My Daily Journal:
While we don’t do it much in this lesson, I think it is important to step back and look at the life of John the Baptist and the choices he was making during this time.
Scholars agree that John the Baptist was living at this time as a Nazirite and he may have lived that way his entire life. We learn about the vow of the Nazirite in Numbers 6. It was a choice made by the believer. It was for a period of time. It was a special commitment and calling of the individual to a special time of commitment and focus. To help with this focus, there were guidelines in place for the Nazirite.
Basically, what we see is an “all in” commitment and when we say all in, we mean all in! John the Baptist (JTB) spent his time on the task of preparing the way for the Lord. He did not spend time worrying about personal hygiene. He did not shave or cut his hair. He did not worry with shopping for clothing. He dressed in camel hair (note: unlike smaller pelts, no time need be spent sewing together small hides – with a camel you could take one hide, tie a belt around it and have a ready-made outfit). He did not even spend time hunting or gardening or harvesting. No shopping trips to Trader Joe’s for this Nazirite, although he managed to eat an all organic, local, grain-free diet.
His diet, in particular, was a sign of this commitment. He ate what was at hand where he was so he was not distracted from his calling. He didn’t go into town to eat or shop at the market. He focused on his task, his commitment, day and night. Why locusts? Amazingly, they were kosher/clean to eat (Lev 11:20-23). He had to stay away from anything that was already dead (Num 6:6) as part of the Nazirite commitment. And, unfortunately, many of the other creatures readily available were unclean (Lev 11). He had to stay far away from not only wine but all grapes, fruit of the vine. No juices, jams or jellies. But the wild honey was kosher/clean – which is actually interesting since bees are not clean, but honey is. The fact that it was wild honey ensured it was not contaminated by other unclean products.
Researching this information about John made me appreciate even more the “all in commitment” and dedication that he lived. Plus, John the Baptist may have been the model for the Duck Dynasty look!.
Water – Holy Spirit and Fire
I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize with H/S and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand and he will clear threshing floor, gathering wheat and burning the chaff
Joel: Prophecy, dreams, visions
Ezek: Living water, overflowing – fill with thirst that quenches
Acts: Baptism – power to be witnesses, evangelists
Isaiah: water on thirsty ground – blessings to descendants
John’s baptism cleansed, but they dressed again in dirty robes – no amount of water could wash away the stain permanently. But we are filled with the spirit and clothed in robes washed whiter than snow – crimson stain of sin removed. Is 1:18
The power I need to live a repentant life does not depend on or come from me – I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and if I trust and rely on His power there is nothing for God that cannot be done