“All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.”
The Book of Numbers might be generations away from Christ’s Beatitudes and Paul’s Epistles and John’s Apocalypse, but the telos of the Christian story is made abundantly clear in these primitive stages. Here, we see full well that the life of faith is a life of focused action. It isn’t enough to hear the Word; we’re called to do the Word. And if we aren’t consciously fleshing it out in consecration to the very God in Whose image we’ve been born, we’re falling short of our created mission.
To that end, Numbers 6:5 sets the stage for that cautionary tale of Samson we read later in Judges 16. We learn in Judges 14 that Samson is a special child, a Nazirite from birth, dedicated by his mother for service to God, but we see little of his own devotion through the chronicle. By the time we reach his liaison with a Philistine named Delilah, he seems to only have one remnant of his Nazirite vow left—his uncut locks of hair—a picture of just how fragile his faith truly is. He thinks he can serve two masters—the LORD and his lust. Like a Pharisee, he thinks his appearance is most important to God. He mistakes his dreadlocks for good deeds. He thinks he can keep a prostitute girlfriend and a pastoral role at the same time, just so long as he upholds the letter of Numbers 6:5, forgetting, it seems, the spirit of it.
Friend, the enemy of your soul is adamant to cut off anything that draws you nearer to God. He’ll stop at nothing till he’s severed everything about you that makes you distinct in this godless world. So, while you constantly take to heart that your power to do good in this crooked generation does not come from outward appearances but from the indwelling Spirit of the LORD, be extravagant in your pursuit of the Almighty. Develop your own locks of love—whatever form they take—and let them be a constant thorn in the side of the devils who are powerless to sever them.