Saturday, April 16, 2011

Leviticus: Chapter 15

I confess, when I skimmed this a couple days ago, I though, "Oh, my!  What will God have me do with this chapter?"  He is always faithful to hear those cries for if only I can convey it in writing to bless you as well. 

The potential ways of being 'unclean' are incredibly diverse--and produce a communal awareness that offered little individual privacy.  We have explored a variety of external contaminants; today's chapter focuses our eyes on that which comes from within our own bodies.  The physical presentation of unclean-ness in this chapter deals with both infection and normal bodily functions.   Sometimes we have a sin infection which contaminates us and others; sometimes the 'stuff of life' brings unclean-ness to ourselves and those around us.  While such transparency about our physical activities would be decidedly uncomfortable, the spiritual focus on holiness and the need for cleansing will bless us immeasurably.

Several New Testament passages came to mind as I contemplated this chapter. 

In Matthew 15, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and clarifies that man is defiled by what pours forth from the heart.  And Luke recounts a similar message in chapter six of his account of another teaching of Christ.  Our need for cleansing is a constant as the Israelites; praise God we have been, as Paul said, delivered from this body of death!  Our cleansing is in the blood of Christ and in the washing of the Word.  We must come to the cross and stay immersed in His Word...letting it dwell richly in us as the passage in  Colossians says.  In fact, that is a great closing for today:

Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Put up with one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also should forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in unity. Let the peace of Christ also rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you with all richness and wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts.   (Colossians 3:12-16)

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