SERIES: 04 Numbers - 2013
MESSAGE: Numbers 6-7
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Numbers 6-7

MESSAGE SUMMARY
As we study Numbers 6-7, we see some of the ways that God's chosen people separated themselves to the Lord and worshiped Him. As the body of Christ, we must also remember that the Lord should be the center of our lives and that our worship to Him is about giving rather than getting.

STUDY GUIDE
Numbers 6-8

PREVIEW: In Numbers 6-8, the law of the Nazirite is given for those who wanted to draw near to God by separating themselves to the Lord. A blessing is given to Aaron for the children of Israel, offerings are made for the tabernacle of meeting, and instructions are given for the cleansing and dedication of the Levites.

The Law of the Nazirite - Read Numbers 6:1-21

1. The Hebrew word zar means to separate. Therefore, a Nazirite vow spoke of one who separated himself or herself for a period of time in order to totally focus on the Lord. Who was eligible to make a Nazirite vow (v. 2)?



2. Unlike monks or other religious separatists, a person making a Nazirite vow didn?t separate themselves from others. What did a Nazirite separate themselves to (v.2)?



3. How might we consider ourselves separated to the Lord? (See John 17:14-19, 1 John 4:5-6, and 1 John 5:19-20.)



4. God set forth three things that a person making a Nazirite vow must separate Himself from. What was the first thing a person making a Nazirite vow must be separate from (vv. 3-4)?



5. What was the second thing a person making a Nazirite vow must be separate from (v. 5)?



6. What was the third thing a person making a Nazirite vow must be separate from (vv. 6-7)?


7. During the time of consecration, if a person fulfilling his/her Nazirite vow encountered a dead person, what were they to do (vv. 9-12)?



8. When the Nazirite completed their time of consecration, they were brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting (v. 13) and they presented an offering to the Lord. What did the Nazirite do to indicate his/her vow was complete (v. 18)?


9. Ordinarily, a Nazirite vow was an act of devotion taken voluntarily by an adult; but on occasion, this vow would be made by parents on behalf of their children. Name several well-known people who were likely either Nazirites for life or made a Nazirite vow as an adult. (See 1 Samuel 1:11, Judges 13:5, Luke 1:15, and Acts 18:18.)



10. What are some steps we can take to separate ourselves to the Lord? (See Matthew 5:8, 48, Proverbs 4:23, James 1:27b, Romans 12:1-2, and 1 John 5:18.)


The Priestly Blessing - Read Numbers 6:22-27

11. The Lord spoke to Moses and gave him instructions for Aaron and his sons (the priests). What were these instructions (vv. 22-23)?



12. In the priestly blessing, the phrase ?the LORD,? is repeated three times. The three-fold repetition of Lord does not prove the Trinity, but it certainly illustrates it. List the things that the Lord wants to do when blessing His children (vv. 24-27)



13. Six times the word you is used in the priestly blessing. The priestly blessing was intentionally given to individuals. In verse 27 the blessing is corporate for the entire nation. What identification is upon the children of Israel that caused the Lord to bless them (v. 27)? (See also 2 Chronicles 7:14.)


14. How is this same blessing upon the New Testament priesthood? (See 1 Peter 2:9-10, Matthew 28:19, Acts 11:26, John 15:16, Ephesians 3:12, Hebrews 4:16, and Hebrews 10:19.)



Offerings of the Leaders - Read Numbers 7:1-89

15. When did Moses finish setting up the tabernacle (v. 1)? (See also Exodus 40:17 and Numbers 1:1.)



16. Once the tabernacle and all its furnishings along with the altar and all its utensils were setup, anointed, and consecrated, an offer was made. Who made this offering? What did the offering consist of (vv. 2-3)?



17. What did the Lord tell Moses to do with the offering (vv. 4-5)?



18. The offering was divided by Moses: One-third of the offering went to the sons of Gershon and two-thirds went to the sons of Merari, but to the sons of Kohath he gave none. Why (vv. 6-9)? (See also Numbers 4:15, 24?28, 29?33.)



