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Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz, and you're listening to the Bible in the Year podcast, where we encounter God's voice and live life through the lens of scripture. The Bible in the Year podcast is brought to you by Ascension. Using the Great Adventure Bible timeline, we'll read all the way from Genesis to Revelation, discovering how the story of salvation unfolds and how we fit into that story today. This is day 57, so we are cruising. I always say that, but it's true. We'll be reading Numbers 6, Deuteronomy 6, and praying Psalm 91. Psalm 91 is just my goodness. All of the Psalms are incredible prayers. They're incredible songs to the Lord. But man, Psalm 91 is one of my personal favorites, and so I'm so glad to be able to pray it with you. Today, as you know, we read from the Revised Standard Version, the second Catholic edition. That is the Bible translation that I'm using. Specifically, I'm using the Great Adventure Bible from Ascension. To download your Bible in a Year reading plan, you can visit ascensionpress. Com/bibleineyear. You can also subscribe in your podcast app to receive daily episodes. So every time we give an episode, you get an episode.


Again, today is Day 57. We're reading Number 6, Deuteronomy 6, in praying Psalm 91. Numbers 6: the Nazarites. And the Lord said to Moses, Say to the sons of Israel, when either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazarite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grapes, or eat grapes, fresh or dried. All the days of his separation, he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall come upon 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 his hair of his head grow long. All the days that he separates himself to the Lord, he shall not go near a dead body, neither for his father, nor for his mother, nor for a brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean, because his separation to God is upon his head.


All the days of his separation, he is holy to the Lord. And if any man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing. On the seventh day, he shall shave it. On the eighth day, he shall bring two turtle doves or two young pigeons to the priest to the door of the tent of meeting, and the priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And make atonement for him, because he sinned by reason of the dead body. And he shall consecrate his head that same day, and separate himself to the Lord for the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb, a year old, for a guilt offering. But the former time shall be void, because his separation was defiled. And this is the law for the Nazarite. When the time of his separation has been completed, he shall be brought to the door of the tent of meeting, and he shall offer his gift to the Lord, one male lamb, a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and one two lamb, a year old, without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish as a peace offering, and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and their cereal offering and their drink offerings.


And the priest shall present them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering, and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its cereal offering and its drink offering. And the Nazarite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tent of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering. And the priest shall take the shoulder of the ram when it is boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after he has shaved the hair of his consecration, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. They are a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered, and after that, the Nazarite may drink wine. This is the law for the Nazarite who takes a vow. His offering to the Lord shall be according to his vow as a Nazarite, apart from what else he can afford, in accordance with the vow which he takes, so shall he do according to the law for his separation as a Nazarite.


The Priestly benediction. The Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron and his sons, ' Thus shall you bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them, 'The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall they put my name upon the sons of Israel, and I will bless them. The Book of Deuteronomy 6: The Great Commandment. Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his Commandments, which I command you all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Hear, therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.


Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart, and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise, and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes, and you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Caution against disobedience. And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and excellent cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and cisterns hewed out which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant. And when you eat and are full, then take heed, lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.


You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and swear by his name. You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you, for the Lord your God, in the midst of you, is a jealous God. Lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from the face of the earth. You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. As you tested him at Massa. You shall diligently keep the Commandments of the Lord your God, and his decrees, and his statutes which he has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised. When your son asks you in time to come, what is the meaning of the decrees, and the statues, and the ordinances which the Lord our God has commanded you? Then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt.


And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land which he swore to give our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes to fear the Lord our God for our good always, that he might preserve us alive as at this day. And it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us. Psalm 91. Assurance of God's protection. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High and abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. For he will deliver you from the snares of the foweler and from the deadly pestilence. He will you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the destruction that lays waste at noon.


A thousand may fall at your side, 10,000 at your right-hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked, because you have made the Lord your refuge, the most high your habitation. No evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent, for he will give his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. Because he clings to me in love, I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name. Him. When he calls to me, I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and honor him. With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. Father in heaven, you are good, and you do protect us. You do care for us. You bear us up as on the wings of eagles, and you bear us up lest we dash our foot against the stone.


