Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daily Bible Reading - February 23 - Clean and Unclean

Today's reading from Leviticus 12-14 contains several laws regarding cleanness and uncleanness. As you can see in the the text, there were several ways a person could become unclean, and since many of these issues were connected with normal bodily functions, it was inevitable that every Israelite would be unclean at many points in their life.

I am not sure I will ever fully understand the rationale behind all of these laws. Certainly there were health reasons to seclude those who had communicable diseases, but that is hardly the primary reason behind these laws, since most forms of uncleanness had nothing to do with disease. I do think there are several important factors behind these laws:
  1. They reminded the people that God was King of every aspect of their lives, even the most intimate and personal matters.
  2. They reminded the people that God must be approached reverently, and if that was true with regard to physical cleanness, how much more was it true of spiritual purity?
  3. They made is impossible to mix sex with worship, which was sadly a staple of pagan religious practice (and a sin Israel was susceptible to in its history)
  4. They reminded the people that God is the God of Life, and therefore only those whole and complete could come before Him worship.
Perhaps you can think of other reasons for these laws. And of course, these laws only serve to highlight how great Jesus is. Lepers and other diseased people touched Him, and instead of Him becoming unclean, He cleansed them! What a Savior.

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