Daybreak: Numbers 5:1 through 6:27
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Has someone prayed a prayer of blessing for you? If you are married, no doubt the minister who performed the ceremony prayed for your marriage. Sometimes parents choose to have a dedication service for their babies, and the minister prays for God’s blessing upon the child and the parents. Maybe in a time of grief or need, one of your friends prayed with you, asking for God’s help and grace to sustain you.
Perhaps without your knowing it, you have been the subject of someone’s private intercession. One minister of the Gospel printed names on a long strip of adding machine tape. Upon his death, that paper was worn from the many times he had read down that list, praying for each person individually.
In the focus verses, Moses prayed a prayer of blessing for the Children of Israel. A classic prayer that has been quoted hundreds of times, its words can bring peace and comfort.
Any of us who have been the recipient of someone’s prayer of blessing know what a treasure such prayers are. We should consider whether we have done our part to pray prayers of blessing for others. Our prayers for our best friend, our loved ones, or our brothers and sisters in Christ can include these words.
However, what about the person who is not particularly our friend? Perhaps there is a neighbor, a classmate, or a co-worker who has been difficult. These people may have even brought a little grief into our lives. How do we pray for them? According to the Bible, we are to bless rather than curse them, and a good pattern is found in these verses. Try praying for that one who has been a thorn in your side. Pray that the Lord will bless him and keep him and cause His face to shine upon him and give him peace. The Lord knows how to answer and extend blessings to the needy, and in the meantime, His blessings will spill over onto you as you pray in this manner.
God wanted His people to live clean and pure lives, and today’s Scripture passage opens with a discussion of how this was to be accomplished in daily living. Also, following God’s commands helped keep the Israelite camp free from disease at a time long before the role of germs and viruses in the health process was understood. Those with communicable diseases were to be kept outside the encampment as long as their disease or wound persisted. Those who had come into direct contact with the dead were also to be kept outside for a designated period of time. While all of this helped keep the camp healthy, it also worked as a reminder to Israel that God wanted His people to be pure and holy in every aspect of their lives.
Restitution was included in God’s instructions for right living. The guilty person was to pay full value plus twenty percent to the victim.
In the second portion of chapter 5, God instituted a test for adultery. Its purpose was to reveal sin and to relieve unfounded jealousy. God himself determined the guilt or innocence of the woman involved. Because this was a public occurrence that took place at the Tabernacle door, it must have acted as a deterrent to adultery. No doubt, a man thought long and hard before he began this process, for what if his wife proved to be innocent? And the women were surely careful that their actions did not make it necessary for them to have this test.
Chapter 6 details the Nazarite vow — a vow of consecration — which could be taken voluntarily by either men or women. It lasted for varied periods of time up to a lifetime. The vow included three regulations: no drinking of the fruit of the vine, no cutting of the hair, and no contact with a dead body. A person under this vow could not even attend a family member’s funeral. God also gave instructions on what was to be done if the vow was broken, and the steps for the completion of the vow were detailed. The point of the vow was to demonstrate dedication to God.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The preparation for the journey from Sinai
C. The measures for the maintenance of purity in the camp (5:1 — 6:27)
1. Regulations concerning separations (5:1-4)
2. Regulations concerning personal cleansing (5:5-10)
3. Regulations concerning marital unfaithfulness (5:11-31)
4. Regulations concerning personal dedication (6:1-21)
a. The vow (6:1-8)
b. The cleansing (6:9-21)
5. The blessing on cleansed people (6:22-27)
A Closer Look
- When you pray according to the focus verses, what six things are you asking God to accomplish?
- What type of circumstances or thoughts might have prompted some Israelites to take the Nazarite vow?
- God required the Israelites to live clean and holy lives, and He requires that of His people today. How do we maintain a clean and holy life today?
God wants to bless us, and He wants us to pray for the blessing of others as well.
- Numbers Introduction
- Numbers Complete Amplified Outline
- Camp of the Tribes of Israel
- Why So Many Laws?
- Daybreak Unit PDF (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua)
- Discovery Unit PDF (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua)
- Discovery Teacher’s Guide Unit PDF (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua)
- Unit Binder Cover