READ: Numbers 5-6
THINK: Have you ever made a vow to God? Perhaps in a moment of intense inspiration or deep desperation you promised something that may have been nearly impossible to deliver. But hopefully, you've followed through on the commitments you've made to God under more sober and thoughtful conditions. The truth is, you can devote yourself to God as deeply as you desire-without going through elaborate rituals. "Simply let your ‘Yes' be ‘Yes,' and your ‘No,' ‘No'" (Matthew 5:34). God doesn't want a temporary vow; He wants the continual surrender of your life to Him.
RESPOND: How did God use issues of physical purity to illustrate the importance of spiritual purity (5:1-4)? How does this principle apply to New Testament Christians and churches? (See 5:2 note.) In what way are we unfaithful to God when we do wrong to others? Why were the consequences of adultery so severe in the Old Testament law? How did the process of testing a wife suspected of adultery actually provide protection for the woman? (See 5:18 note.) What was a "Nazirite"? (See 6:2 note) What was the Nazirite vow, what did it represent and why would a person make it? What restrictions were involved in this vow, and why were these things significant (6:3-8)? (See 6:3 and 6:5 notes.) In what ways can the principles of a Nazirite vow apply to Christ's followers today? What did the sacrifice following the completion of a Nazirite vow indicate about the opportunity available to any true follower of God? (See 6:14 note.) How would God respond to His people if they obeyed Him and maintained purity in their lives (6:22-27)? What does it mean that God would "bless" His people? (See 6:23 note.) What was involved in the priestly blessing? (See 6:23 note, subpoint 2.) What does it mean when God gives His "peace"? (See 6:23 note, subpoint 2c.)
PRAY: Recommit yourself to personal purity, asking for God's help and strength when that requires personal sacrifice and self-denial.
ACT: Make a deliberate effort to treat others in a way that demonstrates love, respect and faithfulness to God. Be sure that your thoughts, conversations and actions reflect God's purity. Avoid or eliminate anything in your life that might cause you to compromise your personal purity in thought or action.
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