegar and cut my own hair I have still maintained my love and dedication to the Lord. Oh yeah, I also put raisins in my oatmeal in the morning.
If you read today’s reading you would know that I could not be a Nazirite (not Nazarene). The Nazirites were a special group of men specifically dedicated to the Lord. They were set apart in a special way for the Lord. Samson was a Nazirite, John the Baptist and Paul even dabbled in it (Acts 18:18; Acts 21:23).
The rules for a Nazirite were set out in Numbers 6:1- 21. They were very specific to avoid anything to do with grapes, wine, wine vinegar etc. There were not to cut their hair and they were not to go near anything that had died. Later we will read how Samson had struggle with all of these.
But what about you and I today? How do we set ourselves apart for the Lord? How do w demonstrate to the world that we are different and dedicated to God? Shall we avoid grapes, vinegar, wine, haircuts and dead bodies? Or is there something better we can do?
Romans 12:1 – 2 NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What we are to do:
- We offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God: meaning we are to offer our blood, sweat and tears for the Lord. Laboring in his harvest. That is how we worship the Lord.
- We do not conform to the pattern of this world: Set ourselves out as unique and different. We are not part of this world while we are in it.
- We renew our minds: We do this by focusing on God and His word. We read it, we study it, we memorize it and we share it.
Once we have done these things, then we are able to reveal God’s good, pleasing and perfect will to the world around us.
So drink your juice, put vinegar on your salads and get a haircut. But more importantly offer your bodies, ignore the pattern of the world and renew your minds in the word of God.