19. The offering was not given all at once. Describe how the offering was offered (vv. 10-11).




20. What was included in each of the 12 offerings (vv. 13-17)?



21. The order in which the offerings were made matched what other order established by the Lord (vv. 12-84)? (See Numbers 2:3-31.)


Arrangement of the Lamps - Read Numbers 8:1-4

22. The instructions the Lord gave to Moses for Aaron regarding the arrangement of the lamps had not been previously communicated to the priests. How was Aaron to arrange the seven lamps? Why (vv. 1-3)?



23. What was the lampstand constructed of? Where did Moses get the pattern of design for it (v. 4)? (See also Exodus 25:40 and Acts 7:44.)



Cleansing and Dedication of the Levites - Read Numbers 8:5-26

24. The Lord spoke to Moses regarding cleansing and dedication of the Levites. What cleansing was done to the Levites as an outward purification (v. 7)?



25. The inward purification of the Levites was to be accompanied by the offering of sacrifices. What was offered as a sin offering and burnt offering for the Levites' inward purification (v. 8)?



26. The whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered together in dedication of the Levites. What did the congregation do to the Levites in dedicating them to service of the tabernacle (vv. 9-10)?



27. What did the Levites do to the young bulls before offering them as sacrifices (v. 12)? (See also Leviticus 16:21.)



28. All priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests. However all the Levites belonged to whom? For what purpose (vv. 14-15)?



29. The Lord had sanctified all the firstborn as His (see Exodus 13:2, Leviticus 27:26, and Numbers 3:13) on the day that He struck all the firstborn of Egypt. The Lord now took the Levites instead of the firstborn. Why (vv. 18-19)?



30. What were the age ranges of the Levites who performed the work of the tabernacle of meeting (vv. 24-25)? (See also Numbers 4:3 and 1 Chronicles 23:3, 24, 27)



