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Our Only Comfort

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

“Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

At week 15, hair is emerging all over Baby Chris’s body. Throughout pregnancy, his hair will actually go through two cycles of shedding and regrowth. A precise pattern will emerge with all follicles perfectly and evenly spaced (in fact, not a single follicle forms after birth)! Will he have a cowlick? Will his hair be curly or straight? As we have seen in earlier reflections, Scripture has much to say about the details of our physical bodies – and it isn’t silent about hair, either!

The Bible considers hair to be a witness to holiness. Old Testament idol-worshippers mutilated their bodies with cuts, tattoos and bald spots (Leviticus 21:5), practices forbidden to God’s people. Priests, especially, were expected to have trimmed hair to distinguish themselves from pagans (Leviticus 19: 27).

When a Jew made a special “Nazarite vow” before the Lord, he would separate himself by not cutting his hair until his vow was accomplished. When his time of separation was over, he would shave his head and offer his hair in the temple as a sacrifice to the Lord (Numbers 6; Acts 18:18). Samson was called “from the womb” to be a Nazarite for his entire lifetime. He was exceptionally strong, but when his enemies cut off his hair, his strength left him. He was taken prisoner and enslaved, but when his hair began to grow again, he asked God to restore his strength before he died so he could fulfill his destiny by destroying the enemies of God (Judges 13-16).

Hair is shorn to display mourning (Ezra 9:3; Jeremiah 7:29) and shame (Numbers 5:18; 2 Samuel 10:4-5; Isaiah 3:24; 1 Corinthians 11:3-16)

Hair is a special glory: David’s son, Absalom, only cut his hair once a year, and his shorn locks weighed five pounds! (2 Samuel 14:26). Gray hair is a badge of honor deserving of respect (Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 20:29). A woman’s hair is an adornment (Song of Solomon 4:1) and a modesty (I Cor. 11:13).

When Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume (John 12:3) and the woman in Simon’s house anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:38), both women wiped his feet with their hair. As a Nazarite male would offer his hair as a sacrifice to God, each woman placed her hair – her glory and self-worth – at the feet of Jesus in an act of sacrificial humility.

Our hair represents our value to God. Jesus offered this sweet encouragement to the anxious disciples who were feeling threatened by the menacing Pharisees and the mobs pressing in around Jesus: Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows,” (Luke 12:6-7).

God attends to the spiritual details of our lives: Supplying us with all the treasure we will need for a lifetime from before our birth (Philippians 4:19); naming us Nazarites from the womb by marking us as holy; and - in the symbol of each follicle of hair - providing our sacrifice Himself (Gen. 22:8), because we are worth the price Jesus paid (I Corinthians 6:19-20).


“Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?”

“A. That I am not my own,1 but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death,2 to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.3 He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood,4 and has set me free from all the power of the devil.5 He also preserves me in such a way6 that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head;7indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.8 Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life9 and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.10 Heidelberg Catechism Q. 1

[1] I Cor. 6:19, 20

[2] Rom. 14:7-9.

[3] I Cor. 3:23; Tit. 2:14.

[4] I Pet. 1:18, 19; I John 1:7; 2:2.

[5] John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14, 15; I John 3:8.

[6] John 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; II Thess. 3:3; I Pet. 1:5.

[7] Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18.

[8] Rom. 8:28.

[9] Rom. 8:15, 16; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13, 14.

[10] Rom. 8:14.

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