Sunday, August 16, 2009

The road to a Nazarite's proclamation - Luke 4

Judges 13 and Samson - No Razor, No Raisin, No Carrion. Let your hair grow, no grape juice in any form and don't touch dead stuff! That really sums up the Nazarite vow. What can we learn from a vow such as this for today. It gives focus for life.

Samson was obliged to live a life under a vow, one that was thrust upon him. God did indeed use him by killing the philistines on various occasions. We may not like how he conducted himself with women but he was God's guy for 20 years and God accomplished what he wanted through his life and death.

Lets look at Jesus, a Nazarite with a mission in Luke 4. Before Jesus proclaimed his life's work he went through the three temptations.

Lesson 1 Man does not live on bread alone.
Luke 4:4 Deut. 8:3 "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD". His obedience was crystallized in knowing His sustenance came from the Father.

Lesson 2 There can only be ONE!
Luke 4:8 "Worship the Lord your God and serve him only"
Deut 6:13 "Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
No explanation needed here, I trust ;)

Lesson 3 Putting God to the test?
Luke 4:12 "Do not put the Lord your God to the test".
Deut 6:16 "Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah".
At Massah and Meribah, they questioned the presence of God with them and they quarreled among themselves. Exodus 17:7 "And he called the place Massah [means testing] and Meribah [means quarreling] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"

After the temptation Jesus proclaimed:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. (The focus is on Gods word)
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, (God who created can recreate and heal)to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."(God does not send a message of condemnation).

Being resolved on these three aspects of our relationship with YHWH i.e. will give us a backdrop to our mission in ministry.
God is First
His word is Fulfilling
His presence is Faithful

Coming out a time of temptation is meant to make us stronger, give us acuity of sight and begins a life of separation within the ordinary daily routines. We can more clearly see our Savior through the pots n pans of daily life and speak of His faithfulness to others, in a relationship that is fulfilling which communicates that HE is the one we are to adore.

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