“A Razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazarite to God from my mother’s womb” (Judges 16:17).
First order of business in my Mother Bible study — what’s a Nazarite? Having read this before, I know what it is, but for your sake, (and to glean what I can) I’m going to look it up.
(From my oh-so-helpful Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
“Member of a class of individuals especially devoted to God. The Hebrew term means consecration, devotion, and separation…The Nazirite’s outward signs–the growth of hair, abstention from wine and other alcoholic products, the avoidance of contact with the dead–are illustrative of devotion to God…The lifelong Nazirite in biblical tradition included Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist.” (page 1149).
So Nazirites were people who were set apart and lived by special regulations because of their devotion to God. Sometimes these were lifelong commitments and other times they lasted for a short predetermined period of time.
Second, who said this? It was Samson, of the famed Samson & Delilah story. He’s revealing to her the cause of his physical strength. In the next few verses, she betrays him and his hair is cut off, rendering him weak instead of supernaturally strong.
So Samson says that he has been a Nazirite “from my mother’s womb.” His mother clearly played a role in him becoming a Nazirite. Surely his mother chose to dedicate him to the Lord (as an act of obedience — the angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her she would conceive and that her son would be a Nazirite — see Judges 13.
In that passage, the angel not only tells the woman that her son will adhere to the Nazirite way of life, but she must also “be careful and drink no wine or strong drink and eat nothing unclean…” (Judges 13:4).
For her son to be a Nazirite, she herself must also act like a Nazirite.
This reminds me of the poem: “Children Learn What They Live,” by Dorothy Law Nolte.
“If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.”
The phrase “from my mother’s womb” makes me wonder. How have MY children lived ‘from the womb’? It shows me again the great influence I have on my children — their minds, their hearts, their mannerisms. Surely God has made them precious individuals, each made to walk in the good deeds that God has prepared for them (see Ephesians 2:10), but who else on this earth will have more influence on my children at these tender ages than I do? Even my husband does not have as great an influence as I. Their very lives began inside my body. I have read that even a woman’s emotions are shared with the growing baby inside her womb. I spend almost every waking moment with my children – laughing, playing, reading, disciplining, teaching knowledge, teaching habits. Everyone knows that children mimic their parents — thus I even have unintentional influence!
What a gift and great responsibility that parents have. We can start them off in the right direction, just as Samuel’s mother Hannah promised him to the Lord before he was born (1 Samuel 1). We can take our children at the beginning of their lives and dedicate them to the Lord, because He has given us that authority!
I declare my own children have been blessed “from [their] mother’s womb.” 🙂 I dedicate them to the Lord and I will raise them for His glory. Hallelujah.
Please share this post with others if it has blessed you! I would love to hear your responses!