In these chapters we read the instructions God gave the Jews for following the Law. Much of it has to do with keeping God’s chosen people healthy. It’s not just an exhaustive list of rules. Following the rules resulted in a robust, long-lifed, group of people who were more robust and lived longer than their neighbors. Following the rules made God’s people stand apart from the crowd.
Let’s see what these chapters have to do with our walk with God in 2019.
Chapter 11 teaches that the disease of sin can be ingested if we aren’t careful. Just like the Jews were told to avoid certain disease-carrying animals, we are told to flee sin, guard our hearts and minds, think pure thoughts, come out from among them and be separate. The Jews were instructed to not even touch an unclean animal, much less eat it.
Some of us don’t necessarily participate in blatant acts of sin. But I wonder if we’re not guilty of getting close enough to bump into it, or have it rub off on us. Do we understand if sin touches us, it makes us unclean? I believe God would have us consider what it is we are taking in, in the music we listen to, to the books we read and shows we watch, to the places we go and the people we hang with. How close can we get to sin without it effecting us? I think God is telling us to be aware that sin is a fatal disease we can catch if we eat the whole hog, or if we just touch it to see how it feels. The solution? Don’t go there.
Chapter 12 tells us we are born unclean. The Bible makes it clear we are all born with a sin nature, a will to sin. But we also see time and again that God forgives sin. The women here in Leviticus were instructed to make atonement for their uncleanness in a very public way. I think one reason God instituted the baptism ceremony is because of that same idea – a public declaration that “I am clean by the work of Jesus on the cross.” Buried in sin. Alive in Christ. And we want the world to know.
And chapter 13 instructs us to examine ourselves, not to allow a “tiny sin” to exist in our lives, because “tiny sins” grow into infectious diseases resulting in separation from God in this life and eternity. It tells us that sin isn’t simply skin deep, not a zit that will go away on its own.
God is telling us sin is a cancer that destroys us from the inside. It’s leprous, ugly, and like leprosy caused finger and toes to fall of, rendering the diseased person crippled, sin causes us to lose our witness, rendering us crippled in our usefulness to God. I believe God is instructing us to take an inventory every day of our lives, search our hearts on a regular basis, identify the plank in our eye and remove it. If we don’t, we’ve got to know that it won’t get better on its own.
I hope you’ll read these chapters today. When God is talking about things to avoid, a disease, or an uncleanness, consider the sin that would entangle you today. Hear God’s solution to your sin problem. Don’t just look at this as a list of do’s and don’t’s for a people long gone. Let God speak to your heart about your walk with Him today.
It’s not just about food, or child-bearing, or leprosy. God wrote this for you.