The pattern we see established over the last five chapters of Leviticus is that it is the Lord’s sovereign choice to define what is CLEAN and UNCLEAN and how UNCLEANNESS can be remedied.
We are going to encounter numerous situations where one becomes UNCLEAN but their actions weren’t in any way connected to sin.
-A woman giving birth to a baby
-A woman beginning her monthly cycle
-Somebody coming into contact with a dead body (which would be inevitable in some circumstances for burial and funeral preparation purposes)
-A man having a wet dream
Or let’s consider the matter of food.
Some foods are declared CLEAN and acceptable to eat, others are not.
Now are the CLEAN foods unhealthy for you and the UNCLEAN foods detrimental to your health?
The answer is an unequivocal NO on both accounts.
The same goes for those animals considered CLEAN for sacrificial purposes and those prohibited to be sacrificed.
Are the prohibited animals in some way deficient or deformed?
Again, the answer is a resounding NO!
The Lord in His sovereignty made some choices without any explanations and we just have to accept those choices on FAITH, period.
This same principle could be applied to Israel being chosen by God.
Was Israel chosen because they were inherently better than other nations or because they exhibited better behavior than other peoples?
Of course not.
And the same goes for your salvation.
You weren’t chosen because you were better than others, or because you sinned less than others.
Again, your election to the kingdom of God was based solely on the sovereign decision of God.
This is an issue theologians have wrestled with for centuries.
But here’s the thing.
Why God chooses some people and not others is nothing more or less than an extension of the pattern of CLEAN and UNCLEAN we are studying here in Leviticus.
It is all based on the sovereign decision of God.
You were called and declared CLEAN because the Lord, in His sovereignty, chose you.
Others are NOT called, and they remain UNCLEAN because the Lord in His sovereignty did NOT choose them.
One question often asked is, “If a believer sins does he or she become UNCLEAN again?“
My quick and short answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Think about the implications of that.
If you become UNCLEAN, the HOLY SPIRIT residing within you has to immediately leave.
How you became UNCLEAN is irrelevant.
UNCLEAN and HOLY cannot co-exist under any circumstances.
So to me, to say “UNCLEAN believer” is an oxymoron of gargantuan proportions.
The Lord, through His Torah, is teaching us what HOLINESS is all about.
As believers who are HOLY, we are to avoid all contact with the UNCLEAN.
In this section (chapter 15) of Leviticus , we’re going to encounter many reasons why a man or woman is declared UNCLEAN and we’re going to find that none of them had anything to do with sin.
Another principle we’ll encounter, which may be difficult to accept, is that there are varying degrees and levels of UNCLEANNESS.
Not all UNCLEANNESS is the same.
Depending on the circumstances, UNCLEANNESS may be temporary or permanent.
Some types of UNCLEANNESS result from a direct judgement of God.
Other types UNCLEANNESS result from completely normal bodily functions.
The remedies for UNCLEANNESS are also wide and varied.
In some cases, just waiting until sunset is fine or dunking oneself in a pool of living water is all that is needed to have one’s CLEANNESS restored.
In other situations, one has to go through a complicated and expensive series of rituals involving a priest to get CLEAN, such as the METSORA rites we studied.
In a worst case scenario, there is no remedy for one’s impurity.
The impurity is so extreme that the poor individual in question is excommunicated from his or her community and permanently cut off from any relationship with YHVH.
The next time we meet, we’re going to begin our textual study.
Fair warning here.
The contents of what we’re going to be studying may be quite graphic and explicit.
We’ll be dealing with human discharges from the sexual organs of both males and females.
The Bible gives us the details in a quite matter-of-factly fashion.
As I’ve said before, Scripture is not prudish when it comes to discussing matters that might cause a great deal of discomfort to some, especially on sexual matters.
I remind you that this is the Word of God.
This is HOLY SCRIPTURE.
This is TORAH.
God has given us His Word, which includes Leviticus, for us to study, prayerfully meditate on, and apply to our lives.
Recall that the first book of the TORAH that a Jewish child will study in Shabbat school is Leviticus.
My point is, if 6 and 7 year olds are old enough to handle this material, we most certainly are as well.
See you next time.