31. Once a Levite reached the age of 50, what was he allowed to do? What was he restricted from doing (v. 26)?

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. As a young Christian, Skip visited a Nazarene church who sang how they were so glad to be a Nazarene
    2. Chapter six is about a Jewish group called Nazirites
      1. The law of the Nazirite was a way in which anyone could act priestlike
      2. To be a priest, you had to be from the tribe of Levi—it was a very narrow set of parameters
      3. You could be priestly; man or woman—consecrate yourself for a period of time
  2. The law of the Nazirite (Num. 6)
    1. The most famous of all Nazirites in the Old Testament is Samson—Samson was a Nazirite from his youth
    2. The prophet Samuel was a Nazirite
    3. John the Baptist was a Nazirite
    4. Paul the apostle took the vow of Nazirite on two different occasions (see Acts 18 and 21)
    5. Women could take the vow of a Nazirite
      1. Biblically none are recorded
      2. Historically, there was a Jewish lady from Assyria who took the vow; Helena
    6. Nazirite was from the Hebrew word nazir meaning to separate—to consecrate
      1. The idea was to make yourself holy unto the Lord
      2. The minimum was the thirty days
      3. The maximum was typically one-hundred days
      4. There are some exceptions where some people were lifetime Nazirites—Samson was one (see Judg. 13)
      5. Samuel was a lifetime Nazirite; his mother dedicated him as soon as he was born (1 Sam. 1)
      6. John the Baptist also was a Nazirite (see Luke 1)
    7. No grape products; they symbolized joy—worldly joy
      1. While separated to God, the Nazirites' joy was to be totally to the Lord
      2. Wine in the Bible
        1. Among some, it's become quite controversial
        2. They have difficulty with Jesus turning water into wine and drinking wine at the Passover with his disciples
        3. Skip abstains from alcohol because it is so controversial
        4. The Bible doesn't talk against the taking of wine
        5. Paul told Timothy to drink for his stomach (see 1 Tim. 5:23)
        6. The Bible does condemn the excessive use of alcohol (see Eph. 5:18)
        7. Try getting high on God's goodness and love; it's better than earthly joy
      3. The prophet Amos chided the Israelites for making the Nazirites drink wine (see Amos 2:12)
        1. People with a worldly value system often get upset with those who have a higher value system
        2. Your higher moral standard makes some uncomfortable
        3. Sometimes believers ask the wrong question: "Can I be a Christian and do this activity?"
        4. They could ask: "How far can I go to please the Lord?"
    8. Nazirites let their hair grow
      1. Letting their hair grow was seen as a sign of strength
      2. A sign of humiliation—you were unkempt
      3. Shame (see 1 Cor. 11:14)
    9. Don't go near a dead body
      1. We are God's holy people—His separated people
      2. We should not do what the spiritually dead do
      3. We should be careful in how we deal with the spiritually dead among us
    10. God didn't require this vow
      1. It was completely voluntary
      2. Once you did it, you were required to follow through
    11. The principle is that God is higher than your family; you should put Jesus first (see Matt. 10:37)
    12. If they were defiled at any time during their vow, they had to start all over again
      1. That's not fair
      2. Look at it like a second start
      3. The beautiful nature of God to get a second chance, third chance, fourth chance...
    13. When the vow was complete, the head was shaved and offerings were made
      1. Paul did this (see Acts 18:18)
      2. They had to pay for the sacrifice and it could be costly; sometimes they were sponsored by someone from the tribe
      3. Paul did this also (see Acts 21)
      4. It was a public ceremony; there was accountability attached to it
      5. When we dedicate to the Lord we should not be afraid to say that we dedicate
      6. Your salvation should be public
      7. Jesus called people publicly; everybody could see it
  3. The blessing of the children of Israel
    1.  This was the blessing spoken of in Lev. 9
    2.  It is call in Hebrew the Birkat Kohanim, or the blessing of the high priest
    3.  Three lines
      1. All with Lord in all caps
      2. That is the covenant name Yahweh
      3. "I AM THAT I AM" (Exodus 3:14)
      4. Two blessings in each line
      5. The Hebrews observe the symmetry
      6. The central theme is that God loves you, God treasures you, God favors you, God wants to bless you
  4. An offering of the tribes for the tabernacle before they March (Chapter 7)
    1. Eighty-nine verses; the second longest chapter in the Bible (see Psalm 119)
    2. They are getting ready to March from Mount Sinai up to Kadesh Barnea
    3. The prince of each tribe brought the sacrifice for their tribe
      1. The priest lifted his hands and gave them God's blessing
      2. Now it's their turn to praise God
      3. "You bless me, thank You, I love You, I worship You"
      4. American way: worship is about us, not God
      5. Worship should be humble adoration of God
      6. Worship should not be about self-gratification
      7. Worship is a response; we love Him because he first loved us (see 1 John 4:19, Rom. 12:1)
      8. Worship from the heart (see John 4:23-24)
      9. Do it even if you don't feel like it; it's a commandment (see Matt. 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27, Heb. 13:15)
    4. Six carts and twelve oxen, given according to their service (see Luke 12:48)
    5. The leaders offered the dedication
      1. One leader for each day
      2. The same information is repeated for all twelve tribes
      3. The beauty in this: "The Lord is not unjust to forget your work and your labor of love which you have show toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and to minister" (Hebrews 6:10)
      4. God notices every little thing that someone does and He knows their name (see Mal. 3:16)
    6. God spoke to Moses from the mercy seat
      1. That's the only way God speaks to us today—the mercy seat; it comes to us through Jesus Christ
      2. God spoke to Moses face to face as a friend (see Ex. 33:11)
        1. They spoke in a familiar manner
        2. It's an instinctive "I know that's God speaking"
        3. People talk to God in different ways; like an emergency room doctor, or begrudgingly like a mother-in-law, or like a policeman—cautiously
        4. The best relationship is familiar, friendly
        5. Try talking to God out loud, it helps to take away distractions

Hebrew Terms: נָזִיר; nazir, Nazirite

Cross references: Exodus 3:14, Exodus 33:11, Leviticus 9, Judges 13, 1 Samuel 1, Psalm 119, Amos 2:12, Malachi 3:16, Matthew 10:37, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 1, Luke 10:27, Luke 12:48, John 4:23-24, Acts 18, Acts 21, Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 11:14, 1 Timothy 5:23, Hebrews 6:10, Hebrews 13:15, 1 John 4:19


Topic: Nazirite

Keywords: God, priests, holy, tabernacle, vow, consecrate, mercy, prayer, dedication


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