Lord God, we do not put you to the test because we are tested every day. Every day we are tried, and every day life reveals the truth of our hearts. It reveals our fickle hearts. It reveals our shaky and quick to forget hearts. Lord, help us to never forget what you have done for us. Help us never forget who you are. Help us never forget what you revealed about our own hearts. Help us to never forget you, Lord God. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy spirit. Amen. So there are a number of things to talk about today. The first is in the Book of Numbers, there's this thing called the Nazarite Vow. You might be familiar with the Nazarite Vow because there was a couple of people in the Bible who seem to have been underneath the Nazarite Vow. Now, here's. Normally what the Nazarite Vow was, was just a temporary a thing. So the two people I can think of, at least right offhand, who took a Nazarite Vow for life, one was Samson.


He did not follow that Nazareth vows super well. Then again, I guess it was his parents who chose it for him. Sometimes the Nazareth life chooses you. You don't choose the Nazareth life. But truthfully, Samson was set aside from his mother's womb, and the angel of the Lord, who appeared to his mother, told him that he'd be set apart, and that he would not cut his hair, and that he would not touch strong drink. He failed in that. We're going to get to that story when we get to the Book of Judges. The other person that we know of, at least, who had a lifelong long Nazarite bow is John the Baptist. To our knowledge, he successfully held to that Nazarite vow. Again, it was not cutting hair. It involved not touching strong drink or anything of the fruit of the vine. Now, normally, those There are two exceptions. Normally, they did not last for one's entire life. Normally, it was dedicating time of your life to the Lord. We've talked a lot about in Leviticus, and in numbers so far, we've talked a lot about dedicating places to the Lord. Here's the articles of the temple, dedicating things to the Lord.


When we get to Mount Zion, that space where the temple is going to be built is going to be dedicating a place to the Lord. Even remember with the story of people like Jacob, when Jacob has the dream of the angels going up to heaven and descending from heaven, and he dedicates that place. He consecrates that place and builds an altar there. So we've heard all about dedicating things and spaces to the Lord. The Nazareth Vow is a way to dedicate time to the Lord. We say, Okay, for the next week, maybe two weeks, maybe four weeks, I am going to go away. And basically, a general analogy would be like, say, I'm going to go on retreat. And while I'm on retreat, I am not going to drink and I'm not going to cut my hair or shave. And then at the end of that retreat, at the end of that time that's been dedicated to the Lord, to consecrate it to him for worship of him, for love of him, I am going to not only offer the sacrifices that are prescribed, like the different animals, but also The hair that grew during that time, I will shave that off as a sign of the time.


Our toenails, fingernaels grow and our hair grows. There's a sense where That growth is a marker of time. At the end of that time, however far your hair has grown, you would cut that off, and that would be actually placed on the altar as part of the sacrifice. Again, just think of the imagery there. It's really cool. I mean, burnt hair, it doesn't smell the best, but the imagery is really cool where it has that sense of, Lord, that whole time I offer to you, that was yours as is represented here by the hair that is cut off of my head. I just think that's just really cool. Last, or last when it comes to numbers, the last thing we have in the chapter 6 of numbers is the Priestley benediction. It's called the Aaronic blessing. After Aaron, not Aaronic, but Aaronic A-A-R-O-N-I-C, Aaronic blessing. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you. Be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. That's this powerful blessing. I remember hearing Jeff Cavens, who he's featured on this podcast. He helps us out every single time we come to a new time period, him pointing out that that is a great prayer of blessing for parents to pray over their children.


Specifically, I would just invite fathers who are listening to pray that prayer, that the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Because Aaron, again, that tribe of Levi, being the first born, was also in some ways like the Father, because remember, the priesthood was always related to the fatherhood. And so there's that father's blessing that's built into the Aaronic blessing as well. Now, when it comes to the Book of Deuteronomy, oh my goodness, what an incredible gift. What we have is what's called the Shemá. And the Shemá is the word in Hebrew for hear, to hear. Now, to hear, so hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. We've heard this because we know the Gospels. We also have heard this because of Deuteronomy 6. This is the great commandment. If there's any one commandment that united the people of Israel, obviously, there's a 10 Commandments. Obviously, there's all 613 Commandments of the Old Covenant.


