Samson the Nazarite
Judges 13:5
For, see, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head…

I. THERE ARE MEN WHOM GOD CALLS TO HIS SERVICE FROM THEIR BIRTH. This is seen in the fact that the earliest events of their lives are made to train them for their subsequent mission in the world. Parents should consecrate their children to God in infancy, and not wait for later years before using those means which will fit them for the work of life in God's service. Manoah. and his wife are taught these lessons with special reference to the condition of a Nazarite. Other vocations may require external varieties of training, but the essential characteristics which fit us for the service of God are the same in all cases, so that it is not necessary to know the exact form of service to which God will call a child, in order to lay the foundations of his character in the main principles which devotion to God's service in any form involves.

II. ABSTEMIOUSNESS IS FAVOURABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF VIGOUR. Self-indulgence is enervating. Self-restraint both husbands and enlarges strength. That which is apparently most helpful to us may prove in reality to be a hindrance. Appetite and desire are neither to be regarded as masters nor as enemies, but as servants. As wine excites rather than strengthens, so there are influences of a mental character which add nothing to our power for work, although they appear to do so by rousing excitement. The soul will not grow strong on the heating, but not nourishing, diet of religious sensationalism.

III. DEVOTION TO GOD REQUIRES PURITY OF LIFE. The Nazarite was to touch no unclean thing. Unhappily Samson was satisfied with this ceremonial purity, and did not cultivate purity of soul, as the spirit of the Nazarite's vow plainly required him to do; hence his moral weakness and failure to attain perfect success. Samson "began to deliver Israel," he was not able to finish. Only the spotless One could say, "It is finished." In proportion to our holiness will be our spiritual strength. Religious devotion without moral purity cannot be accepted by God (Isaiah 1:11-15).

IV. FULNESS OF LIFE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO LIVE TO GOD. No razor, no iron (the symbol of death), was to come upon the Nazarite. Consecration to God involves self-denial, but it brings a deeper joy and a fuller life than a self-seeking course will secure.

1. Religion does not require the destruction of any part of our true human nature, not even to the injuring of one hair of the head.

2. Religion requires the consecration of our whole being unmaimed, even to the not severing of one hair of the head from the perfect sacrifice.

V. CONSECRATION TO GOD IS A SOURCE OF USEFULNESS TO MEN. Samson was a Nazarite; he was also a deliverer of his people. God calls us not to the hermit's life of useless devotion, but to the servant's life of devotion practised in active good works. The religiousness which forbids useful work in commerce, in politics, in literature is a false sentiment. The Christian can best serve God by labouring for the good of his fellow-men. - A.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no rasor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

WEB: for, behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb: and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."

God's Use of Unlikely Means for Gracious Ends
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