The Nazirite vow. The Nazirite lifestyle. Generally done by individual choice (See Numbers 6) and according to the Mishnah, the oral tradition states the vow lasted for at least 30 days [Nazir 1:3].
However, two Old Testament guys, Samuel (1 Sam 1:11) and Samson (Judges 13:1-5) were presented to God by their parents with evidence of Nazirite elements—tying them to a lifetime of service to God. In the New Testament—John the Baptist (Luke 1:13-17).
We are most familiar with the Nazirite, Samson. He was conceived within Nazirite conditions and raised a Nazirite, set apart from birth. He was to abstain from anything grapes. Have no contact with a corpse and not to cut his hair (Numbers 6:3-5). At the end of the vow, he was to offer his long hair at the temple as a sacrifice to God (v18). All this was to be a lifestyle for him (not just the mindset of a weekend fast) “the boy shall be a Nazirite to God” (Judges 13:7).
He knew. Samson knew better than his behavior. He ate honey from a carcass (and gave some to his folks). THEN hung around Delilah from the Valley of Sorek (which means, the Valley of the Vine). RICH vines, producing purple grapes—wine. Samson, a Nazirite—WHAT is he doing in the Valley of Vines!
We do see God bless him with strength. Mighty strength. However. Samson offered his hair to Delilah (rather than God) by telling her the secret to his strength. She had it cut off. His oath was fully broken. He sacrificed improperly—which led to his lack of strength and ultimately his death. (You can read his whole story in Judges 13-16).
Just like the Nazirite vow, we too, as Christ followers, are called to a set apart lifestyle—a holy people consecrated to God, calling us to a holy life (1 Pet 1:15; 2:9). Being set apart does not (NOT) mean play with the line drawn in the sand (or play in the vineyard) and see how close we can get without crossing it, touching or sampling it. Or play with our calling like a toy and toss it around. God is holy and sovereign, He is “other.” The lifestyle of being “set apart” is just that, set apart from—to God. Set apart to—other.
May we be ever so careful and learn from Samson to not mis-live and mis-give what belongs to—God.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Hebrews 10:24).