But this one commandment, this great Shemá, this Hear, O Israel, sums everything up. To hear in Hebrew that Shemá, it doesn't just mean, Hey, you guys, listen up. It means hear and obey. It means to receive and actually put this into practice. Here are the people of Israel that Moses is speaking to them because he's said some Commandments. We went through the Ten Commandments. He's going to continue with other laws, but this is the heart of all of the laws. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one. Why does he bring this up? Because he knows. Not only did they come from Egypt, where there are multiple gods, they're going into Canaan, where there's multiple gods, and you have to be on guard against this. Now, how are you on guard against this? It's not just like, I'm going to hold dogmatically to my beliefs. It involves also remembering. It's not just simply saying, Well, this is what I believe, and that's what I believe. It's remembering that the Lord God, the God, is the one who brought you out of that place of slavery. That's what your sons in the future will say, What are these ordinances?


What are these Commandments? You need to remind your children of all that the Lord your God, who is has done for you. That's why we obey these Commandments. It's so important for all of us to realize that all the rules come out of a relationship. Every single one of the rules we have in the church, every single one of the rules that we have in the scripture, they all come out of relationship. Without relationship, the rules are fine. They're wise. I mean, they're good and good to live by. But without the relationship, those rules can also be hollow. They can also be dead. They can also be empty. They can be wise, of course, but they're empty of the reason. And the reason for the rule is the relationship. That is why Moses is reminding the people, remember, take these words and bind them on your forehead. Take these words and bind them on your arm. Put them on the lentils of your doorpost. In fact, if you go to almost any Jewish home, you have a thing called a mesuzah. It's called a mesuzah, and it's usually typically a metal container in which these words of the Lord are written on a very tiny piece of paper, and they're put there.


Every time a Jewish person walks in or walks out, oftentimes, they will touch that mesuzah as a reminder. No, never forget what the Lord has done.


In fact, the scripture says that you would take these words of mine and bind them on your foreheads, wear them on your foreheads, and bind them on your arms. That is what's known as the phylacteries. Jesus, later on, he calls, he says that the pharisees would widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. In Hebrew, that word is tefilin. For the phylacteries, it's tefilin. The word for the tassels is the The word zet zet, fun things to know. But in the phylacteries, they're made out of leather, leather boxes and leather straps that still, right now, even, Orthodox Jewish men will continue to use it when they're praying. They will have the boxes that have scripture inside of them. Then with the leather straps, they'll affix that to their arms, forearms, and/or to their foreheads. That is the fulfillment of what is written in Exodus 13, in Deuteronomy 6, Deuteronomy 11, 7, where it talks about having those words of God always on our mind, always on our arms. As Christians, one of the things that we will do is if you've ever gone to a Catholic Mass, you know that before the gospel is claimed, the priest or the deacon or the bishop would proclaim and say a reading from the Holy gospel according to Matthew.


And people respond, Glory to you, oh Lord. And as we say, Glory to you, oh Lord, what the priest does is he makes a sign of the cross on the words of the text and then on himself. And all the people make this sign of the cross on their foreheads, on their lips, and on their hearts. One of the things that we're saying internally when we're making that sign of the cross over our foreheads, over our lips, and over our hearts is, May the word of the Lord be on my mind, be on my lips, and be in my heart. It's a spiritual way of still having that idea of keeping the word of God on our foreheads and on our arms before us always. And that's what we say every time we go to Mass and we hear the words of the gospel claimed.


Oh, my goodness. What a gift, right? Because we are keeping Bible in our ears and we are not forgetting what the Lord our God has not only done for the Jewish people, not only done in the new covenant for the people of the world, but also what the Lord our God has done for us. By reading this, by listening to God's words like you're doing right now, this year, you are obeying the commandment of Deuteronomy 6, to remember and never, ever forget what the Lord our God has done for us. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one, and you shall love him with everything you got. You guys, I am proud of you. You've made it to day 57, and we are trucking right along. We are praying for each other. Please know that I am praying for you. You are doing so, so well. We're moving, and God is blessing so many of you. What you're reporting is that, gosh, even in days of missing days, missing a weekend, maybe even missing a week, but you're getting back on the horse, right? You're getting back on there and getting back in the saddle.


You're either catching up or keeping up. You don't need to catch up to where we are right where we are right now, just need to go at your own pace and just never, ever stop because this is the commandment. This is the commandment is to listen to the Lord. Hear, O Israel. Oh, my goodness. I am praying for you. My name is Father Mike, and I cannot wait to see you tomorrow. God bless.